Meetings Industry Association raises concern following announcement of £1bn hospitality fund

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Pictured: Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of the mia

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has highlighted concern in response to today’s announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.  

Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of the mia, said: “While today’s announcement of a £1bn fund for hospitality is a welcome start to recognising the current state of affairs, we cannot afford to look at this at face value. With cash grants of up to £6,000 available to eligible organisations, this is a drop in the ocean for an industry that has been crippled once more in response to Omicron announcements and the subsequent drop in business confidence.

“We must also raise concern for the lack of reference to the events sector as it is yet to be confirmed whether they will be included under the spectrum of hospitality, as many are left without confirmation of whether they will be eligible to apply to the announced grants. We have made great strides in gaining recognition for the business meetings and events sector throughout the pandemic, so it is disconcerting for the organisations that contribute so much to hospitality to not have been acknowledged directly as of yet.

“From our most recent research conducted on Friday 17 December to evaluate the impact of the Omicron variant, we estimate that venues alone have already lost a staggering £117,509,922 worth of business since Plan B was introduced, with postponements also forecasted to have delayed vital revenue upwards of £86,880,340 in less than two weeks.

“While any intervention is welcome, we must also be cautious that today’s announcement has not been made as a means of softening any impending decisions to keep the industry under its own lockdown, with many already crushed by a loss of business.

“Now more than ever it remains paramount that government are communicating clearly with the industry so that they can plan accordingly for the weeks and months ahead. This includes ensuring we can protect staff, support the organisations that make up an already depleted supply chain and avoid a rising number of cancellations that are threatening both.

“We will now be calling for clarity, both for the eligibility of those serving the events sector as well as the details on the application process.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

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.

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