Pearce Hire joins call for government action
Wednesday, 23 September 2020
pearce-hire-team-in-london-at-the-wemakeevents-red-alert-event-in-londonThe Pearce Hire team at the #WeMakeEvents Red Alert event in London
UK - Shaun Pearce, MD of Pearce Hire, is actively lobbying the government, as are many throughout the sector. He is asking for urgent government intervention. Specifically the continuation of SEISS (self-employment income support scheme) for those individuals working in the industry, continuing furlough support for employees and extending rates relief to event hire businesses (most of which are SMEs and owner-operated like Pearce Hire).
Pearce and his management team were looking forward to a record year in 2020, recruiting another four permanent members of staff with typically, over 70 seasonal freelance technicians being employed. Pearce Hire was on the cusp of rolling out its busiest summer season ever when the government shut down the economy and everything came to a grinding halt. “The impact was immediate and disastrous for us,” says the MD.
As an event production company, with an expertise in temporary power and production services for outdoor events and greenfield site events, May to October are Pearce Hire’s busiest months. With an all too familiar and gloomy story, Pearce explains what happened next. “Even before lockdown was officially announced we had started to get cancellations from early March onwards. From then on it was a downward spiral and within six weeks we had lost over 85% of our annual business because of circumstances entirely out of our, or anybody else’s control.”
Late Autumn and Christmas work is also now being cancelled as fears of a second spike loom. “We have an extremely loyal customer base and many of the events we supply are on rolling long-term contracts - so planning and collaboration with our clients begins months in advance and we work closely with them as close-knit teams. But we couldn’t do anything about the situation and nor could they - social distancing and a ban on mass gatherings basically wipes out our core business activities.”
Pearce had to make some immediate, and very difficult decisions. From the end of March all his team went onto furlough. Since then, he has lost 40% of the Pearce Hire workforce through redundancy. “We hope that will be as far as we have to go, and we are currently working very hard to try and ensure it does not get any worse for our loyal, experienced and highly skilled team.”
Pearce has petitioned local government to help them understand the unique issues the industry faces and to seek additional support as it became increasingly apparent that “we were the first industry to be shut down and will be the last to re-open”. He firmly believes that “now is the time we really need the government to step in and provide some additional support to prevent the whole industry, the SMEs and freelancers who are the backbone of our industry being decimated
Shaun and his team have also been supporting the industry’s key initiatives #LetTheMusicPlay, #WeMakeEvents and #LightItInRed. At the recent ‘Red Alert #WeMakeEvents” call to action, the MD and most of his team headed down to London to join over 3,500 other industry colleagues and friends. Whilst others in the team travelled up North to support the demonstrations there. “Our industry works in the background, literally backstage - the spotlight is never on us. But we need to step out of the wings and demand the support we need.”
Pearce Hire has partnered with some companies to provide technical and production support in the weeks since March as, and where it has been able. The team have by no means replaced their usual packed summer calendar, but they have provided some technical resources to the Nightingale field hospitals around the country and the COVID testing stations. They have also supplied power equipment requirements for Amazon’s large warehouse facilities to provide COVID-safe areas for staff access and egress to the warehouses.
In recent weeks, as one of the preferred suppliers at the East of England Arena and Events Centre and Showground (EEAEC), Pearce Hire has also supplied power and on-site PA systems for one of their regular clients Warner’s Exhibitions who were able to stage a socially distanced Outdoor Motorhome Camper Show. This was one of the first outdoor events permitted since lockdown eased and followed the strict All Secure COVID guidance to produce a safe environment for all exhibitors and attendees.
The team are also now working with James Eade Training to provide socially distanced BS7909 courses from Pearce Hire HQ, the next of which is running next week.
“We are pleased to be able to support training like this to help individuals feel ‘match ready’ once the industry opens up again,” says Pearce. “We can’t wait to get back to what we do best - providing award winning services to this brilliant and resourceful industry of ours and helping everyone get out there and celebrate life through festivals, gigs, running events and all manner of other outdoor and indoor events. Until then, we’re backing the #WeMakeEvents campaign which is now planning a global day of creative action on 30 September and we will do all we can to support that. We are an industry in crisis but there is a huge amount of camaraderie and positivity out there.
“We will play our part where we can. That’s what this industry does - when faced with a challenge we meet it head on and make things happen no matter what the barriers are! Why should the COVID crisis be any different?”

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends