Cairns small business grants going back to basics

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

The Palaszczuk Government’s popular Business Basics grants are getting a $5 million top up, with $5,000 grants available for small businesses in Cairns.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the grants are delivering on the commitment in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to back small business.

“The hugely popular Business Basics grant was launched on May 31, and as we had acted on the feedback from my Small Business Roadshow and shared details and an example application form in advance, we received thousands of applications very quickly,” Minister Farmer said.

“While it was fantastic that there were so many people ready to go with strong applications, the last round was oversubscribed and so it’s running again with a focus on regional Queensland.

“The guidelines and an example application form will be available on August 17, and applications will open on August 31.”

Member for Barron River Craig Crawford said it was great news for Cairns that another round of Business Basics was coming.

“This is a great program, and the money can be used for a range of things including training, website upgrades, professional advice, marketing services or specialized business support,” Mr. Crawford said.

“Business Basics grants are just one of the ways the Palaszczuk Government is backing small business – we’re also implementing the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy, making permanent the office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner, and spending $2.67 billion directly with Small and Medium Enterprises by setting and exceeding the government procurement target.”

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the money for this round of grants was coming from an existing program that is no longer in demand.

“To allow us to offer more Business Basic grants, applications for our regional Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants program will close on Friday August 6,” Mr. Pitt said

“To date we have paid out $56 million to more than 6,000 small businesses in regional Queensland through this program, making sure we were there for small businesses at the height of the pandemic.

“However, applications have been decreasing as our economy grows, with the latest figures showing that over half of new jobs in Australia are being created right here in Queensland.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said that the drop in applications was a sign of growing confidence and Queensland’s strong economic recovery.

“The COVID-19 adaptation grants were for regional small businesses that have had a 30 per cent decline in revenue for at least a month due to the pandemic, and thanks to our strong economic recovery, businesses are just not meeting that criteria anymore,” Mr. Healy said.

“Applications have been falling since around September last year, and over the last month that’s reduced even further.

“We promised this money for the regions and we are committed to it staying in the regions, and that’s why we’re redirecting the funds to a regional round of Business Basics so that we can provide the type of support Cairns small businesses are looking for right now.

“If you were planning to apply for a COVID-19 adaptation grant then get your application in before August 6.”

From 17 August Cairns small businesses will be able to review the guidelines and prepare their applications, with the round opening at 9am on 31 August.

Information on how to apply for the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants program is available from www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/adaption.

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