Major event organisers are banking on the latest Victorian COVID-19 lockdown being the last one they will have to endure before the nation nails vaccination targets set by the federal government for them to be able to remain open.
Small businesses in the hospitality sector, which rely on big events providing additional revenue, have been smashed by the run of lockdowns in Victoria since mid-year.
The state government announced more business support at the weekend in response to regional Victoria being sent back into lockdown until at least September 2.
Business Wodonga chief executive Graham Jenkin said all operators wanted was certainty, but presently they had become ultra cautious with orders due to the spectre of lockdowns.
"It's that lack of confidence that is really hurting everyone at this stage," he said.
"It's that mental health impact of here we go again and being stuck at home, not being able to open, that is really starting to have an impact.
"But this lockdown would be the easiest to justify because of the proximity we are to Shepparton, Wangaratta and Mansfield."
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A Business After Hours event planned this week at Wodonga's recently opened library-gallery building, Hyphen, joined a long list of COVID closures.
"[Lockdown] is taking a heavy toll and so they must only continue for as long as they are absolutely necessary and not a day more," he said.
"Once you get to 70 per cent of your country that is eligible for the vaccine, and 80 per cent, the plan sets out that we have to move forward."
General manager Steve Wright said it had plans for 7500 people to attend both events approved by government.
"There is every chance that could change, but we're just planning as if that is what we are going to have until told otherwise," he said.
"It's certainly tough to plan things presently, but we're still three months away from our cup meeting.
"We've got a band that is pencilled in and we've been in touch with them about what might happen.
"Things like marquee hire are things than can be left until a fair bit closer."
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