The Graphics and Print Media Alliance (GPMA) has received an official reply to a letter it sent to the Government last month proposing that a means-tested ‘disaster relief’ fund be set up to support thousands of print businesses facing closure by the end of the year. The joint statement was backed by all 15 of the GPMA’s members and addressed MPs Alok Harma and Rishi Sunak.
The Alliance described the Government’s response, received this week, as “both constructive and positive” but believes more can still be done by businesses across the industry.
The GPMA’s commercial print representatives of IPIA chairman Graeme Smith, BPIF CEO Charles Jarrold, PICON CEO Bettine Pellant and BAPC Chairman Brendan Perring, said: “The response from Government is heartening to say the least. They clearly recognise the specific challenges the UK print industry faces, have asserted that they will be borne in mind as policy is now developed, and have requested that we continue to work closely with them.
“What we now need is a continuation of concerted effort from across our industry, which has so far seen hundreds of business owners write directly to their MPs and to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to make them aware of their individual circumstances and the help that would be required to support them moving forward. We will continue our collective efforts to work with the Government in securing a sustainable solution.”
The official response acknowledged that the UK print industry remains a key concern for the Government and that the data and proposals provided to it by the GPMA and its members was being factored into its policy response to the pandemic.
The letter stated: “The Government fully recognises the importance of the graphics and print media sector to the UK economy, and to the consumers who rely on printed materials for information and communication.
“BEIS is grateful to the sector for your continued engagement with officials throughout this crisis, which we will continue going forwards.
“As you are aware, recent events in the UK and worldwide have demonstrated that Coronavirus continues to pose a very real threat to people’s health and livelihoods.
“The Government is therefore focused on measures to combat the virus in the places where it is most prevalent, whilst also doing everything possible to keep our economy moving forwards with people working in a COVID-19 Secure way.
“We would like to further assure you that your proposal that a mean-tested ‘disaster relief’ style grant should be made available to the printing industry has been noted, and will be borne in mind as the policy response to the pandemic evolves.”
The GPMA is calling on companies to act now to secure financial support for their business and the UK print industry.
In the first instance you can write to BEIS with as much detailed information as possible about the impact that Covid-19 and social restrictions have had on your finances, the redundancies you plan to make, and the viability of your business without specific support for the print industry. You can do this at: email@example.com
Follow the links below for a letter template you can use and edit as you wish to send to your MP, and instructions on how you can identify and write to your MP.
MP Letter Template:
Directory of MP’s and their postal + email addresses:
Other ways to contact your MP: