£1bn and counting: impact of cancellations on Scottish Trade

Gavin-Stevenson

The Hospitality Sector & Night Time Economy have estimated that last weeks statements from Public Health Scotland the Scottish Government will mean over £1 Billion of additional economic damage to the sector and they are calling for an immediate grant package to protect jobs and businesses.

In a statement, it says that “we are now Open In Name Only – allowed to trade while government tells our customers not to come – and incurring costs which businesses now have no means of paying.

“Our members are reporting cancellations and reduced attendance to such a degree that many are questioning whether they can now keep trading.

“Footfall since last Thursday is already down 30% on average and still falling daily, with 50% or greater declines being likely over the coming days as the bulk of cancellations kick in, and knock-on effects are being felt across the supply chain.

“It is both morally and economically untenable for the costs of this new policy to be borne by Scotland’s small businesses without any additional support from government.

“Throughout the pandemic our members have done everything asked of them to keep the public safe at enormous personal and professional cost. We have invested in enhanced ventilation, rigorous hygiene protocols, and promoting Scottish Government’s baseline mitigations. We have implemented Covid Certification.

“Businesses now need an immediate grant package to protect the 100,000+ jobs and thousands of small Scottish businesses affected.  Any further restrictions will also require additional support to compensate for losses on a pound for pound basis and the reintroduction of furlough if the sector, jobs, and supply chain are to be saved.

Gavin Stevenson, Vice-Chair NTIA Scotland, said: “It is now clear Scottish Government have left the sector Open In Name Only – technically open but telling our customers not to come, just as Boris Johnson did back in March 2020.

“Our sector has now seen a critical decline in festive season trade, resulting in a threat to the very survival of Scottish small businesses and 100,000 jobs.

“If the new Omicron variant threatens the NHS then of course our sector will again step up and play our part – but Government must also now step up and commit to ensuring business survival with immediate financial support that replaces lost festive season income on a pound for pound basis to protect jobs and businesses.”

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