It’s a difficult time for many industries during the COVID-19 induced lockdowns and the wedding industry is no exception. During a period where couples and families are more isolated than ever, cancellations are rife and providers of services relating to those most special of days are hit hard.
Although many couples are opting to have a “COVID wedding” in creative and wonderful ways, many others are understandably postponing their special moments until they – and those close to them – are free to travel to dream locations to meet others and enjoy the magic.
A long path to recovery.
A startling amount has been lost in the wedding industry. Analysts report over five billion Pounds to have been lost to date due to cancellations and postponements of appointments and dates. The actual figure, of course, maybe higher; the ancillary and minor services surrounding a wedding are often provided by small businesses who may not report their losses.
When we consider an industry of this scale, it’s not a simple matter of money lost today. Many companies within the industry are crippled by the loss of income and cash flow, reporting planning that involves years of hard work to reobtain the pipelines and client bases that have suddenly disappeared.
Before COVID locked the country down, the industry was doing well. Over a quarter of a million newlyweds sustained the industry each year in the United Kingdom alone, making it a thriving scene that supported and made possible the lovely moments enjoyed every area of the country.
For those providing services to this industry, it’s an uncertain future – and the present is no exception. Many small businesses are reporting difficulties with their insurers over payouts, with those insurers themselves struggling with a sudden and drastic shift in their analytics and ability to provide a sustainable and feasible service. With payouts uncertain, some couples and companies both are seeking alternative means of funding such as can be provided via an unsecured wedding loan.
Small companies struggle.
It’s often the case in any destabilization of the economy that small businesses are the first to be hit hard. Many companies, despite being successful prior to disruption, struggle with a sudden hit to their cash flow and client base.
This is often due to the simple fact that a new business usually cannot afford to throw money into savings and liquid assets; the need for growth and the lack of available capital makes having stagnant funds lying around unfeasible and irresponsible.
The picture is wide and challenging: makers of dresses, hairdressers, photographers, and catering providers are just a few of those now facing an immediate halt to the level of income that sustained their operations.
Worse still, many are finding the government unwilling to help. Business owners who pay themselves in dividends are an example of this, having been left high and dry and without the grants offered to other self-employed individuals.
Hope for the future.
Despite concerns of a second wave of the disease, many in the industry are pinning their hopes on a government response that, while slow initially, is expected to increase in sophistication in time.
The challenge before our government is unlike any experienced before. The issue is intersectional, with industries relying on each other and responding in various ways to the disruption posed by COVID. It is hoped that, in time, industries such as the wedding industry will see clearer guidelines on how to operate, re-open, and pursue settlements through their insurance providers.
Although damage has been done to many, we hope to see the months and weeks ahead equip us with a better understanding of the disease and how to navigate life around it. With that in place, the industry that is so special to the lives of clients and providers both may reopen and return to growth and success.
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