Covid-19 Federal Aid Package for the Live Events Industry
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Federal Aid Package for Events Industry
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The 1st domino is falling…
The past month has seen an unprecedented number of event cancelations in the US and worldwide. The Covid-19 virus is nothing like anything we have faced in our modern economic times. The purpose of this petition is to sound the alarm on a massive economic catastrophe that is transpiring in our nation.
Many times, friends and family are surprised to learn the vast encompassing nature of the live events and business meetings industry and all it entails, so it is no surprise that the media has given little coverage to the economic devastation that has already begun to transpire. Many people don’t realize the vast number of roles and jobs in our industry including meeting planners, account executives, sales, warehouse managers, producers, project managers, drivers, operations managers, executives, administrative staff, technicians, stage hands, general labor and service workers along with many more that work behind scenes to bring people and businesses together everyday of the year never ceasing 24/7, until now...
Currently, the live events and business meetings industry is in free fall and headed toward a complete collapse with no end in sight. There are already strong ripples of this impact to the transportation and hospitality industry (hotels, conference centers, restaurants etc.) that rely on our industry which have received media and governmental attention, but no mention of the larger losses that are reaching into the billions and billions of dollars, and continuing to climb by the minute, in the live events and business meetings industry.
While many of our industry wide advocacy organizations representing the events industry have proposed compelling reasons why the events must go on the time has come that our industries livelihood must be completely sacrificed to save lives. Limiting the spread of the virus is the only way to slow and mitigate its massive health and financial impact on our nation.
Many tears of fear, anger and dread have been shed today, and in the previous month, by all our families knowing the monumental cost of our sacrifice to help save our nation from the spread of the virus. Those outside our industry, they are not aware that our industry is comprised significantly of hundreds of thousands of small business and millions of workers and contractors who have already lost most income over the last month and will not have any income for the next 6 months or more to spare the spread of the virus. These are financial losses that will never be recovered.
Our families are already facing a long list of economic catastrophes: losing our homes, retirements, being able to pay bills, extreme debt/bankruptcy, providing food for our children and paying for much needed health insurance. Most of our families either pay for our insurance ourselves as independent contractors or will be laid off due a complete lack of work in our industry.
Small businesses are facing bankruptcy and have already been forced to layoff staff. Proposed government aid of low interest loans can only help a business slow bankruptcy, but not fund a workforce where no revenue can be generated during this period of time.
While the fear is dire for our industry, the economic fallout from our collapse can potentially dwarf that of the 2008 recession and mortgage market collapse. We are an industry almost 2.5 times the size of GM with total yearly revenues of in excess of $337 Billion in 2016 compared to
$125 Billion for GM in 2019.
All of our families, due to lost income, are now no longer consumers, but survivors. If not addressed quickly and forcefully, the financial ramifications will spread to other sectors of our economy as tens of millions of consumers will focus on survival spending habits.
However, beyond the hard numbers of our industries losses is two-fold scenario of economic collapse that will create collateral losses across all businesses and entities in the United States. Over the last 50 years, our economy has relied heavily on professional collaboration, information exchange and communication on a national and international level. Everyday millions of business leaders, professionals and experts from every field meet together to learn and collaborate. By 2020, we surely have dwarfed the 2016 annual figure of 1.9 million meetings with 251 million participants/attendees.
For the next 6-12 months, we are looking at monumental setbacks for all business across the board in professional collaboration and business development. These setbacks are due to not being able to attend business meetings be it large conventions, tradeshows, trainings product launches and the list goes on. If the live events and business meetings industry which is the invisible fabric that ties our US business culture together is not able to recover quickly, then all industries will be delayed in there recovery efforts as well. The potential economic losses are almost incalculable at this point.
This is a minimal synopsis of the crisis at hand, but clearly shows a daily expanding imbalance in the economy in such a large sector that is now about to be the first domino to topple the rest of the chain. We are calling for immediate federal action to protect the Live Events and Business Meetings Industry from total collapse and save the rest of our economy for the collateral damage. We need congress and the executive branch to take immediate action.
REQUEST FOR FEDERAL AID FOR LIVE EVENTS INDUSTRY
The business of live events has collapsed amid the Covid-19 pandemic. While small businesses and event workers will benefit to some degree from the stimulus packages approved thus far, the live events industry as a whole is in a dire situation. With expected industry revenue loss between 60% to 80%, many businesses are facing permanent closure and we’ve furloughed on average 85% of our workforce. Across the Live Events industry, we are coming to terms with the fact that revenues generated by events will likely not begin to flow until August or September of this year. Some segments of the industry will likely not return until Q4 of 2020 or Q1 of 2021. We anticipate 12 months or longer until we begin to see revenue levels normalize. The ripple effects of the shut-down of live events cannot be understated. Our industry, when every sector of events is accounted for, employs over 10 million people and includes hundreds of thousands of businesses. Live events is the second largest industry in total for the US economy and the fastest growing industry prior to this pandemic, with yearly increases above 5% GDP.
