At the Forum we are all aware of the difficulties facing the hospitality industries, be it restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs, they had no choice but to close at very short notice. Another sector which is being badly impacted upon is the sports industry, we know that professional sports fixtures have been cancelled with no games taking place, be they football, rugby or cricket as well as many others. The issues around the big clubs make the headlines, but then you have all the smaller clubs with tighter margins and the suppliers to these clubs at every level, no sport, no demand for equipment, be it from the manufacturers or the sports shops, so it’s not just pubs!
In the normal non-coronavirus world these two businesses seem to go hand in hand, in the UK we have a passion for sports of all kinds and one of the key places to watch them, apart from attending games or in the home, is in the pub on a big screen. But there is a problem these activities, in that they involve a large number of people all getting together in close proximity in one place, something that cannot happen during the coronavirus pandemic and that is unlikely to change until we have a cure and a vaccine for the virus. The same can be said for the live music industry, again something we see in many pubs, with live acts ranging from individual performers to bands.
Due to the need for social distancing the live music industry is in lock down as well and this impacts on artists at all levels, from the well known to the local semi-professional, the venues and theatres they play in have no revenue, the people who work there are mainly furloughed and the supply chains which rely on the venues and events for orders have seen their order book run dry.
So, we have three industry sectors here, all closely related in normal times, many of whom are members of the Forum of Private business, who now find themselves all in the same situation during the lock down, caused by this pandemic. They are all suffering very difficult trading conditions, and many will need a lot of support to get back on their feet.