11/09/2020 - 15:32

$50m package for business events

11/09/2020 - 15:32

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Businesses can apply for grants to attend events, trade shows and conferences after the federal government announced a $50 million package to restart the corporate events sector.

$50m package for business events
Businesses exhibiting at approved business meetings, conventions, conference and incentive events in 2021 will be able to apply for grants. Photo: Business Events Perth

Businesses can apply for grants to attend events, trade shows and conferences after the federal government announced a $50 million package to restart the corporate events sector.

Australian businesses exhibiting at approved business meetings, conventions, conference and incentive events in 2021 will be able to apply for upfront grants to cover up to 50 per cent of their costs.

Grants between $10,000 and $250,000 will be available to cover costs associated with hiring exhibition spaces, the design and manufacture of displays, travel, and accommodation.

Business Events Perth chief executive Gareth Martin said the industry had been crippled by coronavirus restrictions and the funding was welcome news.  

“The business events sector has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the Prime Minister’s announcement of grants between $10,000 and $250,000 to stimulate the sector is a significant step on the road to recovery,” Mr Martin said.

“Business events are a key economic driver to our economy, supporting thousands of jobs across a range of local businesses.

“The re-start of business events will not only be critical to the recovery of the visitor economy, it will also be important to Australia’s broader economic recovery.”

In March 2020, the Business Events Council of Australia commissioned research from EY which found business events contribute $35.7 billion to the national economy and the sector employs more than 229,000 people.

A BECA report from July found 96 per cent of the members it surveyed were receiving JobKeeper and 75 per cent had made staff redundant. 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said restarting events would be a critical part of the recovery for the tourism industry, and would also have huge flow-on effects through the entire economy.

“This is not only about supporting events companies and venues, but will also be a shot in the arm for a broad range of businesses and the people they employ - whether it’s accommodation providers, those who build exhibitions, caterers, cleaners or those offering audio-visual services," Mr Morrison said. 

The initiative is part of the federal government’s $1 billion COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.

The Western Australian events industry has been lobbying the state government for financial assistance, as many businesses have not been able to work since March.

In late June, the Events Industry Association asked the WA government for a $12.5 million package of investment and policy reform to stimulate industry recovery.

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