“Speaking on behalf of the 700K people that currently work or have worked in the UK events, accommodation and meetings industry, the Chancellor’s new measures are not enough to provide what all the agencies, venues and event services suppliers and their staff desperately needed to prevent some of them from closing or making thousands more staff redundant.
“Ahead of reviewing the specific details, we cautiously welcome the new Jobs Support Scheme, the plan for the Government to top up wages of workers covering up to two-thirds of their hours for next six months, deferred and interest free loan and tax repayments, and keeping VAT on hospitality and tourism to 5 per cent until the end of March; and it’s good to see that that the self-employed have not been forgotten.
“But since this week’s announced ‘pause’ on larger events being able to take place in the UK, there are too many businesses in our sector facing the prospect of no income or pipeline until well into 2021; they certainly can’t afford to take out loans, or keep staff on even for the reduced hours under the new scheme. Ultimately this is too little to pull them back from the brink and to keep them going, and HBAA will continue lobbying and campaigning for greater financial support.
“Despite today’s intervention by the Government, there will be further devastation of the sector, not only now but potentially for many years to come as so much talent is being lost from the industry.”