“We called for the reduced level of VAT paid by the sector to continue beyond April 2022 and the extension of the Kick Start as Plan B4E – Plan B for Events – in October before the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement as advance support in anticipation of Plan B.
“Business events and hospitality now need this support immediately to prevent newly created jobs from being lost again,” says Juliet Price, consultant executive director of HBAA, soon to be known as beam, following the Prime Minister’s announcement of the imminent introduction of Plan B.
“There are already clear signs of another knock back to event planner confidence in booking and running live events. Now that the instruction to work from home again and compulsory mask wearing are being reintroduced widely, we know from bitter experience in early 2020 that the sector will immediately suffer more substantial financial issues and jobs will come under threat. Live events will quickly become commercially less viable and more likely to return to virtual or are cancelled.
“With the onus on whether to continue with events now with the corporate client, they face cancellation charges – but without event insurance to cover them.
“This will not be a short term hit; the industry will feel the consequences of this knock back well into 2022.
“A knock-back like this would be a disaster for the hundreds of agencies, venues and service providers who are just starting to recover after struggling to survive over the last 18 months.
“An immediate announcement that the reduced level of VAT paid by the sector will continue beyond April 2022 would be valuable for financial planning. Extending the Kick Start end date would encourage and help employers to retain new staff aged 18 to 24 even if business is reduced.
“The business events industry needs this ‘Plan B4E’ from the Chancellor now to save jobs that are vulnerable as Plan B is being introduced.”