A new app and online resource to help small businesses prevent, prepare, respond and recover from disasters was launched today in Townsville.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the small business disaster hub was a digital one-stop shop providing fast and easy access to checklists, financial assistance and other resources across different types of disasters.
“Small businesses will be able to find the information they need so they can get back on their feet sooner after a disaster,” Ms Farmer said.
“This world class resource, based on best practice disaster resilience, will support businesses affected by a range of crises from natural disasters to IT threats.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities especially following a disaster.
“In recent years, Queensland small businesses have experienced more than their fair share of disasters with COVID-19, bushfires, drought, monsoonal floods and cyclones.”
The Minister said the disaster hub provided targeted resources for all small businesses as well as primary producers, tourism and hospitality operators, retailers, transport and logistics and construction businesses.
“We sought feedback from small businesses, industry and local councils, impacted by the 2019 North and Far North Monsoon Trough to ensure the resources best meet their needs.
Member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper said the app will be an important tool for businesses.
“Many small businesses often become overwhelmed not knowing how to best prepare their business ahead of a looming disaster or where to go for help afterwards,” Mr Harper said.
“These resources will help address these concerns by providing tailored resources, advice and links suited specifically to Queensland small business needs.”
“This will be a massive benefit to businesses in Townsville.”
Townsville’s Umbrella Studio Contemporary Art Gallery Director, Kate O’Hara said government assistance after the monsoon event and during COVID-19 was invaluable to the not-for-profit organisation.
“We accessed a Small Business Resilience grant and reached out to the Small Business Recovery Centre to use their hot desk in 2019 and last year we received a Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grant to help pay running costs and move our art exhibitions online,” Ms O’Hara said.
“This new resource and app will help us and other organisations in the event of future disasters.
“Having all the relevant information within a few clicks on the one site will make preparation and recovery so much simpler,” Ms O’Hara said.
The resources include prepare, respond and recover checklists, suggested communication messaging, how-to video animations, small business resilience case studies and links to key information and financial assistance.
The disaster hub can be accessed on the Business Queensland website (business.qld.gov.au/disasterhub), via the free app on Apple and Android, and has downloadable resources that can be printed and kept handy in the event of power outages.
The app can provide real time notifications to advise small businesses if they need to prepare, or when financial assistance becomes available.
The initiative, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA), was developed in partnership with the Small Business Recovery Advisory Council.