“We had a good three months of trading over summer when everything opened up and we had Eat Out to Help Out, and we even took on 16 new people in July. But we are having to seriously consider laying off large numbers of staff as business has died – and some of these are friends and family to us who we have employed for ten years.
“We have got to the stage where we are just about making enough money to cover our expenses, but it is like the night of the living dead on the high street at the moment. One payroll can completely empty your bank account so we are really having to look at how we keep going.
“[The new scheme] is less generous than furlough and only applies if we have to shut, but I am glad the Chancellor has listened to at least some calls for extra help,” he said.
But Debbie Marks, CEO of Qube Events, an events business in Manchester, said she would not be able to take advantage of the extension as her company is unlikely to be forced to close. She is now at the stage of talking to all her staff members about redundancy, following almost a year of having no income, she said.
“I feel like we are falling through the cracks yet again and that our industry, which produces billions of pounds for the economy, is being ignored.