BRIGHTON and Hove is preparing to be battered by nine-figure losses after the coronavirus outbreak shut down its thriving tourism and events industries.

More than a third of jobs in the city have been identified as vulnerable as a result of the effects of the UK lockdown, a report from Brighton and Hove City Council revealed.

Brighton will have a silent summer with all major events, including Pride, Brighton Festival and Fringe, falling by the wayside as authorities sought to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The council report, titled Covid-19 Impact On The Visitor And Events Economy, warned “35 per cent of jobs in the city are in sectors classed as affected” while another 35 per cent are “either vulnerable or very vulnerable”.

The Argus:

The remaining 30 per cent work in sectors “likely to be unaffected or have higher demand as a result of the pandemic” such as those supporting online services such as gaming.

The report said 29,500 people living in Brighton and Hove were self-employed as of September last year while a further 15,000 people worked in retail.

Both sectors are set to be heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis, with the closure of shops and plummeting demand for many services.

“The small, independent shops which make Brighton and Hove unique are under considerable pressure as rents are due and stock remains unsold,” the report said.

The Argus:

It detailed the enormous impact of cancellation of all major events in the city until at least September, saying reports that mass gatherings could return in early 2021 are “optimistic”. The report said: “When public gatherings at events are permitted, evidence from other parts of the world suggests that attendance levels will not be immediately restored.

“In Brighton and Hove, the impact of this is likely to be a loss of revenues in excess of £100 million.

“For reference, in 2018/19, Greater Brighton’s performing arts sector directly turned over £329 million and employed 3,500 people.

“Theatres, venues and museums have all been closed for over six weeks and revenues have ceased. The majority of staff in the city’s venues are currently furloughed.

“The cultural sector relies heavily on freelance, self-employed people and on small limited companies. Many of these talented people are now seeking Universal Credit as their only means of income. If they are forced to leave the sector entirely, which is likely if lockdown continues, there will be a long-term negative impact for Brighton and Hove as the UK’s most vibrant city for the arts and culture.”

The Argus:

The authority has moved to support affected communities during these difficult times.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “All retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in the city have now been advised by the council that they will receive business rates relief for 2020/21, at a cost of £70 million.

"The council has deferred commercial rental payments, currently until the end of June 2020 for those tenants in our properties who have advised us they unable to pay.”

  • At The Argus, we are championing the work of traders during the coronavirus pandemic as part of our #BackingSussexBusiness campaign. We are always interested to hear how the community is coming together in this crisis. If you know of a local business battling to do all it can in these tough times and/or offering support to the local community, please get in touch at and