The Events Industry Alliance (EIA) has launched a national media campaign to highlight the issues many event industry operators are facing when trying to access grants from local authorities.
The EIA, consisting of the Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), the Association of Event Venues (AEV) and the Association of Event Organisers (AEO), is calling for more funding, and improved availability of cash through current grant schemes, at a time when ESSA has reported that roughly two-thirds of its member workforce has already been made redundant.
The EIA said it has raised concerns with the Chancellor after members of ESSA repeatedly contacted the association to complain that local authorities were not forthcoming in providing even the basic support grants promised by the government on 31st October 2020.
ESSA director Andrew Harrison said, “Throughout the lockdowns ESSA and our sister associations AEO and AEV have been holding regular online meetings with members, speaking to them on the phone and sending dozens of emails each month to help members access support of all kinds. The one area where we find more members struggling to access support successfully is that delivered by the local authorities. There is a stark contrast between regions, some have received support within days but an unacceptable number have failed to receive any support at all.”
A recent survey of the ESSA member workforce found that more than half of supply chain businesses will face closure in the first six months of this year if they don’t begin to trade near previous levels soon.
Harrison added, “The figures speak for themselves, we are an industry that cannot operate during the pandemic. It is vital, therefore, that our case is recognised and access to funding is eased and our sector is recognised as needing more substantial and specific financial support.”