The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has called upon government to provide clarity in response to today’s announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Jane Longhurst, chief executive of the mia, said: “While the highly-documented rise in COVID-19 cases left many expecting the worst over the festive period, the industry is now faced with the fact that business will be stalled well beyond Q3 2021.
“We understand that the Government had no choice but to tighten the restrictions but as a sector we now need immediate intervention to support the business meetings and events industry which is unable to operate in a sustainable way to generate essential revenue.
“While today’s package of financial support from the Chancellor has been announced with the expressed intention of sustaining jobs, we once again need clarification on whether the business meetings and events sector is absorbed within the government’s definition of ‘Retail, Hospitality and Leisure’ or is the sector once again being left to navigate its way through the discretionary fund process.
“Having demonstrated our concerns to Government throughout the course of the pandemic, including the harrowing impact upon redundancies, business cancellations and future event bookings, we are urging government to provide a specific package of support for the sector and extend its Job Retention Scheme to the end of Q3. Only this will provide employers with a viable means of retaining their workforce and preventing a surge in unemployment.
“We will be continuing our lobbying work and communicating directly with Government departments to outline the ongoing impact on our industry and the consequential support that is required.”