One Industry One Voice has been invited to give evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Business in a Pandemic (Covid) World as representatives of the events industry. Organisations working in the sector have faced uncertainty as lockdown continues with many businesses requiring further support to remain solvent. To date, many event businesses have not been eligible or successful in applying for funding.
The meeting will take place on 26 January.
The invitation comes the same week as the One Industry One Voice presented research results to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events, which revealed that 90% of 250 surveyed events businesses believe they cannot survive beyond the next two years without any additional Government support, after enduring average revenue losses of over £2,560,000 to date.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Business in a Pandemic (Covid) World’s co-chairs Paul Holmes MP and Steve Whatley told Conference News that they are keen to understand more about the scale of the industry’s economic impact.
Replying to an email, Holmes and Whatley jointly said: “We have a basic understanding [of the industry’s economic importance] partly due to the people that have been involved but also the founders of the APPG have experience of the market. One of the speakers is going to discuss how testing can revive the industry by experience. It will be important to set the scene with the figures around scale and economic impact.”
When asked if the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Business in a Pandemic (Covid) World recognises the need for extra Government support, Holmes and Whatley agreed that it did, and that they wanted to help. “[We] completely agree, as events is a business sector which we are looking to help out.
“We want to work with all APPGs to get industry moving forward, the events industry has been one of the ‘lost’ sectors which we will strive to help.
“We are also fully aware of the domino impact of this industry being where it is on other sectors of industry such as music, weddings, sports, hotels, the list is long.”
Providing evidence to the group will be One Industry One Voice’s founder Rick Stainton and the movement’s lead, Simon Hughes, chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP).
Hughes said all avenues must be explored to shore up the industry until live events return and expressed his thanks to the business group for the invitation. He said: “There has been positive momentum in talks with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events, and we are delighted that we are able to cast our net further afield and engage in a meaningful way with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Business in a Pandemic (Covid) World. It is refreshing to hear they are proactively looking for ways to help us.
“The BVEP has written to the Treasury with a list of nine requests for support, which includes extension of existing schemes relating to business rates relief and furlough for 12 months, support to the events supply chain and freelancers, an extension of VAT cut for 12 months and an event recovery fund to sustain the cash flow of event businesses.
“One Industry One Voice has continued to make strides in making our case for support in lieu of a start date, and this invitation is another example of that.”
Other measures requested by BVEP include capital allowances for improvements to venue premises to ameliorate social distancing costs, tax incentives for technology investment for online meetings and broadcast installations, a Government backed insurance indemnity scheme to cover upfront investment costs in staging events, tax allowance for upfront production and start-up costs for new events and an increase in the exemption for the annual staff parties.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Business in a Pandemic (Covid) World is sponsored by Cignpost who will be represented by Nick Markham one of the co-founders and he will present on how testing on site has opened the door to some events open all around the world. One Industry One Voice, which was launched at a Mash Media meeting in 2020, is a cross-industry movement.