Chancellor praised by the biz for small venue Covid-19 assistance

Chancellor praised by the biz for small venue Covid-19 assistance

The BPI and UK Music have both welcomed measures in this year's budget to aid small music venues, plus those aimed at music education and copyright.

The chancellor Rishi Sunak exempted venues with a rateable value below £51,000 from paying business rates for the rest of this year, as part of a series of measures to limit the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Responding to the announcement acting UK Music CEO Tom Kiehl welcomed the measure.

“The Chancellor is to be hugely congratulated for taking the important step of scrapping business rates for grassroots music venues for a year," he said.

“Music venues are the lifeblood of our industry. They help nurture the talent on which the whole music industry relies. However, many are fighting for survival and need all the help they can get to remain open. The coronavirus outbreak presents a new challenge for the live music industry and this welcome step will be a lifeline for some businesses at this critical time."

However he urged the government to continue to monitor the situation as the pandemic continues.

“We ask the Government to constantly review financial support available to music businesses and employees in response to coronavirus and consider making further changes," Kiehl added. “VAT holidays, extending statutory sick pay to the self-employed and the wider extension of business rate relief to other parts of the sector would go a long way to helping the music industry get through this difficult period.”

The BPI and BRIT Awards chief executive Geoff Taylor also welcomed measures, plus those in the budget addressing education and copyright.

“The budget contained a number of positive announcements for the music industry," he said. "In addition to confirmation of the business rates discount for music venues, the £90 million per year funding for an Arts Premium from September 2021 is welcome. We will engage with the Government as to how it can be spent effectively so as to enhance opportunities for young people to participate in music."

He added: "The Government’s decision to accept all of the Furman Review recommendations for unlocking competition in digital markets could also ensure that platforms are held more accountable, which we welcome.”

ERA also broadly welcomed the budget but called on the chancellor to add extend his rate support for bigger shops after smaller shops were covered in the relief that is assisting small venues. 

“ERA welcomes this move by the Chancellor to help smaller stores. Rates are a particular burden on physical retailers, increasing their costs and making it harder to compete with internet-based businesses. This has only been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak,” CEO Kim Bayley said.

"While this will undoubtedly help smaller stores, it does nothing for the bigger High Street chains who also face multiple business challenges. We will continue to lobby Government to broaden the scope of this measure to support the diversity of our High Streets.”

Read full details of the chancellors announcement now.


For more stories like this, and to keep up to date with all our market leading news, features and analysis, sign up to receive our daily Morning Briefing newsletter

subscribe link free-trial link

follow us...