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Federal Government accused of ‘abandoning’ events industry as JobKeeper ends

Federal Government accused of ‘abandoning’ events industry as JobKeeper ends
March 30, 2021

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) ​has condemned the Federal Government for both leaving the business events sector without any support following the end of JobKeeper and for failing to allocate funds from the previously announced Business Events Grant Program.

BECA today revealed that only 16% of funds from the $50 million Program have even been earmarked for distribution - echoing the experience of the arts where just 26% of the Federal Government’s June 2020 rescue package has been allocated.

While the arts and cultural sector has had an additional $135 million in support allocated at the end of last week, BECA describing the $50 million Business Events Grant Program as ‘poorly designed’, believing that the Program is misaligned and has not delivered support to the industry in the scale or time frame that is critically needed.

BECA advised that after more than six months, only $8 million of the $50 million has been ear marked for distribution to grant recipients highlighting just how poor this Program.

BECA Chair, Dr Vanessa Findlay explained that the Council’s Government Support and Future Confidence Report also demonstrates the need for ongoing support with 47% of businesses set to make more staff redundant following the end of JobKeeper and 23% of businesses set to close.

Dr Findlay advised “the bottom line is that without additional government support to get business event businesses through the next 6 months, 23% of businesses will be closing their doors and a further 32% are questioning if they have the means to survive. 47% of the businesses that think they will survive will be letting more staff go.

“The Business Events Grant Program is simply not sufficient nor effective enough to bring the support desperately needed. We will not only see more job losses and business failures in the short term but also long-term ramifications for the economic potential of the industry. We will lose market share to other countries that may never return.

“Indicators for a return to in-person business events in the next six months are looking good but we need to survive now to make it there. To do that we need additional targeted Government support. BECA will continue its engagement with Government towards achieving these critical outcomes.”

About the author

Karen Sweaney

Editor, Australasian Leisure Management

Artist, geoscientist and specialist writer on the leisure industry, Karen Sweaney is Editor of Australasian Leisure Management. Based in Sydney, Australia, her specific areas of interest include the arts, entertainment, the environment, fitness, tourism and wellness.

She has degrees in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney and Geological Oceanography from UNSW.

Read more from this author

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17th February 2021 - VTIC fear loss of jobs in Victoria tourism and events without further support

14th February 2021 - ASM Global’s Harvey Lister looks to ‘full revival’ of live events in 2022

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