The Palaszczuk Government is investing billions of dollars to ensure Queensland is the best place to be for small business and that they have the support they need to get growing.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said backing small business was a central part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Plan.
“The Palaszczuk Government knows small businesses are the lifeblood of communities right Queensland and employ nearly one million people: you can’t talk about jobs and recovery if you’re not talking about small business,” Minister Farmer said.
“It’s not just about the tailored and targeted support – as vital as that is – but also about creating the right environment for small businesses to thrive in.
“That means making sure things like housing availability and transport options aren’t limiting opportunities for small businesses to grow.
“Business owners have told us that a lack of housing availability in regional areas is one of the challenges when it comes to attracting workers.
“That’s why we’re investing $1.8 billion over four years to increase the supply of social housing and upgrade existing social housing across the state, supported by the establishment of a long term $1 billion Housing Investment Fund.
“Each dollar spend on the construction of new housing is also good for small businesses as it creates jobs for construction workers, tradies, and other contractors.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s $27.5 billion transport and roads budget is backing Queensland businesses too.
“The record four-year infrastructure spend will drive the state’s economic recovery and provide investment certainty.
“A strong pipeline of government projects will reward innovation and incentivise contractors to provide quality local jobs, more training, better workplace safety, and prioritise local suppliers and manufacturers.”
Minister Farmer said when it came to more direct and tailored support, the Palaszczuk Government had big plans for small business.
“Over the weekend we launched our new Small Business Strategy, which outlines how $140 million of support for small business will be spent and announced a Workforce Summit that will take place later this year.
“The Big Plans for Small Business Strategy is a direct result of speaking with thousands of businesses across the state during our Small Business Roadshow earlier this year.
“The strategy includes a $100 million Business Investment Fund, $30 million to increase small business skills and capability, and $10 million to make it easier to do business with government including making the Queensland Small Business Commissioner role permanent.
“The Back to Work initiative has been extended with $140 million over four years for targeted employer payments to help businesses recruit and retain young people, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability or the long-term unemployed.
“We’re also investing $31.2 million to extend the 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentice and trainees to June 2022.
“We are backing our small agribusinesses to help deliver Queensland’s plan for economic recovery through a fourth round of Rural Economic Development Grants, which offer co-contribution grants to agribusiness projects to strengthen primary production sectors and bolster rural communities.
“We also recently launched the Small Business Disaster Hub website and app, and the first phase of Business Launchpad, which provide a range of information and advice in one place so owners aren’t bouncing between multiple websites.”
Minister Farmer said the Palaszczuk Government is practicing what it preaches.
“I know small businesses have been a focus for all government agencies because in the last 6 months of 2020 28% of government procurement was spent with small and medium sized businesses,” Minister Farmer said.
“That exceeded our 25% target and saw $2.67 billion go to the sector, backing a range of Queensland made services and products as well as local jobs.
“The Palaszczuk Government has also committed to paying small businesses as quickly as possible, to give them the cashflow and confidence needed to grow.
“We supported small businesses during the worst of COVID, and we’re not stopping now.”
Other programs that will benefit small businesses include:
- $29.4 million over four years ($9.1 million in 2021-22) for the Electricity Tariff Adjustment Scheme, targeting support towards regional business electricity connections due to phasing out of obsolete electricity tariffs
- $7 million to extend live music venue support to support the sustainability of Queensland’s live music industry
- $71 million to support the Queensland screen industry, including $53 million to continue the Screen Queensland Production Attraction Strategy, $10 million for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects incentive, $4 million for the Screen Finance Program, and $4 million for a North Queensland Regional Program
- Up to $12 million over three years for the Mobile Black Spot Program, to improve coverage for businesses and communities across the state
- $20.6 million over five years ($5.3 million in 2021-22) for Rural Economic Development and Rural Agricultural Development Grants
- $1.9 million to continue the Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service which was launched in March this year
- $1.6 million in grants to small and medium sized businesses to reach new markets or use eCommerce platforms