In response to the dire economic impact to the Live Events Industry as stated above we request the following actions be taken by the United States Federal Government to stabilize and prosper our industry to a strong recovery that will fuel the entire economy as a whole.
- FAMILY STABILIZATION: Legislation and policy directives to immediately stabilize all Live Events workers and families at 90% of their expected household income for 2020 through subsidies and other generalized benefits for Live Events workers, including 1099 Freelancers and contractors.
- HEALTH INSURANCE: Legislation and policy directives to address Live Events workers and families who lost health coverage through layoffs and furloughs; or are being extended employer funded coverage during furlough but have an inability to pay employee share. Further, upon reemployment, we ask that insurance coverage be reinstated immediately, with no waiting periods or limitations to preexisting conditions. Finally, we call for any and all bridge remedies, including but not limited to expanded emergency Medicaid for Live Events workers.
- INSURANCE RECOVERY FUND: Federal and State Government collaboration with Insurance companies to immediately address business insurance coverage with Federal backing to address lost revenue as a result of event cancellations and complete disruption of our Industry. At present, most insurance companies are not providing coverage of lost revenue due to the Covid-19 pandemic while our premiums remain the same despite a shut-down of all live events.
- ECONOMIC STABILIZATION & DEVELOPMENT: Provide $800 Billion for a “Live Events Industry Stabilization & Development Fund” to be allocated over 8 months directly for businesses whose primary revenue source is derived from the business of live events. We propose this fund administer grants to businesses for workforce retention to spawn innovation and organizational advancement through technology and workforce development. These Innovation and Stabilization Grants ensure that businesses of all sizes can recover from catastrophic revenue loss due to imposed shut down of live events industry, ensuring actualization of 80% for expected net income over the effected months.
We the undersigned plead with our elected officials to hear our warnings and cries for help as we not only see our own plight, but also the plight of the entire economy we will bring down with us.
Isaac Rothwell, Randy Pruitt, Trevor Zulinke, Adam Gogan – Digerati Productions
Omar Colom - AV Educate (Original Signatories)
Newly Formed Live Events Industry Coalition resulting from Petition Organizing Activities
Adam Gogan, National Sales Manager, Digerati Productions
Trevor Zulinke, National Director of Accounts & Production, Digerati Productions
Omar Colom, AV Educate, AFPC
Julie Law, President of 360 Event Productions
Jessica Dalka, Owner, Chicago Planner Magazine
Carole Galle, CEO, Special D Events
Alexandra Rembac, Principal and Creative Director of Sterling Engagements
Stephanie Nix, Owner, On Site Management LLC
Chris Sinclair, President, The Anthem Group
Eileen Valois, Senior Vice President Sports and Fan Entertainment, PRG/VER
Alex Fedrizzi, Touring Systems Engineer
Marci McCarthy, CEO & President, T.E.N.
Sara Champagne, Director – Business Development, My Events the Bomb.com
Shannon Cook, CFO, TourTech
Lyn Stout, Principal, Bond Events
and the following undersigned
Contact for Media and Political Requests jlaw@LiveEventsCoalition.com evalois@LiveEventsCoalition.com
“Economic Significance of Meetings to the US Economy” - Events Industry Council
<a href="https://dev-meetingsmeanbusiness.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/Economic%20Significance%20of%20Meetings%20to%20the%20US%20Economy.pdf" rel="nofollow">https://dev-meetingsmeanbusiness.pantheonsite.io/sites/default/files/Economic%20Significance%20of%20Meetings%20to%20the%20US%20Economy.pdf</a>
“General Motors” - Wikipedia
“Orange County takes $154 million economic hit after conferences cancel due to coronavirus fears, officials say” – Fox32 Orlando
<a href="https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/orange-county-takes-154-million-economic-hit-after-conferences-cancel-due-to-coronavirus-fears-officials-say?fbclid=IwAR2nv5dYgUqPLSWwVJFH2_9odZptGRZh6Ltuo-acd0YmZ0SbRYorgyyKFws" rel="nofollow">https://www.fox35orlando.com/news/orange-county-takes-154-million-economic-hit-after-conferences-cancel-due-to-coronavirus-fears-officials-say?fbclid=IwAR2nv5dYgUqPLSWwVJFH2_9odZptGRZh6Ltuo-acd0YmZ0SbRYorgyyKFws</a>
“With E3 and SXSW canceled, the direct losses from major tech events soars beyond $1 billion” – Vox
<a href="https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/3/21162802/tech-conferences-cancellation-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR0FIZaP5fvj-Do8fKPZNfeNkX4UK0Auo8JWrP1Q6AuQp8YiGeCWtf5zm40" rel="nofollow">https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/3/21162802/tech-conferences-cancellation-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR0FIZaP5fvj-Do8fKPZNfeNkX4UK0Auo8JWrP1Q6AuQp8YiGeCWtf5zm40</a>
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