Grants available to Cairns businesses

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

Tropical Queenslander Hotel

Over 600 Cairns small businesses have received grants of up to $30,000, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s COVID-19 Business Support Grants.

The program, jointly funded by the Palaszczuk and Commonwealth Governments, provides grants to businesses impacted by Queensland lockdowns.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Di Farmer, said more than $108 million had been sent out in total to businesses across Queensland.

“Here in Queensland, we didn’t have a lockdown that went for longer than three days until very recently. And Queenslanders did an incredible job to stop Delta in its tracks,” Minister Farmer said.

“Just like we were the first state to introduce a COVID economic stimulus package last year, we acted quickly again: applications for this support opened just one week after that lockdown ended and the first payments were being made the very next day.”

Member for Cairns, Michael Healy, said Cairns businesses should check their eligibility to apply if they haven’t already.

“Applying is straight forward, with template letters provided to make the process easier. We’ve doubled the number of staff working on the grants which means we’ve already processed thousands of applications,” Mr Healy said.

“I want to be really clear: any eligible Cairns business that applies will receive the grant.”

Rong Wang, who manages the Tropical Queenslander Hotel in Cairns, encouraged other affected businesses to apply for the grant.

“Without this $10,000 grant we would have to cut back hours for our staff, but now we can afford to keep paying their usual wage,” Rong said.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, said COVID-19 Business Support Grants are just one part of the government’s $14.2 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“The best thing we can do for businesses is ensure our economy is growing, do everything we can to ensure any lockdowns are short and sharp, and keep businesses open and trading,” Mr Pitt said.

“But we know businesses in Far North Queensland are feeling the impact of COVID-19 which is why we are providing this support, along with a $10,000 cleaning rebate for COVID exposure sites and nearly $50 million for tourism and hospitality businesses.”

Member for Barron River, Craig Crawford, said other support was available too.

“$5,000 Business Basics Grants for regional small businesses are still open to businesses in Far North Queensland, but we expect these to close soon, so get your application in now.

“We’ve also recently announced a further $40 million of support for tourism businesses, giving those who’ve seen a 70% reduction in turnover grants of up to $50,000.

“In addition, we’ve provided around $18.6 million in COVID-19 Small Business Adaptation Grants and $8.3 million in payroll tax relief to Cairns businesses, around $66 million in Jobs Support Loans to Far North Queensland, and a range of measures in our $140 million Big Plans for Small Business strategy.

“There’s also one-on-one support available, through our tailored Mentoring for Growth service, Small Business Financial Counsellors and the Queensland Small Business Commissioner.”

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