AFTER making the snap decision to cancel a day out from the event, the Australian Sheep and Wool Show is now looking at debts of close to $480,000.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced on July 15 that Victoria would enter a snap five-day lockdown, leaving many event plans up in the air.
The ASWS was set to kick off at the Prince of Wales Showgrounds on July 16, but organisers confirmed on the Thursday afternoon that it would not be going ahead.
ASWS chief executive Margot Falconer said the decision had left big debts to pay.
"I think we've currently got about $285,000 worth of invoices to pay," she said.
"Marquee costs alone this year were $120,000 and so many contractors we had lined up to be there need to be paid for their efforts.
"It's hurting us big time."
Ms Falconer said the state government had told her financial support was on the way.
"We've been told there is something coming and we'll be invited to apply, but nothing else has been said," she said.
"It's said that these grants could be worth $25,000, frankly that's not going to help.
"This event is worth between $8m and $10m to Bendigo's economy and it's not just the fact we're in strife, there are so many other people struggling too because of this.
"A lot of local businesses and companies say the show is their biggest event of the year and now they're losing money too."
While it could help some, Ms Falconer said it could also deter those thinking of starting up events of their own.
"I mean the money is better than nothing," she said.
"But you will start to see that no one will want to plan an event because of the fear of what's happened to us."
She said it may not be easy to get the event up and running again.
"We will walk on water to try and get the event happening again next year, but now we have to go and find funding," Ms Falconer said.
"We've got some money in the back, but it's not enough."
But she said there is a silver lining in all the darkness.
"We've had some wonderful support from local businesses," she said.
"From the City of Greater Bendigo and Bickleys Transport from Goornong who delivered the straw and pens to Central Victorian Removals, we've had a lot of help over the last week or so.
"A lot of people have shown extraordinary acts of kindness and we can't thank them enough."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content: