The nightlife industry in Scotland has warned up to 5,000 jobs per week could be lost without “immediate action to restart the sector” and scrapping rules like social distancing.
The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) Scotland said only a “clear commitment to a date” for reopening without restrictions on capacities and opening hours could ensure the survival of “our culturally vital late night economy”.
The body, which represents the businesses, employees, freelancers and supply chains that make up the night-time economy across the country, last month launched legal action over limitations imposed on hospitality and nightlife.
Gavin Stevenson, vice chairman of NTIA Scotland, said: “We urge the Scottish Government to open dialogue and enter into crisis talks with us immediately.
“As without a road map back to full reopening and commercial viability in the near-term, or significant additional funding, a cascade of bankruptcy and job losses becomes the inevitable outcome.
“The future of our young depends on it.”
Nightclubs are scheduled to reopen on phase four, the final stage of the emergence out of lockdown.
They have been eligible for restart grants of up to £19,500 under the strategic framework business fund from November last year.
Top up grants of up to £25,000 per business premise were also made available, while nightclubs could also apply for one-off grants of up to £50,000 from last October.
But the NTIA says an April survey of its members shows financial support has fallen short of costs incurred to stay afloat during the pandemic.
It added that more than three quarters of night economy businesses reported being hit with losses operating under any form of social distancing, on average £10,000 per month.
The group says that its estimate of 5,000 job losses per week is based on its research indicating just under 40,000 jobs are at risk over the next eight weeks.