As the Government announces further restrictions today – including a curfew of 10pm for pubs – a survey of members carried out by bacta last week reveals shocking rates of redundancy, with almost a third of the workforce having already lost their jobs or with their jobs at imminent risk.
The results were calculated across the whole trade association and the worst hit is Division 2, suppliers of machines to pubs and clubs, whose businesses were directly affected by the pub closures and yet received no support from the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.
The figures for Divisions 1,2,3 and 4 (seaside arcades, suppliers, AGCs and manufacturers) are 30%, 32%, 26% and 27% respectively. In some cases, members were saying that any further impacts on business will mean they will have to close, making today’s announcements even more deeply concerning.
Bacta CEO John White says, “This survey reveals the shocking truth of what we have been saying all along. Our industry needs support. We need the CJRS extended, rates relief for 2021/22, 5% and VAT and MGD for six months. It’s the only way many businesses will make it through the winter.
“We also need Governments across the UK to wake up and stop penalising good companies that are playing their part in stopping Covid-19. Where is the sense in closing them down because some companies won’t implement Guidance properly? Shut them down and let the good companies get on with supporting the economy. I am sure businesses closed would soon fall into line. It’s a win/win policy that would drive standards up and infections down.”
“More than one bacta member (and its far worse in Scotland) have said if there are any more lockdowns they will have to close the business,” concludes John White. “Bacta has written to DCMS today with these figures to illustrate just how desperate our situation is.”
Bacta represents the owners and operators of seaside amusement arcades, over-18 amusement centres, and the companies that hire machines to pubs, clubs, bowling alleys, bingo halls and similar venues. It also represents the manufacturers and distributors of all types of amusement equipment. This can range from children’s rides, to jukeboxes, fruit machines in pubs and clubs, crane grabbers, penny falls, tuppeny nudgers, test your strength machines, videos, pool tables and gaming machines