Friday, 27 Mar 2020 12:10 GMT

Government meeting proves to be constructive

The IPIA and BAPC met with The Government’s Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) yesterday to share what the print industry needs in terms of support during the coronavirus crisis.

The result of the meeting is positive with the IPIA reporting that the government has taken on board the need to protect print.

Mike Roberts, president of the IPIA and managing director of PMG Print Management, says: “We have had a direct input into influencing the government’s decision to keep our industry open, so that it can continue to do the vital work of connecting our country and supporting the work of our front line services.”

BEIS has clarified that print businesses do not need to seek special status to trade and any business that wishes to continue production and complete orders can do so, with safe working practices in place. However, all public-facing print shop counters must be closed.

Print businesses that supply front line services such as the NHS can apply for ‘key worker status’ through the local council and access the right to have their children attend school.

Roberts continues: “We have been in direct and intense dialogue with BEIS since the COVID-19 crisis broke and our place is making sure that we represent the print industry to the very best of our abilities so that the economic damage that is being done to our sector is minimised as much as possible.”

We have been in direct and intense dialogue with BEIS since the COVID-19 crisis broke and our place is making sure that we represent the print industry to the very best of our abilities

The IPIA and BAPC are in regular communication with BEIS and additional points have been raised with the BEIS to provide further clarity in due course.

These include the industry’s economic exposure to the COVID-19 crisis; the print industry being included in sectors under special measures; and the role of print as a trusted means of mass communication.

The Government Furlough Scheme and qualification of the Business Loan Scheme and its benefit in the immediate post-crisis economic recovery phase were also discussed.

In order to report an accurate and extensive picture of the impact this crisis is having on the industry as a whole, the IPIA and BAPC are asking industry member to fill out a COVID-19 business impact form. The results of this survey are being directly fed to BEIS and this is being used to support in policy making.

The survey can be accessed here: bit.ly/printimpact.



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