The Australian, Matthew Westwood.
16 March 2020
“The impact on the small to medium sector from enforced or self-imposed closures is difficult to determine. In one estimate, the 124 companies in the FYFO group could lose $2.6m combined for every month they are essentially closed for business (based on median earned income of $250,000 a year, excluding grants).
TNA’s Nicole Beyer, having surveyed the landscape of small to medium companies, says a fiscal stimulus for the sector would produce benefits greater than the funds invested. An injection of $7m, minimum, would maintain the current cohort of FYFOs. Ramp up to $16m or more, and the Australia Council could fund all 162 companies that were successful at the EOI stage, creating the equivalent of 200 new jobs.
In the absence of additional investment, Beyer warns, defunding 30 companies will potentially lead to 160 job losses, about 250,000 fewer paid attendances, and 7.5 million unpaid attendances at shows and exhibitions people won’t be able to see. That’s not counting the impact of COVID- 19. ‘Organisations may not immediately close down, but they will start shedding staff and shrinking programs,’ she says. ‘I feel sad — why are we losing this incredible infrastructure?'”