Sector faces 'decimation'
Volpa owner says Hyslop ‘deluded’ over support
Tricia Fox: ‘we need a shift in policy’
A businesswoman running a major events company has accused Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop of shortchanging the sector which risks being lost to Scotland.
Tricia Fox, who runs Volpa, Perthshire’s biggest PR and marketing agency, has written to Ms Hyslop saying the £10 million package announced for her sector is nowhere near enough to support companies which are now laying off staff and are close to going out of business.
Describing Ms Hyslop as “deluded”, Ms Fox says £10m in the context of a £6bn industry had left her “greatly concerned that it was barely going to scratch the surface of the widespread decimation that the events industry has seen since the start of the pandemic.”
She points to the cancellation of just two events which have seen £12 million taken out of the local economy and calls for a shift in government policy from saving jobs to saving companies.
“As a business, we now face the genuine challenge of getting through the traditionally lean winter period on minimal income and, with furlough coming to an end, our people costs ramping back up again,” she says. “I appreciate, I’m no John Maynard Keynes, but even I can project the economic outcome of this scenario.”
She adds: “Like so many business owners across this country I have already borrowed to the maximum available through the CBILS loan scheme, and applied for every grant scheme for which we have been eligible to obtain the cash flow we need to see us through this crisis.
“I spoke to another event supply operator who was forced into making 19 people redundant.