SFA calls for Minister Catherine Martin to be Included in Covid Sub Committee

August 20, 2021

The Small Firms Association (SFA) has today called on the three party leaders to include Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media to be included in any upcoming meetings of the Cabinet Sub Committee on Covid that deal with the reopening of the Experience Economy.

Stephen Browne, SFA Senior Executive said “Vast sectors within the Event Industry were amongst the first to close in in 2020 and have still not opened after 17 months. The industry has gotten no roadmap, data or dates on when reopening will occur, this is compounded with the phasing down of the PUP in September. It is deeply unfair on businesses and their employees to be left with so little information at this late stage. The summer season is now lost, but the remainder of the year can be saved with swift and constructive decision making from Government”.

"As of the 19th of August 84% of adults are fully vaccinated with 90% with one dose. These are some of the best figures for vaccine uptake anywhere in Europe, a statistic of which we as a country can be rightly proud. But even with these high levels of vaccination we have very little of the benefits and remain an outlier in Europe in regard to live events and trade shows".

The SFA are calling on Minister Martin to set up a standing forum chaired by her that has representatives from all relevant departments such as Enterprise, Health and An Taoiseach to continue open and constructive dialogue and are reiterating our call that the Coalition leaders include Minister Martin in the Covid Sub Committee to input her expertise from the engagement she has had from the Event Industry to develop a safe and viable reopening plan.