A new support service and telephone hotline to provide support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses during COVID-19 has been launched by the Palaszczuk Government today.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the government was proud to launch Open for Business which is a key element of the state’s Deadly Innovation Strategy to provide support to Indigenous businesses.
“Coronavirus is the biggest challenge Queensland businesses have ever had to face,” Ms Jones said.
“We want to make sure that as many businesses as possible make it through this crisis and are able to continue employing Queenslanders.
“This program is designed to support Indigenous businesses navigating through the economic challenges posed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Open for Business is a dedicated support service that provides advice to Indigenous businesses on local, state and federal policies.
“With many Indigenous businesses located in regional areas, many have only limited access to digital infrastructure and rely on telephone communication for connection to the outside world – particularly while communities are closed to visitors.
“The specialised hotline will be a vital connection for these businesses to seek advice that’s relatable to their culture and community.”
Open for Business will provide advice to the Queensland Indigenous business community through a telephone hotline, online town hall meetings, social media networks, email, and radio communications.
Aboriginal business owner Shane Kennelly said that support provided through this service will be invaluable and will encourage businesses to maximise opportunities that are available.
“In times of crisis, it’s good to have a source you can trust and I know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners will appreciate the opportunity to yarn with people in their community,” he said.
“Many Indigenous businesses are doing it tough through this pandemic, so this service will provide advice and encouragement to help navigate the current challenges.
“This program will ensure we can continue to grow a strong and sustainable Indigenous business sector and would be a welcome source of knowledge sharing from the Queensland Government.”