The National Outdoor Events Association is seeking urgent clarity from government regarding the support available to freelancers and small businesses, specifically those working from home or non-rateable premises. In a letter sent to leading officials within government, NOEA has asked for clarification around rate relief given to small businesses and requested this is extended to those without a fixed business address, such as mobile caterers and freelancers.

In the letter, NOEA states that, “… at the moment, one of your measures is benefiting only a small proportion of our membership for whom we understand it was initially meant … this relief is only designed for those working in rateable properties, which means it misses out; freelance event producers who work from home, mobile caterers, and many, many more crucial services to the events industry.

The letter also underlines the importance and urgency of the request: “These individuals and businesses will be out of an income for what looks like the remainder of the year and desperately need this support … in the few weeks.” In the letter NOEA also asked for clarification on the procedures that freelancers and small businesses need to go to access this finance, saying this support would be ‘crucial to the life blood of the events industry; its supply chain’.

The letter will be passed directly to ministers involved in the government’s measures to protect businesses and the economy, and form part of a continual dialogue between the industry and the UK government during the Covid-19 crisis. In addition to this, NOEA has been instrumental in raising awareness of the community benefits of events as a way of kick starting the economy, and public confidence, post crisis.

Tom Clements, NOEA President, commented: “We’re looking at the urgent and immediate support this industry so desperately needs at the moment as a priority, but we’re also looking to get some softer messages out there so they see the exchange available in looking after us now, to gain benefit on the other side.”