CIPR joins “diverse coalition” of membership bodies to write to chancellor for more self-employed and small business support

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has joined forces with a group of other membership bodies - representing around 300,000 members including those across professional services, sports therapy and other industries - to call for financial support for their forgotten members who have been overlooked for Government support.

Writing to the chancellor, the coalition pays tribute to these self-employed professionals and small businesses which provide important services and have been badly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic but are struggling to access any of the existing schemes. It calls for the Government to allow directors of small businesses access to either the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), to expedite the process of delivering funds under SEISS before it is due to go live in June, and to make the process of accessing Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans (CBILs) a smoother one.

The group collectively released the following statement:

The letter references our many thousands of members that face acute challenges in keeping their businesses afloat. Behind these businesses are hard-working people supporting their families, paying taxes and contributing to the wider economy.  The impact of their disappearance would hit the country hard when it begins to emerge from the current pandemic. 

Collectively the groups have welcomed the existing support and acknowledge the breadth of businesses these schemes already support but there are some very worrying gaps. The chancellor promised he would do “whatever it takes” yet, sadly, too many businesses are being left behind. For many small businesses, June is simply too late while other business owners who pay themselves minimal salaries need to have dividends treated differently.  

We hope this diverse coalition of voices can use our collective strength to convince the chancellor to be true to his word and amend the existing schemes to cover and support all of these vital businesses and services that need it.” 

  • Henrietta Alderman, Chief Executive, Association of Optometrists 
  • Oliver Coburn, Registrar, British Association of Sport Rehabilitators 
  • Catherine Quinn, President, British Chiropractic Association 
  • Martin Woodrow, Chief Executive, British Dental Association 
  • Carey Trevill, Interim CEO, British Promotional Merchandise Association 
  • Daniella Dos Santos, President, British Veterinary Association 
  • Andrew Harding, Chief Executive, Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
  • Alastair McCapra, CEO, Chartered Institute of Public Relations 
  • Karen Middleton, Chief Executive, The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 
  • George Dunn, Chairman, College of Podiatry 
  • Chris Combemale, CEO, Data and Marketing Association 
  • Marian Stefani, CEO, Independent Print Industries Association 
  • Stephen Mann, CEO, Institute of Faculty and Actuaries 
  • Maurice Cheng, Chief Executive, Institute of Osteopathy 
  • Jane Frost CBE, CEO, Market Research Society 
  • Karen Lay, Chairman, Physio First
  • Graham N. Smith, Chairman, The Society of Sports Therapists
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive
The disciplines of the seventeen bodies involved might be diverse but the core issues affecting these small businesses are the same and the solutions for government relatively straightforward. Each one of us has spent the weeks since lockdown speaking with our respective members and voicing our concerns at the highest levels within government. It made sense therefore to join forces to send a strong and united message to the chancellor.
Alastair McCapra, CIPR Chief Executive

This is the latest effort in the Institute's lobbying of the Government on this issue following the publication of reseach with The PR Cavalry showing that the existing package of meaasure fails to protect two-thirds of self-employed practitioners and writing to the Govevrnment with anecdotal evidence from practitioners on the impact of the lack of support on their work.

  • Read the coalition's letter to the chancellor here (under 'Latest News')

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)

Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).