An open letter to Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

We Make Events have written the following open letter to Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer:

Dear Chancellor,

Open letter: The live event supply chain is undergoing human and economic devastation, without support we will collapse

#WeMakeEvents new campaign The Government Can’t See Us, Can You? focuses on the fact that the Government has frequently appeared blind to the existential issues facing the live event supply chain.

You can see the impact the pandemic has had on our sector by the fact that over 90% of individuals and businesses in the live event supply chain have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic with 65% have seen a fall of over 50%, and 30% a fall of over 90%.

Behind these statistics are thousands of highly-skilled individuals whose businesses and livelihoods have been seriously damaged many of whom have been deemed ineligible for Government support. Their stories are told in their own words in our video and on our campaign website.

We are writing this open letter to you, ahead of the upcoming Budget, to call for an end to the unjust and devastating exclusion from vital support for individuals and businesses, which has brought the live event supply chain to the brink of collapse.

While we are grateful for the support that you have made available so far during the pandemic, which has helped many, our entire sector has been unable to work due to Government social distancing restrictions so it is essential that we are all given access to adequate support.

Currently, we are going through human and economic devastation and we urge you to stop this by:

  1. Ending the unjust exclusion of many freelancers, self-employed and directors of small businesses from SEISS and CJRS.
  2. Officially recognising that businesses in the live event supply chain are forced to closed due to Government social distancing restrictions, in the same way hospitality, leisure and retail businesses have been and therefore, entitling us to full access to schemes to support businesses in this situation, such as 100% business rates relief and one-off grants.

The urgency of this support is shown by a survey we conducted this year, which found that:

  • 93% of individuals and businesses in the live event supply chain have seen their income fall dramatically as a result of the pandemic 65% have seen a fall of over 50%, and 30% a fall of over 90%.
  • Yet, 34% of individuals and businesses have received no Government support either through loans, furlough local or national grants.
  • As a result, 50% of individuals have had to take work outside of live events to supplement their income. A third have been forced to leave – or are considering leaving – the sector.
  • On top of that, 43% of live event supply chain businesses say they don’t have the resources to last until the summer.

Until Government social distancing restrictions came into effect in March 2020, the UK live events industry brought in over £70 billion a year. The sector supports over 700,000 jobs, many of those are highly-skilled freelance or self-employed roles in the live event supply chain. We were world leaders and can be again.

Once live events can safely reopen, we will do everything we can to rebuild our sector and make our contribution to the recovery of the UK economy. However, we need your support now if that is going to be possible – only you can ensure we avoid collapse before reopening.

Yours sincerely
Bryan Raven
#WeMakeEvents

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