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Australia losing $2.5bn a month to COVID-19, says BECA

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) says Australia is losing AUD$2.5bn per month in cancelled business events.

BECA says the business events sector brings in more than $30bn to the Australian economy every year, employing more than 193,000 people and running over 430,000 events.

Now that the Australian government has banned all gatherings of more than 100 people, the majority of these events are being forced to close. The business events sector had seen a massive reduction in revenue across the entirety of Q1 2020 and as of this week (23 March), revenue is zero.           

Chair of the Business Events Council of Australia (BECA), Dr Vanessa Findlay, said: “The business events sector is reliant on the tourism supply chain including venues, accommodation, transport, event organiser, exhibition, catering, audio visual, decorator, and entertainment businesses and more – most of which are small and medium enterprises.

“We know that these businesses are at immediate risk of closing their doors, some already have, and most have had to let go casual staff and are processing redundancies for the majority of their full and part time staff now. It is dire situation for the sector, for the nation, for the world.

“We know that these businesses are at immediate risk of closing their doors, some already have."

“Our immediate focus is on working with the governments of Australia to ensure we can retain as many businesses and jobs as possible including through a package of wages support, loan repayment relief, low or no interest loans and tax deferrals. BECA and its member organisations have conducted an industry-wide survey, the results of which will be collated by mid next week.

“We will use this information to ensure the support the sector receives from government is targeted at the areas most in need and to shore up the productive capacity we will need when we move to the recovery phase. We must make sure that we retain the sectors core capability and capacity. Without that, recovery of the economy will be compromised.”

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