‘Commercial rent relief is urgently needed to sustain the life of many event agencies and event venues now’ Lex Butler, Chair, HBAA

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“With payments being unacceptably withheld and Government funding delayed, as I feared, many are in danger of not surviving this crisis.”

“Landlords have support giving a verified three month mortgage holiday but there’s nothing legislated for commercial renters, only the promise that they can’t be evicted in the next 3 months. This impacts on both agencies and venues which rental premises.

“With payments and commission being unacceptably withheld, Government funding delayed until June and loans payments slow, it looks as if, as I feared, that too many events industry businesses are in danger of not surviving this crisis. A period of three months’ rent relief would make all the difference to hundreds of organisations whose cashflow is currently in a perilous state.

“We welcome the Chancellor’s recent announcement that lenders will no longer be able to request personal guarantees for loans under £250,000 and were delighted to hear at the end of last week from the Local Government Association that conference and exhibition venues are specifically listed in a Government paper covering Business Rates Relief. Along with the Business Travel Association (BTA) we’re still pushing to have business/events agencies who work from offices as opposed to high street premises recognised as part of the leisure and hospitality sectorand therefore entitled to the business grants of £10-£25K related to Small Business Rate Relief (SBBR) and rateable values.

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“But there is still no financial provision for people in this and other industries who work through limited companies and we support the Institute of Directors (IoD) and The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) who are among the organisations lobbying for this.

“We are committed to supporting our members by campaigning for collaboration for due payments not to be withheld and we are working closely with the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) in pressing the Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) for recognition and fair treatment for the £70 billion UK events industry.”

HBAA is itself contributing with financial support by extending the membership year to end of 2020, effectively giving all members 3 free months instead of asking for renewal fees in October. It has already been arranging webinars to provide essential advice and support and more will follow shortly.

Lex Butler concludes by adding; “If agencies and venues were legally granted three months rent relief, then their landlords would be much more likely to have a long term tenant when the upturn begins. We want HBAA and this industry to be #futurefit and this would make a vital contribution to achieving that.”

Adam is the co-founder and editor of www.eventindustrynews.com Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.