Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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What the Petitions Committee is doing

Petition Government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19

For the UK government to provide economic assistance to businesses and staff employed in the events industry, who are suffering unforeseen financial challenges that could have a profound effect on hundreds of thousands of people employed in the sector.

More details

The UK events industry is facing an unprecedented challenge as a result of the Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, and the events that have been cancelled as a result.

The industry is worth more than £14 billion to the economy, with 25,000 businesses supporting over 500,000 employees—all of whom are nervous about whether their next event will go ahead or not, and how their income may be affected.

I'd like the government to provide support to business & individuals struggling at this critical time.

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Parliament will consider this for a debate

Parliament considers all petitions that get more than 100,000 signatures for a debate

Waiting for 22 days for a debate date

Government responded

This response was given on 27 March 2020

The Government has announced a series of measures to provide economic support to businesses and their staff to help to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. Further detail can be found on

Read the response in full

The UK government is aware that COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges to many UK businesses. In the 11 March Budget, the Chancellor set out a £12bn package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19.

On 17 March the Chancellor went further and announced an unprecedented £330bn support package for businesses and workers to protect against the economic emergency caused by the coronavirus. This included the introduction of a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5m for SMEs through the British Business Bank, and a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms. The total of the available guarantees are equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The package also included giving all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months; and, increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000.

The 17 March announcement on business rate relief was supplemented by expanded guidance from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government to Local Authorities administering these business rates relief: The guidance indicates that a number of event venues are eligible including, live music venues, hotels, sports grounds and clubs and public halls.

The guidance is also clear that not every eligible venue can be listed. The list set of eligible venues is not intended to be exhaustive as it would be impossible to list the many and varied uses that exist within the qualifying purposes. There will also be mixed uses. However, it is intended to be a guide for authorities as to the types of uses that the Government considers for this purpose to be eligible for relief. Authorities should determine for themselves whether particular properties not listed are broadly similar in nature to those above and, if so, to consider them eligible for the relief. Conversely, properties that are not broadly similar in nature to those listed above should not be eligible for the relief.

On 20th March, the Chancellor announced further economic support for businesses, employees and individuals: . The announcement included a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, VAT deferral for all businesses until the end of June, Income Tax deferral for the self-employed, changes to the Business Interruption Loan Scheme to make it more generous and further information on the previously announced grant scheme. Furthermore, the Universal Credit standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit were each raised to £1,000 per year; the minimum income floor for those who are self-employed and are affected by COVID-19 was suspended; and, income tax payments for the self-employed will be deferred until January. This is not an exhaustive list of the support measures announced by the government to date. Businesses, employees and self-employed individuals who are impacted by COVID-19 are encouraged to visit the UK government’s website for information and updates.

Further detail can be found at:

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Other parliamentary business

Petitions Committee questions Government on its response to coronavirus

We emailed people who had signed this petition by 16 March to ask for your questions about the Government’s response to coronavirus.

Thank you to everyone who sent us your questions: we received over 60,000.

We put the most requested questions to the Government Minister for Schools, the Minister for Disabled People and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. These included:

  • How long will schools be closed for and what will the impact be on exams and grades?
  • What financial support will be available for the self-employed?
  • What financial support will be offered to people who are unable to pay their rent or bills due to self-isolation or loss of work?
  • What support will be offered to the events, creative and hospitality industries now that pubs, clubs and cultural venues have been closed?
  • What clear, practical steps can people take to make sure they are following Government guidance on social distancing, household isolation and self-isolation?
  • Who is being tested and why, and will tests be made freely available to everyone?
  • What is the Government doing to ensure that everyone is getting the right information?

Watch the session on YouTube:

Read the transcript:

Because of the large number of petitions that we continue to receive on coronavirus we have sent more questions to the Government to answer.

Read our letters to different Government Ministers:

Some of the questions we’ve asked include:

  • When will testing capacity will be increased; who will testing be available for and will it be free?
  • What is being done to tackle the spread of disinformation?
  • How quickly will support for self-employed people be made available?
  • What will happen to the school year? Will summer holidays be cancelled so that children can catch up?
  • How are foodbanks being supported to continue operating during the outbreak?
  • What is being done to address panic buying and prevent price hikes of key items?
  • Will trains, buses and flights continue to operate? For how long?

We’ll email you again to let you know when we get a response to these questions, and to let you know about any more action the Committee takes.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website.

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions.

Further information

You can read impartial House of Commons Library information about coronavirus here:

You can find out more about coronavirus and how you can protect yourself and others here:

You can read NHS tips to help if you are worried about coronavirus here:

Tell us what you want to know about the Government's response to coronavirus

As the result of the large numbers of petitions and signatures we've received on coronavirus, we will be putting your concerns and questions directly to the Government at an evidence session (a question and answer session with representatives from the Government) in the coming days.

Tell us what question(s) you'd like us to the ask the Government and experts in this short survey:

We'll email you again to let you know more about the session, including when it's going to happen, who'll be taking part and how you can watch it live.

We will also email you a link to the video and a transcript of the session afterwards.

Who are we?

We are the House of Commons Petitions Committee. We are a cross-party group of MPs that looks at e-petitions submitted on We are independent from Government. You can find out more about us and our work on our website:

You can follow the Petitions Committee on Twitter: @HoCpetitions

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