The British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF) has called for further direct support for the printing industry during the coronavirus crisis.

Calling itself the voice of one of the UK’s key manufacturing industries, with a turnover in the region of £14 billion, the federation reported unprecedented pressures on its members, the vast majority of whom are small and medium sized enterprises.

Central to the BPIF’s lobbying efforts are a number of measures that it’s been asking the Government to implement. These include:

  • extending Business Rates Relief beyond the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, in order to match the economic impact being felt more widely across UK business
  • widening of the key worker category to include skilled workers in key supply chains in the print and packaging sector
  • deferment of VAT, PAYE and NIC payments, direct support for companies and individuals to reduce and avoid the impact of layoffs, six months delay to the implementation of the increase in the National Minimum Wage

The association is also calling for ‘specific and immediate support and guidance for manufacturers, to lend confidence that employees can be retained and paid during the business downturn.’

The federation said, ‘For companies having to consider lay-offs measures to help affected staff must be backed by Government. In addition to this, currently asking businesses to borrow, with an opaque and lengthy process likely to include Personal Guarantees is not sufficient.’

CEO Charles Jarrold said,

‘The impact of Covid-19 is equivalent to a natural disaster. Targeted and intense Government support to those businesses and individuals in need will minimise the biggest harms and enable our industry, and the economy, to recover more quickly once we are through the worst. This needs urgent and immediate action, we know Government are listening carefully to UK Industry and we hope the announcements later today will reflect our feedback.’