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100,000 sign petition urging government to help industry

A petition calling on the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry affected by the coronavirus outbreak collected more than 100,000 signatures in three days.

Passing the 100,000 signature milestone means that the petition will be considered for discussion in parliament. The government is yet to respond to the petition, which was launched by event photographer Matt Rakowski.

Writing on Facebook he thanked everyone who had singed the petition – and urged them to take further action to support the industry.

“Signatures on a petition is only the first stage of what we can do to support our industry,” he said. “I will write to my local MP, and various government ministers with suggestions of how I believe the industry can be helped through this crisis. I would also suggest you do the same please. If as many of us make as much noise as possible, we stand a better chance of getting something out of it.

His suggestions for assistance from government include support for businesses, directly-employed and self-employed staff – and encouraged fellow event professionals to generate further suggestions.

“Right now, the next six months look like troubling times for all of us,” he added. “It’s likely that many businesses in the events sector will either have to significantly reduce their staff, or simply go under. If events are cancelled, we don’t have an industry, jobs or a salary.

“The time to do this is now. Not tomorrow, or next week—now. The government plans to pass emergency legislation next week which could include compensation for cancelled events.”

M&IT is here to be your voice during these troubling times. If you have any stories to share – and any suggestions for how the industry can best tackle the coronavirus outbreak – get in touch on editorial@catmedia.global