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April 07, 2022

Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance Applauds House Passage of the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022

Washington, DC, April 7, 2022 — Today the Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) applauded the House of Representatives for passing the Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022. The legislation, endorsed by ECA, would provide $13 billion for a new Hard Hit Industries Award Program that will provide awards to hard-hit small businesses across all industries, including the face-to-face business events industry, that were not eligible for the Restaurant Relief Fund or the Shuttered Venues Operators Grant Program.

“Small businesses are critical to ensuring a strong post-pandemic business events industry nationwide, which is why today’s vote in the House of Representatives was so important,” said Hervé Sedky, Emerald Holding Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the ECA board. “The Relief for Restaurants and other Hard Hit Small Businesses Act of 2022 will provide a much-needed lifeline to our small businesses as they continue along their road to recovery.”

Prior to the pandemic, the face-to-face business events industry supported 6.6 million jobs nationwide and contributed $396 billion annually to U.S. gross domestic product. Unfortunately, the Center for Exhibition Industry Research found that total business-to-business event activity in 2021 was still 57.5% below pre-pandemic levels. This ongoing decline has been particularly hard on our industry’s small businesses, which are the driving force behind conventions and trade shows nationwide. More than 99% of all business events companies are small businesses, and 80% of all exhibitors from coast to coast are small businesses.

“Small businesses are the driving force behind face-to-face business events, which are growth engines for so many other small businesses from coast to coast across every major sector of the U.S. economy,” Sedky added. “We urge the Senate to take up the cause of small business relief and ensure that the Hard Hit Industries Award Program becomes law as soon as possible.”


About ECA

The Exhibitions & Conferences Alliance (ECA) is a coalition of nine professional, industry, and labor organizations dedicated to the recovery and advancement of the face-to-face business events industry. To learn more about ECA and its efforts, please visit