BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says, to date, the government has made it clear support will be provided across all businesses and not targeted to specific sectors.
“Their support is very much employee-focused and, while we agree that this is helpful, our message to government is that this is not nearly enough, not for businesses who are experiencing the levels of revenue decline that those in the events sector are experiencing.” she says.
BEIA has sought professional advice in relation to the latest support package for business and has been advised that members should apply for funding based on seasonality, if they are unable to show revenue over the past six weeks. January and February are traditionally quiet months when business events are not taking place.
“On professional advice, we are recommending members not only complete the application as laid out by IRD, but also provide IRD with information on the seasonality of the sector, how revenue is not typically recognised until the event takes place. They should show 2019 versus 2020 versus 2021 figures (if applicable) to indicate how COVID-19 has affected your business.
“The IRD will still make the final decision but given the current information that has been shared publicly has focused primarily on comparing revenue to the past six weeks, we believe it is important BEIA members are able to take full advantage of the support packages available to them,” Lisa Hopkins says.
BEIA is urging members to help inform government, by speaking with their local Members of Parliament, reminding them that the business events sector is a critical economic and social driver.
“Business events are the safest of all large gatherings, that is a universally acknowledged fact. They generate greater economic impact per person than other visitor groups, they are professionally managed and are a significant contributor to tourism, GST receipts, local investment and job creation.”
“This is not an Auckland issue under Alert Level 3, but is being felt right across the country, with events cancelling because of attendees coming from Auckland. We are also asking the government to help restore much needed confidence in the sector by continuing to host their scheduled events over the coming weeks and months.
“There is much this government could do to help this sector which has contributed billions to government coffers over the years and is now simply asking for visible and financial support in their hour of need.”