Written evidence submitted by Mr Mason
The shut down of large scale events due to Covid-19 in the UK has removed the income to my business from mid March 2020 until such a time that live events and large gatherings are permitted again.
My business supplies video engineering for live music, touring, theatre, product launches and conferences.
In the last month I have lost £7200 worth of business that should have taken place, I have had cancellations with a value of £42500 for future work which has been cancelled or postponed to next year.
Glastonbury, Parklife, Leeds and BlueDot Music festivals have been cancelled and left a large hole in my forecast income based on bookings. Cop26 climate conference was due to take place in the autumn and had a value of £10,800 to my business, this booking would have seen me through the quiet period in December and January before work picks up again mid February.
Previously I have been operating a turnover averaging £65,000 a year with a profit averaging £40,000. Whilst not a huge amount it sustains my family and allows me to supply my services to customers whilst investing in new technology and training to improve my services for future work.
Covid-19 has had a terminal effect on a number of my clients businesses and I am currently looking at a number of unpaid invoices becoming bad debts. If the industry does not see long term support from the government I believe I will see many more of my clients going in to liquidation and closing their businesses down.
Current government support for the self employed is gratefully received, I should receive £2500 a month for March, April and May. However this will need to be extended until events can resume otherwise the grant has simply delayed the failure of my business.
The support does seem slow in arriving, having to wait until June or July for the payment to arrive means I am now living on my tax savings which will be depleted before the payment to HMRC is due. This will leave me in debt which I am trying my very best to avoid. It would also be very helpful to have information relating to when the government expect to allow large gatherings of people. If they plan on keeping venues closed until 2021 we have big problems.
The live events industry employs a large portion of the population in technical, logistics and venue support. Before the shut down the was no shortage of work, the number employed and providing services were required to meet the workload. If a large proportion of suppliers do not survive we will not be able to support the demand for live events and meetings in the future. The UK economy relies on tourism and live events, if we are not here to provide those services the will be a large gap in the UK economy.
Personally unless supported through this pandemic until work resumes and invoices are paid I will find myself unable to continue trading and will have to resort to claiming Universal Credit whilst trying to find work outside the industry.
Please save the live events industry.
Please save the venues
Please save the equipment manufactures.