The Palaszczuk Government has given thousands of Queensland businesses the boost they need to help their businesses stay afloat and keep their staff employed during COVID-19.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said Zenith Engineering in Brisbane was one of thousands of small businesses that would share in $96 million from the first round of the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants.
“Because we’re managing the health response well, we can now deliver Queensland’s plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We know our Queensland businesses have been doing it tough during the global coronavirus pandemic which has impacted economies across Australia and across the world.
“That’s why we have continued to provide more support for Queensland businesses, including an extra $100 million boost for round two of small business COVID-19 adaption grants.
“And we can do our bit by supporting Queensland businesses because that means supporting Queensland jobs.”
The Minister said SEEK job ads for May increased by 189 per cent in Queensland with a 38 per cent increase in manufacturing, transport and logistics.
“Because of the great job we’ve done on the health response to COVID-19, we can now focus on our economic plan for recovery,” the Minister said.
“The SEEK data shows a direct correlation between restrictions easing and job ad volume growth.”
Zenith Engineering manager Michael Jennings said the company would use the $9,435 grant to employ a consultant to assist in achieving ISO9001 compliance, which would enable the business to tender for light fabrication works for more customers and industries.
“This will further diversify the business from its main line of manufacturing and supplying of Isuzu powered marine generators and propulsion units for the tourism and fishing industries,” Mr Jennings said.
“As a result of COVID-19 those industries have been hit hard and this has flowed through to a reduction in our marine propulsion and generator sales.
“These are difficult times and gaining ISO9001 certification for engineering construction work will enable us to retain our 16 staff and possibly employ further staff if we are awarded larger fabrication contracts as result of acquiring the accreditation.
“We are a third-generation family owned business that has been in operation for 75 years and the adaption grant will assist the business in this difficult time to diversify further allowing us to service more industries.”
The Minister said the free apprenticeships for under 21s initiative is another way the Palaszczuk Government is backing businesses to create jobs.
“Since we launched free apprenticeships, we have supported more than 18,500 young Queenslanders to get a start in their careers – this is above our goal of reaching 60,000 apprentices or trainees by 2023,” the Minister said.
“It’s helping young Queenslanders launch their careers, such as Jade Simpson, who started her boiler-making apprenticeship with Zenith last year.”
Assistance available for Queensland small businesses include:
- Almost $200 million for Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grants
- $1 billion in interest free business loans
- Procurement target of 25% for all government spend to go to small and medium sized businesses – approximately $4 billion per year
- Small Business Skills Hub – 400 free online courses for businesses and their employees
- Up to $950 million in payroll tax relief including refunds, payment holidays and deferrals for eligible businesses as well as a tax exemption for JobKeeper payments
- $100 million in electricity bill rebates for eligible small and medium sized businesses.
- $400 million in land tax relief
As part of the second stage of our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs strategy, a further $100 million will be available for application from Wednesday 1 July.
The Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants are being funded through the $500 million Worker Assistance Package, which includes projects, such as Jobs Finder, to assist those who have lost their jobs or income and small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.