All the main business news stories this month are here for you
It’s just not cricket for Levy UK
The world’s largest outdoor catering company, Levy UK, is releasing all casual staff as it expects that crowds will not return to English sporting venues until 2021.
The company, which caters for among others Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, the O2 Arena, Edgbaston and the Oval cricket grounds as well as numerous other concerts and events, emailed staff this week.
A spokesperson said: “The sports and leisure sector has been one of the most deeply impacted sectors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We’ve reviewed the likelihood of a return of sporting events, exhibitions and conferences on a site-by-site basis. With no catered sports or events taking place, or scheduled to do so for the foreseeable future, it’s with deep regret that we have had to take the difficult decision to remove some of our casual workers from the furlough scheme.”
The company said it hoped to repurpose as many permanent staff with other positions in the group as possible.
Skiing business heads downhill
Ski Weekends, run by Harris Holidays, the Uk’s leading ski tour operator for over 30 years has gone into administration.
The company operated from 17 UK airports to resorts all over Europe and served around 6,000 customers every season.
Managing Director Dan Fox lamented the failure of government schemes and support. He said the business was in a good position for sale or additional financial support but backers withdrew when new Spanish quarantine regulations came into force in July.
Fox said: “Most of the European countries have offered practical help and hard cash to support their tourist industries and companies. Not so the UK government.”
Foreign currency exchange finally folds
Travelex, the UK’s largest foreign currency exchange went into administration this month and although parts of the firm had been bought by a newly created company controlled by creditors in a pre-pack deal, more than 1,300 jobs have been lost.
The year started badly for Travelex when its systems were hacked in a cyber attack in January and haven’t improved once the scale of the coronavirus pandemic became apparent.
None of the businesses UK retail or airport branches will reopen after the sale.
DW Sports looking for extra time
It’s been a bad year for businesses formerly owned by Dave Whelan. The ex-footballer turned entrepreneur saw DW Sports become one of the UK’s highest profile leisure outlets while his football team, Wigan Athletic, reached the Premier League and famously won the FA Cup Final in 2013.
Sadly Wigan Athletic were docked 12 points for going into administration this year which ultimately saw them relegated to League One and now DW Sports have followed them into administration themselves.
The company plans to protect as many of its Fitness First gyms as possible but all 50 retail sites will close for good and its website will cease trading with immediate effect.
Chief Executive Martin Long said: “Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”
Historic race track goes to the dogs
Belle Vue Greyhound track in Manchester, the UK’s first purpose built facility when it opened in 1926 has permanently closed its doors for the final time.
Owners Arena Racing Company said: “There’s no longer a business case to support the ongoing operation of the stadium and the national coronavirus lockdown has had a particularly negative effect on Belle Vue with racing behind closed doors simply unable to sustain the business.”
They confirmed that all staff at the venue, which also hosts stock car racing, would be made redundant as a result.
Redundancy comes to UK’s Covid-19 ground zero
20 staff at the Staycity hotel in York, which had the first confirmed Covid-19 cases in the UK, are being made redundant.
The company emailed staff telling them that “the company is set to make significant losses during 2021/2022 therefore cannot sustain the number of employees currently employed.”
The hotel is currently occupied by homeless people which the council are paying for but have seen hopes of reopening dashed as the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown continue, decimating the city’s busiest tourist period.
Many businesses and directors will be hoping that August 2020 will be as bad as the economic news gets.
It might be – or it might be just another month of bad news leading into another.
September sees the government’s Covid-19 support packages continuing to be wound down as employers will now have to contribute 10% of their furloughed staff’s salaries.
One thing that won’t alter is our commitment and availability to businesses that want or need some professional, independent advice on how they can maximise their own survival chances.
Get in touch with us to arrange a free virtual consultation whenever you want.
We can help you create a plan that will bring some certainty and structure in a year without any.