The Australian government is injecting AUD50 million (USD36.37 million) to drive confidence, create momentum and support the restart of Australia’s business events industry as market conditions improve.
The government funding granted was in response to Business Events Council of Australia’s (BECA) Recovery and Rebound Framework presented to the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 last month, which highlighted the devastating impact of the pandemic and the need for business confidence to position itself for a rebound.
The impact of COVID-19 on business events has cost Australia’s visitor economy AUD35.7 billion, according to an Ernst & Young research in March 2020.
Under the Australian Business Events Grants Program, approved business events, including meetings conventions, incentives and exhibitions, will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 percent of their costs (between AUD10,000 and AUD250,000). This initiative is part of the Morrison-McCormack Government’s AUD1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund, which supports sectors severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
BECA will now lead the industry’s work with the government on the design and implementation of the Australian Business Events Grants Program. Their goal is to get money flowing throughout the supply chain as soon as possible.
“Australia’s business events industry is deeply appreciative of the federal government’s support through this grants programme. BECA’s goal is to not only support the business events industry itself, but to also maximise the contribution business events make to the recovery of the wider economy. This support package will be pivotal to that,” said Dr Vanessa Findlay, Chair of BECA.
While Australia’s state and territory borders remain closed, the recovery of the business events industry is seriously impeded. BECA has called for clear guidelines that provide predictability and transparency in the way the borders are being managed so businesses can plan and book their next business event with confidence.
Kate Smith, Chair of Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) said, “This is much needed support for our industry and recognises the contribution business events can make to the recovery of our economy. Our membership represents the entire supply chain of specialists needed to create and deliver outstanding business events – large, medium and small enterprises as well as sole operators and freelancers. All have been significantly impacted by COVID and this support is a positive step towards our recovery.”
Event professionals can download BECA’s Recovery and Rebound Framework here.