Thank you for contacting me about the night time economy.
I appreciate that it has been a particularly challenging time for many sectors of our economy, including those operating in the night time industry, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.
It is important that as economy begins to recover, and it is safe for businesses reopen and staff to return to work, that there is a welcoming and safe night time economy. The night time economy is hugely important to entertainment and culture in the UK, and it is the British economy's fifth largest sector.
I voted against the Covid "Plan B" measures which were introduced in December, as I see them to be unenforceable, nonsensical and an enormous step backward. The fact that I can go to the pub with a colleague, sing with a colleague, eat with a colleague but not go to work them with just highlights the fact that this has not been well thought out. Added to which I am afraid at this point the data does not justify the direction of travel.
Businesses can continue to benefit from financial support through the Recovery Loan Scheme which enables eligible businesses to apply for loans between £25,000 and £10 million with an 80 per cent Government guarantee. Once received, the finance can be used for any legitimate business purpose, including growth and investment. I was encouraged that the Chancellor extended this scheme in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 until 30 June 2022. From 1 January 2022, the scheme will only be open to small and medium sized enterprises, with the maximum amount of finance available set at £2 million per business and the guarantee coverage that the Government will provide to lenders will be reduced to 70 per cent.