Learn more about SBESA and our goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Why was SBESA formed?

SBESA was formed to fill a void in the event services industry.  The pandemic has exposed the dire need for our industry to have an association.  Most, if not all large industries have an association to best represent their interests, and our industry is probably greater in size than most of them.  These associations have had success with federal and provincial governments in seeking sector specific funding.  We can do it too.  Our immediate need calls to unite one voice as a plea for immediate help.  Our voice is only as strong as the members that stand behind it.  Simply, the greater the membership numbers , the stronger our voice will be.

Who is SBESA?

There were many groups that pioneered the formation of SBESA.  At the onset of Covid, industry business owners began to mobilize efforts to plead for government support.  Event venue owners began to unite within their regions to discuss the effects of Covid lockdowns on their business.   Associations in several regions were formed and provided forums to share ideas on survival strategies.  CEVA – Canadian Event Venue Association and GTA Banquet Halls and Event Venues quickly united their efforts to bring awareness to all levels of government of the industry’s need for government support.  Other regional event venue business owners also participated in efforts to gain government attention.  SBESA is focused on continuing these efforts as one large unified voice rather than several smaller voices.  SBESA was formed to unite all businesses and associations in our industry to create one unified voice, bringing strength in numbers.

Is SBESA a real association?

The intention is to create an association for our entire industry, however, the immediate focus is on helping our businesses survive the pandemic.  Associations often provide members with benefits programs and perks as well as advocating for and representing their association members in exchange for membership fees.  Our industry did not previously have an association, and creating an association with these benefits cannot be our focus during these grave times for our industry.  The greatest void we have as an industry is the lack of a unified voice.  Our mission is to fill that void.  This is what we need immediately in order to receive support from provincial and federal governments.  Memberships with benefits will not be relevant for businesses who are struggling to survive or facing closure.

What is SBESA trying to achieve?

SBESA is working hard to achieve sector specific funding for the event services industry.  Most businesses in our industry, if not all, have been paying their bills without any income since the pandemic has begun.  Lockdowns and restrictions have made it impossible for any businesses in our industry to earn any income.  Loan programs offered by governments have not helped our industry but rather has left us all in a worse situation. Many of the businesses in our industry were not eligible for the Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy (CERS) and the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). Paying bills, as well as these added loans, without any income will force many businesses to close. While the pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses across Canada, we remain the only industry that has not been able to earn an income since the lockdowns and restrictions began.  Help SBESA achieve our goals of receiving government grants instead of loans, loan forgiveness, extended government support, and increased eligibility.  We require sector specific funding in order to survive.

How is SBESA trying to achieve its goals?

SBESA is trying to achieve its goals by working with politicians and increasing public awareness. We are working very closely within a Work Group led by the Hon. Lisa MacLeod MPP, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries to get sector specific funding.  We are in constant discussion with many Members of Parliament on the federal and provincial levels.  We are working very hard to increase our membership numbers and achieve a larger voice to help more businesses.  We are actively increasing our social media presence to gain membership, support and public awareness.  We are using our website, public telegram group and announcement channel to share information with our members as efficiently as possible. We are enthusiastic, driven, and determined to get the support of MPs and MPPs in Ontario and across the country.  We are already communicating with other hospitality associations in other provinces.

Does SBESA have government support?

We are currently active within a work group created for our industry and led by the Hon. Lisa MacLeod MPP, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism, and Culture Industries.  Kevin Finnerty, Assistant Deputy Minister, Culture Division, Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is also working closely with us in our work group. We are having ongoing discussions with many supportive MPPs such as the Vice-Chair of the Social Policy Committee and Special Advisor to the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Deepak Anand, the Chair of the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs and Standing Committee on General Government Member, Amarjot Sandhu, and the Associate Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction, Prabmeet Singh Sarkaria. We have also aligned our coalition with the Ontario Restaurant Hotel and Motel Association (ORHMA) and continue discussions with Tony Elenis, President & CEO .  We are currently in discussion with many associations and institutions in our industry such as the Canadian Event Venue Association, GTA Banquet Halls and Event Venues, Canadian Professional Disc Jockey Association, and the list is growing. 

Does SBESA think it can be successful?

Our industry has come to a harsh realization that we must achieve our goals in order to survive as an industry.  This drive to survive is the fuel that is accelerating our actions in pursuit of achieving our goals.  Yes, we absolutely believe we can achieve our goals.  Other industries have been successful in their pursuit of sector specific funding.  We believe that an industry of our magnitude and size should be entitled to similar sector specific support.  The most important factor in having success is in the number of members we have.  We need every single business in our industry to register as a member.  It’s free and your support can definitely create change. 

Who should be a member of SBESA?

If you ‘do events’, you need to be a member.  Regardless of the size of your business, every event service provider in Ontario needs to be a member.  Some examples of these businesses include:

Event Venues, Caterers, DJs, Musicians, Dancers, Entertainers, Event Planners, Decorators, Decor Rentals, Event Rentals, Food and Beverage Suppliers, Wedding Trade Shows, Event Trade Shows, Event Magazines, Wedding Magazines, Advertising, Event Directories, Videographers, Photographers, Hair Salons, Makeup Artists, Estheticians, Limousine Services, Bus Rentals, Car Rentals, Hotels, Officiants, Photo Booth Companies, Bridal Gown Stores, Womenswear, Menswear, Tuxedo Rentals, Tailors, Cake Designers, Dessert Shops, Staffing Services, Valet Services, Event Security Services, Event Novelties, Event Favours, Accessories, Stag/Stagette Services, Gifts/Registry, Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, and many more.

Why is there no membership fee?

Our primary focus is to continue our efforts to work with our government to achieve the main goal of obtaining immediate sector specific support.  From the onset, many business owners within our industry volunteered their time and mobilized their efforts to unite our industry.  With continued voluntary efforts, we are also focused on expanding our membership and industry awareness. With continued growth, we hope to unite greater volunteer participation.

Will there be a membership fee in the future?

As SBESA continues to fulfill its goals, and with most associations, greater costs come into play with expanding infrastructure needs and efforts.  We have every intention to keep membership fees as low as possible as we can appreciate that our industry is in desperate need of financial support.  We can achieve low membership fees by immediately expanding our membership numbers as great as possible.  Low fees from an enormous membership pool will provide greater financial resources.  Certainly, strength in numbers.  We will also continue to strive for low cost and innovative methods of fundraising to ensure viable growth.

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