Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that the Federal Government will be injecting a A$50 million (US$36 million) stimulus into the 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 A$10,000 and A$250,000).
Funding will support exhibiting at events in 2021 and will remain open until all funds are allocated or until June 30, 2021, whichever is sooner.
The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) will work with Government on the design and implementation of the Australian Business Events Grants Program.
The funding is part of the Government’s A$1 billion Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Fund which supports sectors severely impacted by the pandemic.
In a statement, Exhibition & Event Association of Australasia (EEAA) said that the industry is now in a “much stronger position to commence rebuilding business confidence and injecting much-needed cash flow through the supply chain”.
EEAA indicated it is also consulting with BECA and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for clear guidelines on state and territory border reopenings, to provide predictability and transparency in the way borders are being managed so businesses can forward plan and book their next business event.
Over in Perth, Business Events Perth chief executive Gareth Martin welcomed the funding announcement, saying it would help “reignite the sector and help restart the holding of business events across the country”, as the sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Martin added the Federal funding complemented the Western Australian Governmentâ€™s funding initiative for the industry announced in August, which made up to A$30,000 per event available to support organisations to host local business events in Western Australia.
â€œBusiness events are a key economic driver to our economy, supporting thousands of jobs across a range of local businesses. The restart of business events will not only be critical to the recovery of the visitor economy, it will also be important to Australiaâ€™s broader economic recovery. Business events are a front door for investment and trade and are a forum to collaborate and exchange knowledge and showcase Australiaâ€™s research and professional expertise and capacity.”