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Exhibitions Industry Letter to Congress

July 22, 2021

The Honorable Ben Cardin
Chairman, Senate Committee on Small Business
United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Nydia Velazquez
Chairwoman, House Committee on Small Business
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Bernie Sanders
Chairman, Senate Budget Committee
United States Senate, Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John Yarmuth
Chairman, House Budget Committee
U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, DC 20515

Re: Please include desperately needed assistance for small businesses that support
trade shows in the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Resolution (By expanding the Shuttered
Venues Grant Program)

Dear Members of Congress:

We are writing to urge you to approve a budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2022 that includes additional
assistance for one sector of the economy that continues to lag behind all others – live business events
such as trade shows and conventions.

We represent small businesses across the country, and hundreds of thousands of employees, that
provide logistical support for live business events. Due to restrictions on large gatherings adopted at
the local, state and national levels, our industry has been essentially shut down for 15 months. The
economic impacts for our sector have been well-documented:

  • Revenues for service providers and suppliers are down by an average of 90 percent;
  • Hundreds of thousands of employees have been furloughed, laid off, or had salaries reduced;
  • Many small businesses across the country have already closed, and more will do so in the
    coming months.

Exhibitions Industry Letter to Congress
Page 2
As the Delta variant continues to spread, many international travel restrictions remain in place, and
business travel remains very limited. As a result, events continue to postpone and/or cancel, and a full
recovery for live business events continues to be delayed. Small businesses that support these events
cannot absorb additional debt, and many of our companies are hanging on by a thread.

As you prepare the budget resolution for Fiscal Year 2022, and the $3.5 trillion human infrastructure
package, we urge you to include funding to support this hard-hit sector of the economy. Specifically,
we ask that you expand the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program to include live business
events and the small businesses that support them.

We are grateful for the support we have received from the Paycheck Protection and EIDL Programs.
This assistance has helped millions of small businesses survive in a harsh environment. However, as
other sectors of the economy move toward a successful recovery, live business events will remain at a
standstill for some time to come, and the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of our employees will
be impacted. The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program is providing invaluable assistance to live
entertainment events. We urge you to extend this program to include suppliers and service providers
for live business events, who are equally hard hit.

We thank you for the generous assistance Congress has provided to the small business community
during this pandemic, and we hope that you will agree to provide additional assistance for this still-
struggling sector.

Thank you very much for your support.


EDPA letter to Congress


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