Queensland businesses to grow with almost $2M in grants

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

A botanical cosmetics company and an eco-friendly packaging manufacturer are among 42 Queensland businesses to share in almost $2 million of State Government grants to help them seize their next growth opportunity.

This is a part of the $2.5 billion dollars the government has poured into supporting business since the start of the pandemic.

Supporting small businesses is a core pillar of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan, and Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the fourth round of the popular Business Growth Fund grant will help established businesses from Far North Queensland to the Gold Coast and west to Julia Creek.

“The fund helps growing small businesses buy highly specialised equipment that will accelerate growth, increase production and expand their workforce,” Minister Farmer said.

“Grants of up to $50,000 help these businesses boost their productivity and their confidence to scale-up, so they can go from small to medium sized businesses.”

The funding, which is part of the Big Plans for Small Business Package, will enable the purchase of specialised equipment across a range of applications from contamination detection for health food to advances in hydraulic power systems.

Minister Farmer said the 42 successful businesses were among more than 300 applicants in the staged process, with the final stage requiring the businesses to pitch their proposed expansion projects to a panel in November 2022.

“On the Sunshine Coast, Diablo Co will use its grant to purchase a state-of-the-art bottling machine, which will increase production capacity of Diablo, its alcoholic ginger beer.”

Diablo Co General manager Charlene Dellaway said the new machine will give the Woombye distillery the capability to establish core ranging with major retailers to stock the Diablo Alcoholic Ginger Beer in all their stores.

“The grant will enable us to approach the banner groups with confidence that we can supply their needs and increase our sales dramatically and rapidly,” Ms Dellaway said.

Minister Farmer said one of the successful recipients is Yatala’s Roccoco Cosmetics, whichwill purchase a rotary evaporator, centrifuge and a large batch homogeniser for steam distillation and extraction of natural ingredients from native Indigenous plants for their skin cream and hand wash products

“Roccoco is partnering with an Indigenous-owned company, Ethnopharma Medica Pty Ltd, and natural product chemist Dr Nicholas Sadgrove, formerly of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to extract the elements with unique medicinal properties to develop a range of infection prevention products for an industrial setting,” Minister Farmer said.

Roccoco Cosmetics CEO Jacine Greenwood said the company now had its sights set on developing an extended product range and had plans to pitch to supply athletes’ toiletries at the Brisbane Olympics 2032.

“The grant will allow us to purchase equipment that is crucial for our business to expand into new markets and continue the rapid growth of the past four years. We are excited to be able to offer further employment opportunities over the next 12 months and to bring to market for the first-time native extracts that can kill Golden Staphylococcus,” Ms Greenwood said.

Minister Farmer said several of the grants will be used to create more sustainable products and boost local manufacturing.

The Minister said Global Fruit Protection in Cairns will receive a grant to purchase a fully automated assembly machine for recyclable fruit bags, that will be installed at a production centre in El Arish near Tully.

“The machine will ultrasonically seal the non-woven polyethylene inner and polypropylene outer, making the bags 100 per cent recyclable, creating local jobs and ensuring North Queensland banana growers have a consistent supply of customised and personalised protective bags,” Minister Farmer said.

“The disruption to supply chains caused by extended lockdowns in China has led Capalaba renewable energy company All Ideal Solutions (AIS) to use its grant to buy a laser machine to produce its own labels and stickers for its solar systems.”

“The Business Growth Fund program provides businesses with the support and confidence to take advantage of the opportunities by contributing to the project costs to buy and implement the specialised equipment needed for growth.”

Minister Farmer said the government has provided more than $6.2 million in Business Growth Fund grants to Queensland businesses since 2018.

To learn more about the grants and how to apply visit the Business Queensland website – www.business.qld.gov.au

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