Full marks to the Business Events Council of Australia and its work to keep government informed of the impact of COVID-19 on the business events sector, as it welcomed the Government’s $50 million funding announcement to support the restart of Australia’s business events industry.
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 per cent of their costs (between $10,000 and $250,000). This initiative is part of the Morrison-McCormack Government’s $1 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 Government on the design and implementation of the Australian Business Events Grants Program. The goal will be to get money flowing throughout the supply chain as soon as possible.
The Business Events Council of Australia Chair, Dr Vanessa Findlay said, “Australia’s business events industry is deeply appreciative of the Federal Government’s support through this grants program. Our industry has been devastated by COVID-19. We can now look to rebuilding business confidence and kick-starting momentum across the entire business events supply chain – for meetings, conventions, incentives and exhibitions.”
The $50 million funding is not just a rescue package either, as Findlay has been smart to highlight the value of business events as an essential economic accelerator for local economies. “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.’ she said “This support package will be pivotal to that.”
Whilst the funding is a big win, Australia’s state & territory borders remain closed, which is impeding recovery and opportunity for business events. BECA is calling 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.