BVEP - Business Visits and Events Partnership

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HBAA is fighting for agencies as Government plans distribution of support for leisure and hospitality sector

“We’re fighting for the many agencies whose businesses have recently been obliterated to be included as the Government plans the distribution of financial support for the leisure and hospitality sector,” says HBAA Chair Lex Butler.

“We’re also going to be announcing a series of highly practical initiatives to provide straightforward assistance for all our members to help them through the cash flow nightmare and the mental health pressures that they are all facing.”

Since speaking out before the last week’s Budget for support for the industry and acclaiming the measures introduced for small business members, HBAA has been working ‘behind the scenes’ with industry groups lobbying the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to push the Treasury for more widespread backing for the industry.

“We want clarification that all businesses involved in the events industry including agencies are classified as being involved in ‘leisure and hospitality.’ There seems to be a focus on the venue side in everything that’s been said, and our agency sector is seeking assurances that they are recognised under this umbrella term, along with all the relevant suppliers to the events industry.” Lex Butler explains.

“Whilst it is positive to see the hospitality (and airline) industry being included within the government’s £300 billion plans, this does need to be made available now and also provided in more than just loans. Our industry needs to have access immediately to funds for survival and to secure future business when we enter the recovery phase.

“An industry wide plan needs be implemented for sick pay, freelancers and zero hours contractors. Support is very much needed here so we expect this to be covered in the next announcement.”

Bite size guides and webinars

After cancelling its member meetings until the end of May, HBAA is planning a series of initiatives on topics such as ‘How to Apply for Financial Support from Government funds’ , How to Review and Improve your Cashflow’, through bite-size guides and webinars with experts. Further details will be announced shortly.

Mental health support

HBAA also recognises that the impact and uncertainty created by coronavirus on businesses is seriously increasing the pressure on mental health among staff at all levels within all areas throughout the length and breadth of the industry and its supply chain.

“Support for wellbeing and mental health for all, both professionally and personally, is even more vital during these very challenging times, so we will also shortly be taking steps to ensure that it is readily available for everyone in the industry.”

It will begin with a Mental Health webinar on Wednesday 25 March. Further information will be announced soon.

“This is a time for uniting in our efforts everywhere, in pushing the Government, in sharing ideas and help across the industry. Because together we are stronger.” Lex Butler concludes.

Further information about HBAA is available www.hbaa.org.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors:

HBAA the trade association for the hotel booking agency, apartment and venue community, has more than 300-member organisations including over 80 agency and 225 venue members who work collaboratively in the accommodation, meetings and events sector.

HBAA drives, promotes and models good business between its members. It champions best practice, ethical working and sound commercial judgement, making HBAA membership the mark of quality assurance for the sector. It operates a Code of Practice which assures best practice between agents, hotels and venues.

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