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Meetings Industry Association welcomes new government support measures

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has welcomed the increased government support measures announced today by the chancellor of the exchequer.

The chief executive of the mia, Jane Longhurst, said: “Today’s announcement from Rishi Sunak will be welcome news for many venues and organisations within the business meetings and events supply chain, who will have rightly felt heavily neglected up until this point.”

Speaking on the Job Support Scheme, Longhurst added: “When the Job Support Scheme was originally announced last month, we, alongside many within the industry, expressed concerns surrounding the deceptive ‘benefits’ of the scheme, so we are pleased that these updated terms will see the employer contribution towards unworked hours being reduced to protect companies struggling with the COVID-19 restrictions.  

“While the industry continues to be forced to operate at unsustainable levels, the increased subsidisation from government will go a long way in providing protection for thousands of jobs within our industry while staffing levels continue to remain at a severely reduced level.”

On the topic of grants, Longurst said: “The introduction of cash grant support is a step in the right direction. However, the maximum £2,100 monthly payment, available primarily to businesses which are impacted by the restrictions in tiers 2 and 3, won’t scrape the surface of the operational costs for many within our industry. Our research has demonstrated that these costs that go beyond labour, average more than £85,000 per month.

“While restrictions on revenue generation continue to be enforced, much more still needs to be done for venues in all tiers to safeguard our industry from collapse.

“These clear intentions from government must be recognised, however this isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Following on from the recent inauguration of the Cultural Recovery Fund, which will provide £257million of support to arts and cultural organisation, The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has today announced a further £100m Leisure Fund to support local authority leisure centres.

“Taking optimism from such investment and intervention from government, we will continue our rigorous lobbying for a tailored package of our own, and remain committed, as always, to secure the necessary support that will protect our industry.”