CINZ Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins, pictured above, says the steps the government have taken today are helpful for short-term business continuity. “However the business events industry is distinct and different to leisure tourism. It is a unique sector which works on long lead times for organising and executing events, from three months to five years out,” she says.
“We have seen the short-term pipeline (from now until September) almost completely dry up or reduce dramatically with some companies losing 100 per cent of their business, while customers wait for a more confident economic outlook.
“We are going out to the industry today to gather their feedback on the COVID-19 Economic Package, and we will need to work closely with government to develop a recovery strategy specifically for the sector, which should start with domestic business events.
“Given that many in our industry are in a situation of no business or revenue, we don’t see that there will be an issue in meeting the criteria for wage subsidies and provisional tax relief,” she says.
“Business events are crucial to our economy, and worth around half a billion per annum to New Zealand. That export income has effectively evaporated in the short term, with the medium to long term opportunities taking a ‘watch and wait’ approach. Many of the conference events postponed or cancelled have taken several years to secure. Many of our event organisers now have no events in their short-term pipeline.
“As an industry, we need to work closely with government to recover as quickly as possible realising that in effect, we are starting from zero, and may need to find ways to reinvent ourselves as an economic powerhouse for the future,” she says.
CINZ is encouraging all companies working in the business events industry to take full advantage of the new support and subsidies available to assist them.
“We are also encouraging everyone to take care of each other. This is a very difficult time and we know some will find it very hard. Help is available if you need it.”
More information on the wage subsidy scheme, including how to apply, and other support for businesses can be found at www.govt.nz/coronavirus and www.business.govt.nz
CINZ welcomes Governments business package
18 March 2020
Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) has welcomed the Government’s announcement of a Business Continuity Package to help New Zealand businesses recover from the impact of COVID-19.