BVEP Blog by Simon Hughes - Go Large, Go Local

This Thursday 25th June 2020, a petition calling for the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed by the UK events industry will finally be debated in the House of Commons. The BVEP encouraged all our partners to sign the petition and in the end 153,152 people from across the industry did so. So far, so good.

But take a look at these numbers. In the latest survey carried out by the PSA/EIF into the impact of Covid-19 on the UK event industry supply chain, 70% of the respondents were using furlough to sustain their businesses. The Covid-19 Impact Survey carried out by YouGov and DCMS revealed a massive disparity between the numbers of event businesses being impacted versus the number that have received some form of government support. The BVEP is now being contacted on a very regular basis by partners, businesses and individuals desperate for help or information about how to access support.

We’ve all tried writing letters to the various government departments that we have to thread our way through to try and ensure that the right level of support is provided. Yet there are still anomalies, gaps and blocks that are causing both immense frustration and real hardship. So what has the petition in Parliament got to do with all this? It offers all of us working in UK events an excuse to contact our local MP this week and to seek their support for extending support to our industry. The BVEP has got all the facts and figures to make a compelling story – but it’s incumbent on each and every one of us working in events to tell our story too. Put this at the top of your to-do list and make sure we go as large as possible by going local.

Talking of stories the BBC Business Editor Simon Jack (@BBCSimonJack) is looking for stories from the estimated 3 million small business and freelancers that have fallen through the cracks of government support packages. If you have a story to tell DM him now. And finally another great story, which I’m not going to tell myself. Please see the open letter below that Rick Stainton has written, offering help to businesses that might be struggling. A simple but very effective idea which I’m sure will elicit some really useful conversations. We could take this large by asking all our partners if they could commit to this kind of support too, perhaps by bringing local businesses together to share experience, ideas and the challenges they face. I’d love to hear from you if you can make that happen. Stay safe.

Open letter by Rick Stainton