Qld small business commissioner launches hardship appeal with GIVIT to help business owners “get back on track”

Brisbane floods Queensland small businesses

Flooding in Brisbane. Source: Wikimedia/Bidgee.

Queensland small businesses experiencing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 and recent flooding can now register for help via an appeal launched by the state’s small business commissioner and not-for-profit platform GIVIT. 

The Small Business Hardship Appeal is designed to help more of Queensland’s 448,000 small businesses recover and “get back on track sooner”, Small Business Minister Di Farmer said last week. 

It comes as the Sunshine State continues the mammoth task of cleaning up and recovering from the floods that swept across its south-east earlier this year, with the state government this morning revealing details of a new advertising campaign to lure more tradespeople from Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia to help with those efforts via the ‘Tradies in Paradise’ scheme

Through the GIVIT platform, small business owners will be able to connect with organisations and individuals offering donations of business items, volunteered time and services, or funding. 

Queensland small business commissioner Maree Adshead says her office has received “numerous offers of support” from businesses, industry associations and members of the public who want to help small businesses experiencing hardship due to factors outside their control, and the GIVIT appeal is a practical way for these groups to help. 

“Some businesses may not be able to source the necessary equipment to keep their business operational, they may need a hand to repair or clean up their business premises, or they don’t have the financial means to engage essential services,” she said. 

Minister Farmer noted that small businesses account for 97% of Queensland’s business community, and the hardship appeal is in addition to the $22 million provided by the state and federal government through disaster recovery funding arrangements for small businesses, primary producers, not-for-profits and sporting clubs.  

“I am always amazed at how generous Queenslanders are in helping those in their community in need, and we know there are many businesses that want to help other businesses,” she said in a statement. 

GIVIT was founded by Juliette Wright in 2009 as a way for people with quality items to donate to give those items to people in genuine need. The platform lists the individual items needed and donors can pledge to give, buy, or fund that item. 

For small businesses in Queensland, this could include “new tools for a tradie suffering from financial hardship, or furniture for a cafe that lost everything in the floods”, says GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant. 

“For people who may not have something to donate but still want to help, many of these items can be funded with all of the money donated used by GIVIT to purchase the item requested.” 

Small businesses that are experiencing hardship can access the Small Business Hardship Appeal by contacting the office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner by calling 1300 312 344. 

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