The events industry has warned the prime minster it faces "catastrophic employment consequences" with more than 90,000 roles believed to be at risk in the coming weeks.
The Event Industry Alliance, comprising the Association of Event Organisers, the Association of Event Venues, the Event Supplier & Services Association and 334 member organisations, told Boris Johnson that the sector faced an "existential threat" following his warning that it is likely to be at least six months before the sector can reopen.
In an open letter it said: "Targeted government support is urgently needed for the industry to survive. We therefore propose that the government develops an ‘Events Industry Hibernation Support Package'."
The associations have proposed the package consists of:
- An adapted wage subsidy scheme, with a temporary higher government contribution to event companies
- A regular review process ahead of reopening with clear criteria and industry involvement
- An enhanced grant and loan scheme.
The open letter added: "We are not an unviable sector and simply require support to survive until the time is right to resume events, at which point we can return to our role of driving growth in the wider economy.
"Before Covid-19, the events industry was a vibrant, growing sector; contributing some £70b of economic impact to the UK, with trade shows and consumer exhibitions some £11b. The sector also supports a further 180,000 businesses, many of whom are SMEs, who rely on exhibitions and events to meet customers and generate sales across every market and industry sector."