The Queensland government has committed $100 million in funds to small business grants and training programs, designed to help businesses respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The grants will be valued at up to $10,000 each, and will require businesses to show their turnover has declined as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the money would target firms forced into hibernation, restructuring or those dealing with other significant changes to their businesses.
“These grants will provide immediate support to help them get back on their feet and come out stronger on the other side,” Palaszczuk said in a statement on Tuesday.
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The funding comes amid a concerted push among a group of small business owners in the state for additional support, after several existing small business grant programs in the state were delayed by the pandemic.
Queensland’s small business minister Shannon Fentiman, who oversaw grants tied to the state’s now partly-delayed small business month, said the new Small Business Adaption Grants can be used to pay for professional advice or buy new equipment.
“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, Fentiman said in a statement on Tuesday.
“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.”
Kevin Gammie, a Queensland-based business owner who runs the local SME Facebook forum Brisbane Small Business, has been petitioning the state government for coronavirus grant funding for several weeks.
“Thanks for everyone who supported the petition and helped get this moving,” Gammie posted on Facebook.
“This is a start. Let’s make sure we do make the most of the opportunities to create a better Queensland with our businesses.”
Further details about the adaption grants are available online, and it appears the government will require firms to show their revenue has been “significantly impacted” since March 23 over a minimum one-month period.
The entire program is being funded through Queensland’s $500 million Worker Assistance Package.