On April 27th 2014, a group of men came to Brighton, ostensibly to celebrate English national pride. Anti-fascist groups also converged on Brighton's iconic seafront to oppose them. Now, over 100 businesses have responded to a questionnaire giving an insight in to the economic impact of that event.
During May and June 2014, 103 businesses responded to a simple three question survey. The questions asked for the location of the business; if the business closed during the event and what the financial impact was. There was also an additional area for comments.
The findings illuminate an estimated economic impact to the city, with a loss on the day to business of between £109,300 and £162,500. Extrapolate those numbers out to the thousands of businesses within the city centre and the real loss could well be in the millions.
Gavin Stewart, Manager of the Business Improvement District which was commissioned by the Tourism Advisory Board to carry out the research said, "The findings are yet to be discussed by the Tourism Advisory Board. However, it is hoped that local agencies will listen to the call from the business community to address the issues caused by the march and seek to find solutions to what has become a blot on the annual calendar of events for the city.
With the policing costs also in the region of £500,000 alone, there is a need for some serious questions as to whether the city can realistically afford this event to continue. Far from celebrating the country, the event creates a cultural vacuum, whilst haemorrhaging money from the local economy for the privilege."
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