Supporting local business through economic recovery

James Cook University is supporting local businesses to help the region’s economy recover from COVID-19.

Deputy Vice Chancellor Services and Resources Tricia Brand said JCU works with 2400 local businesses in North Queensland and 1750 in Far North Queensland, and is proud to support the local economy, particularly during this difficult time.

“JCU has a long history of supporting local businesses for the benefit of our local economy,” she said. “It’s particularly important now as we look towards economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Ms Brand said the University’s contracts with local businesses are valued in the millions of dollars and include businesses such as building maintenance, veterinary supplies, electricians, mechanics and printers.

“We spend more than $30 million on local businesses in North Queensland and $16 million in Far North Queensland,” she said. “We have been prioritising payments to local businesses to ensure they have their cashflow and they didn’t have to wait for the University’s payment terms.

“We also work closely with the Townsville and Cairns Chambers of Commerce to help local businesses understand our requirements so we can engage more of them as suppliers.”

Ms Brand said JCU applies the Queensland Government Local Benefits Test as part of the procurement process.

“This test evaluates the benefits that any supplier would bring to the local area,” she said.

“By prioritising benefits for the local community, we can help local businesses flourish, which also assists our graduates find local jobs and therefore prevent talent from leaving the region.”

According to JCU’s most recent economic impact statement, the University boosted Queensland’s economy by more than $800m in 2016, with 97 per cent of the economic impact felt in the Townsville and Cairns regions.

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