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Association calls grant "insulting", urges industry to write to MPs

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) is urging its members to write to their local MPs to express concerns that the business meetings and events sector has been forgotten in chancellor Rishi Sunak’s latest round of support. The trade body says that the sector, which was worth £18.3m annually pre-pandemic (the sector total being £84bn), is being put at a “distinct disadvantage”.

In a letter to members, mia chief executive Kerrin MacPhie said: “Following Rishi Sunak's announcement of a £1bn hospitality support package on 21 December, we feel the business meetings and events sector is simply being forgotten and is being put at a distinct disadvantage.

“We are therefore asking members to consider writing to their local MP to individually demonstrate the sector’s plight and concerns alongside the necessary intervention that is needed to support the future viability of our industry.”

MacPhie poured scorn over the £6,000 one-off grants offered by chancellor Sunak, describing it is as “insulting”.

“The offer of a one-off grant of up to £6,000 per premises for businesses in England is frankly insulting and is just a drop in the ocean for our industry, which normally contributes £84bn to the UK economy.

“We are therefore calling for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to review government measures during a time when the business meetings and events sector is simply being forgotten.”

The mia has provided a letter template which anyone, including mia non-members, can send to their MP.

Find your local MP here.

Download the letter template here.