The Queensland government has this morning announced they will offer $100 million in grants to support businesses struggling due to COVID-19.
The grants follow similar schemes in New South Wales and Victoria and will focus on assisting businesses who have had to temporarily close, restructure or pivot their operations.
Businesses can apply for up to $10,000 in funding which can be used to pay off loans, to engage legal or financial advisers, for business marketing or digital technology development, including purchasing digital equipment of software.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the government recognised COVID-19 restrictions had hit businesses hard.
“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,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“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.”
“These grants will provide immediate support to help them get back on their feet and come out stronger on the other side.”
The National Retail Association (NRA) welcomed the news, saying it would come as a relief to many businesses.
NRA CEO Dominique Lamb said the association estimated members has lost $1 billion in March alone due to the impacts of COVID-19.
“The fate of thousands of Queensland small businesses continues to hang in the balance and all support is welcomed,” Ms Lamb said.
“Retailers force to hibernate or limit their services need assistance with expenses ranging from financial and legal advice, the cost of restructuring and marketing costs. These and many more expenses will be covered by the grant which is good news. We will be encouraging all our members to see if they are eligible and will assist them if they need help in determining this.”
Business operators can also access existing assistance such as six-month rent relief for government building tenants, $500 energy rebated, $500 million in interest free loans, free on one mentoring and payroll relief, among other measures.
More details about applying for the grants and available assistance can be found on the Business Queensland website.