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mia lobbies government for grants and VAT deferment scheme

The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has written a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson demanding businesses get immediate access to emergency funds, to avoid a staffing crisis.

The mia says that the economic assistance offered by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 18 March “simply isn’t enough”. A survey of the mia’s 800+ members showed that 85% don’t believe the current support package will enable them to survive.

Many venues have been forced to make drastic decisions in recent days, as they face the prospect of being closed for three months.

The mia is asking for a grant scheme for businesses of all sizes, a deferment scheme for VAT and greater clarity around these measures.

mia chief executive Jane Longhurst (pictured) commented: “Businesses in the meetings and events industry have been hit so hard by the Government’s guidance. Our survey has revealed nearly two-thirds of respondents have seen more than 50% of events scheduled to take place in the next three months cancelled. Therefore, many simply cannot ride out the next three months without help and possibly for some not even the next few weeks.

“The industry’s focus for some years has been on the retention of a talented workforce to provide the highest standards and profitable service to the events world. We need huge incentives to keep these people in the workforce and out of the benefit system to ensure the sector is able to re-build.

“But the help needs to come now, we cannot wait.”