The Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA) is urging members and non-members alike to ask their MPs to take urgent action on unpaid Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) to SMEs in the events sector.

Following the shocking news that an estimated £1.4 billion pounds of emergency business support remained unspent towards the end of January, whilst businesses everywhere suffer crippling cash-flow crises, ESSA is asking every business in the events industry to write a letter directly to their MP requesting immediate action on the issue.

ESSA is providing the links to two pro forma letters, and the data is drawn from 400 FOI requests issued in January, to allow any business to include the details of their own authority’s record of ARG payments when raising this crisis with their MP.

Andrew Harrison, ESSA director, said: “When the results started coming in from the FOI requests, our worst fears were confirmed. Businesses everywhere are hitting the financial buffers whilst hundreds of millions of pounds worth of regional support for SMEs is sitting around doing nothing. My understanding is that unused ARG funding is to be repaid to central government soon, so the government must act urgently and decisively to put an end to the difficulties companies are facing in gaining access to basic grant funds and at levels that may actually make a difference.”

ESSA has provided both letters and guidance on their website and are available for download here