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Victorian Businesses Call For Re-Opening Plan As 50% Say They May Not Survive 2021

Almost half of Victorian event businesses are unsure if they will survive 2021 with one in three cancelling all events for the remainder of the year, an industry survey has found.

The state's event industry is calling for a realistic timeline outlining when functions can begin again, as the Victorian government plans to extend the state's sixth lockdown beyond September 2.

One in five event businesses have lost more than a million dollars during recent lockdowns, according to the Save Victorian Events survey of 361 businesses.

During lockdowns from June to August this year, the industry's income dropped by 86 per cent on average.

About 34 per cent of the sector's companies have cancelled all events until the end of 2021, with 47 per cent unsure if their business will survive to the end of the year.

The industry currently employs 60 per cent fewer permanent workers, and 86 per cent fewer freelancers, contractors and casuals.

Save Victorian Events founder Simon Thewlis said the industry needs a timeline for when events can realistically start again.

"Event industry businesses have had very little income for 17 months. While the current general government support is helpful, it is nowhere enough to enable already depleted businesses to survive the year," he said.

"We need to be working in partnership on health restrictions that are viable for events; on vaccine passports, rapid antigen testing, COVID cancel event insurance and on the many other things that can help to get events happening again."

AAP