'The Government must not pull the rug from under the music sector' - Government figures show the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries

Figures released this month by the Office for National Statistics show the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries:

75% of businesses in the ‘Arts, Entertainment And Recreation’ industry report they have ‘temporarily closed or temporarily paused trading’, the highest figure in any industry and more than 4 times the all-industries average of 18%.
Of businesses continuing to trade, 63% of businesses in the ‘Arts, Entertainment And Recreation’ industry report a turnover decrease of over 50%, the highest figure for any industry and over twice the all-industries average of 26%.

Of those business that have ‘temporarily paused or ceased trading’, just 3% of businesses in the ‘Arts, Entertainment And Recreation’ expect to start trading in the next 2-4 weeks, compared to an all-industries average of 9%.

Of businesses that have not permanently stopped trading, the proportion of their workforce on furlough for businesses in the ‘Arts, Entertainment And Recreation’ is 73%, the second highest figure of any industry, and well over twice that of an all-industries average of 28%.

Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive Deborah Annetts, responding to the figures, said:

“These figures prove what the ISM has been saying for months: that the creative industries have been battered by COVID-19 and have borne the brunt of the economic damage caused by this pandemic.

“The majority of the music sector is reliant on some form of government support to get through these challenging times, and the Government must not pull the rug from under the music sector by scaling back its furlough contributions.

“With social gathering restrictions set to stay in place there will be no return to business as usual for venues and live performers any time soon, and this is why the ISM is calling for the Government to maintain its current rate of furlough contribution and put in place a long-term financial support package for the creative industries, whether through tax reliefs or direct support”.

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