Up to 24,000 bar and club workers face losing their jobs in an “impending unemployment tsunami” with the industry on “the brink of collapse” as lockdown eases.
The Night Time Industries Association said thousands could be out of work within weeks as struggling night-time economy businesses have now run out of cash to pay furlough contributions and fixed costs.
One-off grants for nightclubs of up to £50,000 were made available from the Scottish Government last October through the COVID-19 Contingency Fund.
Last month, the First Minister also announced up to £19,500 for hospitality and leisure businesses will be paid in April to help businesses re-open progressively.
These one-off restart grants will replace Strategic Framework Business Fund payments of up to £3,000 every four weeks, providing money up front to help with the costs of re-opening.
The Scottish Government released the latest Strategic Framework update on Friday which confirmed businesses will be subject to restrictions for a further period.
The lobby group argue there is no commitment for return to “commercially viable trading” in the sector, which would require the end of social distancing rules and 10pm curfew.
A survey this month of NTIA members suggests an average Covid related debt reaching up to £150,000 or more per premises.