Events industry businesses in Ireland have expressed their disappointment at a new government support scheme announced last week.
The €60m Covid-19 Business Aid Scheme offers firms whose turnover has fallen at least 75% due to Covid-19 restrictions grants of up to €8,000.
The funding support will be spread equally over two quarters and is designed to help businesses that do not qualify for assistance under the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) or tourism support funds. It specifically includes businesses in the events and exhibitions sectors.
The Irish Exhibition Organisers’ Association (IEOA), however, has described the scheme is totally inadequate.
Garret Buckley, IEOA. Chair said: “We were offered crumbs and we don’t understand why we are so different to SMEs supported by the CRSS.”
Buckley said the industry had expected the new scheme announced by the deputy prime minister to be similar to the CRSS, under which qualifying firms can claim up to €5,000 per week for fixed costs. Buckley talked of “desperation” in a sector which employs 25,000 people.
Representatives of the sector have met with the minister for trade promotion, digital and company regulation to express their concerns.
“While we acknowledge there are tons of things out there (to help businesses), none of them are hitting the mark for our members,” said Roisin Callaghan, spokesperson for Events Industry Ireland.
“The Government has said we can’t work but they are not helping us to not work,” she added.