The Palaszczuk Government is backing Queensland small businesses to further drive economic recovery with a $140 million Big Plans for Small Business strategy funded in Budget 2020-21 to lift competitiveness and resilience.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said Queensland’s economic recovery is already underway, made possible because of our strong health response.
“Small business is vital to this recovery as the engine room of the economy,” Mrs Farmer said.
“That’s why we have provided $2.3 billion in tax relief, grants, electricity rebates and loans that have supported businesses to keep 334,000 Queenslanders in work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We also introduced a target of 25 per cent of all government purchases to be from Queensland small and medium size businesses from July 1 which will be extended to 30 per cent by June 2022.
“Now we are committing another $140 million to back these valuable employers, building on our substantial support so far.”
The Big Plans for Small Business strategy will support private investment with:
- An initial $100 million Business Investment Fund from the $500 million Backing Queensland Business Investment Fund to invest in small to medium sized businesses that have significant growth potential and will create Queensland based jobs.
This fund can support businesses to grow and expand into new markets – including export markets – and will be managed by Queensland Investment Corporation.
- $30 million of investment to increase skills and capability including:
- Small business grants focusing on priority industry sectors
- Grants to assist regional exporters to develop new markets
- The development of a Business Ready Website
- Continuing Small Business Month and the Mentoring for Growth programs
- A study to link government procurement of new fibre networks with increased access for small businesses to high speed broadband in the regions
- A Summertime Taskforce to support businesses to be more COVID-safe and move outdoors
- $10 million of investment to make the Small Business Commissioner permanent, and to reinvigorate the Small Business Advisory Council.
“Our Big Plans for Small Business strategy includes $25 million in small business grants with a focus on our regions as well as our young Queenslanders, women, social enterprises, culturally and linguistically diverse people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders,” the Premier said.
“We will also continue our popular free Mentoring for Growth program, as well as provide grants for regional exporters to help them reach new global markets.”
Mrs Farmer said Palaszczuk Government support during the COVID-19 pandemic has included $196 million in Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants, $950 million in payroll tax relief and $1 billion in Jobs Support Loans.
“The Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants have already helped about 20,000 businesses throughout Queensland with more than $176 million in grants,” Ms Farmer said.
“The grants have allowed businesses to update a range of processes and prepare for post-COVID operations.
Ms Farmer said the Small Business Commissioner role will become permanent, following a rising demand for businesses to navigate leasing disputes with their landlords.
“Our Small Business Commissioner has been helping hundreds of businesses and landlords during the pandemic – saving them time, money and stress,” she said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to backing Queensland businesses and backing Queensland jobs.”
The Big Plans for Small Business strategy builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the challenges faced by businesses as a result of COVID-19, including:
- $1 billion in interest free/low interest business loans, with 86 per cent going to small business
- $950 million in payroll tax relief
- $500 million for the Backing Queensland Business Investment Fund to support businesses that need capital to create jobs
- $400 million in land tax relief
- $196 million for Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants, paid to 19,000 businesses
- $100 million in electricity bill rebates
- $1.2 million to establish a regional network of business support officers in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
The strategy will build on our 2016-20 Advancing Queensland Small Business Strategy which saw thousands of businesses supported through our grants, mentoring and other assistance and resources.