$250 million is now in the pockets of more than 27,000 small businesses across Queensland, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Business Support Grants.
The program, jointly funded by the Queensland and Commonwealth Governments, provides grants of up to $30,000 to businesses impacted by Queensland lockdowns.
The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Di Farmer, said teams had been working hard to get the money out the door, with more than 95% of applications now processed.
“When it comes to small businesses the best thing we can do is ensure our strong health response allows our economy to keep growing, do everything we can to ensure any lockdowns are short and sharp, and keep businesses open and trading,” Minister Farmer said.
“Here in Queensland, we didn’t have a lockdown that went for longer than three days until recently. And Queenslanders did an incredible job to stop Delta in its tracks.
“But we know the impact of COVID-19 is being felt. That’s why we put backing small business at the heart of our $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan and that’s why we are providing the COVID-19 Business Support Grants.
“Small businesses like cafes, beauty salons, gyms, hairdressers and restaurants which were hit hard by the COVID lockdown have been the biggest applicants so far.
“I want to be really clear: applications will be open until November 16 and any eligible business that applies will receive the grant.”
Julie Walters who owns Chocolate Country in Montville said receiving the COVID-19 business Support Grant was massively important after losing a week’s trading income.
“With nothing coming in it was another ‘how am I going to pay the bills’ moment. When the funds came through, I thought, oh someone’s got my back,” said Julie.
“It’s allowed us to pay the bills that we were really worried and let us carry on.”
Minister Farmer said there was other support available to businesses too.
“There are $10,000 cleaning rebates for exposure sites, multimillion dollar packages for tourism and hospitality businesses, and extra support for those businesses who serve border communities including an additional $5,000 grant available from today.
“This is in addition to nearly $200 million COVID adaption support grants, nearly $1 billion in Jobs Support loans, $950 million in payroll tax relief, and $140 million in our Big Plans for Small Business package.
“There is also tailored one on one support available, including our Mentoring for Growth service, Small Business Financial Counsellors, and the Queensland Small Business Commissioner.
“I encourage all businesses to visit www.business.qld.gov.au or call our 24/7 Small Business Hotline, to make sure they’re taking full advantage of the support available.”
The COVID-19 Business Support Grants will remain open until 16 November 2021, with all eligible applicants to receive funding. Border businesses eligible for an additional $5,000 now that border with NSW has been closed for 2 months will be contacted directly.
Under the $600 million support package, $110m will go to two programs to support Queensland’s major tourism and hospitality businesses who continue to face significant hardship.
The Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program will be open from mid-October with $80 million targeted to provide grants of between $30,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses that had turnover reduced by 70 per cent or more for seven consecutive days between July and September.
Iconic tourist attractions will be able to apply for grants of up $4 million under the Major Tourism Experiences Hardship Grant. This $30 million grant program will ensure that eligible major tourism businesses are able to retain staff and scale up in when tourists return in greater numbers.