The Queensland government is directing $100 million to help small businesses counter the impact of COVID-19 through $10,000 grants.
The package, a part of the Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy, is aimed to help businesses reopen as the state moves towards easing restrictions.
“Small businesses represent 97 per cent of all businesses and employ over 970,000 people or 45 per cent of the state’s private sector workforce,” said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“We know small businesses have been doing it really tough due to the pandemic.
“With the first stage of our recovery roadmap in place, we want to make sure our thousands of small businesses have the support they need to recover and keep Queenslanders in jobs.”
The grants are said to provide immediate support to help these businesses get back on their feet by allowing them pay for services used to survive the crisis. The grants can also be used to buy specialised digital equipment or business-specific software to help move the business online.
“Small businesses, including micro businesses, can apply for a share in the grants program to help pay for financial, legal or other professional advice, marketing and communications activities and digital or technology strategy development,” said Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman.
“Many events, workplaces, classes and sales have moved online and small businesses need to make sure they have the tools and resources to be competitive in these challenging times.
“We also realise that businesses may not currently have the financial resources to co-fund, so we won’t require matched funding which will better support our local businesses.”
Welcoming Queensland’s announcement, the state’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) said the new grants will provide some much-needed immediate cash support to small businesses.
“There is no denying how hard it is for business at the moment, and these cash grants will provide an opportunity for them to invest and look at ways to keep operating. Our small-business sector is vital to Queensland’s economy,” said CCIQ’s general manager of advocacy and policy, Amanda Rohan.
The Small Business Adaption Grants will be funded through the $500 million Worker Assistance Package, which includes rapid delivery of projects to assist those who have lost their jobs or income and small businesses adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications are open now and will close when funding has been exhausted.
For information on how to apply and eligibility, visit www.business.qld.gov.au.