By Georgia Parsonson
Queensland Government has introduced three new grant programs worth $23 million over three years as part of the state’s “Small Business Month”.
The Minister for Employment and Small Business, Di Farmer, said that this initiative builds on the 180 million dollars of COVID-19 adaptation grants that have already been paid to more than 23 thousand small businesses across the state.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and are a vital part of the Palaszczuk Government’s economic recovery plan to get more Queenslanders into jobs,” Minister Farmer said.
“This year’s theme for Small Business Month is ‘Bounce Back Better’. We’ve already helped tens of thousands of businesses through COVID-19, and these new grants will assist small businesses to recover and to pursue more opportunities to grow and employ more people.”
The Business Basics, Business Boost, and Business Growth Fund will target particular groups within the sector. In doing so, the funds will help deliver on the government’s small business election commitments.
“We are rolling out the grants this way based on the direct feedback I heard from thousands of small business owners, following on from the small business roadshow which toured Queensland earlier this year, and an online survey which ran parallel to it,” Ms Farmer said.
“We know, from our extensive consultation process, that Queensland businesses are at distinctly different stages, and our support programs need to reflect this.”
The Business Basics grant program will benefit and offer funding of up to $5000 to new and emerging small businesses to increase core capabilities and adopted practices best suited for the company.
“They can use the grant for website development and upgrades, strategic marketing, training and coaching, advisory services and planning for business continuity and succession,” Minister Farmer explained.
Business Boost will support already established firms. It offers up to $15 thousand to help these small businesses improve their efficiency and productivity.
In addition, the Business Growth Fund will help to evolve and fast-growing small and medium-sized businesses with grants of up to $50 thousand. This funding will allow small businesses to invest in specialised equipment to make use of and accelerate growth opportunities.
“The type of grants, information about what is required to get them, and the application process itself are all a direct result of feedback from small businesses,” Ms Farmer said.
“We want it to be easier to do business with the Government here in Queensland.”
In Brisbane, Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner welcomed Queensland’s Small Business Month with the introduction of a small business hub for local entrepreneurs.
It promises to offer up new opportunities for the increasing numbers of small business owners in Brisbane and provide them with increased access to local support services and expert advice.
“Right across our city, people are turning their clever ideas into exciting business ventures from their own homes,” Cr Shriller said.
“Our Suburban Business Hub will give them a venue that offers networking opportunities, free, bookable spaces to hold meetings and events, and the ability to set up pop-up stalls using the hub’s ‘shopfront’.
“We’re backing these businesses by helping them navigate the economic challenges by offering training workshops and development programs which will improve their operations and long-term viability.”
The Hub’s opening follows the success of its city-based counterpart, which has supported more than 2500 business representatives and hosted more than 70 events since its opening six months ago.
One of the business hub’s first events will be targeted towards the growing number of female entrepreneurs.
The Hub is ideally located at 16 Aspinall Street Nundah. It is less than 20 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD, and 10 minutes from Brisbane Airport. It is also close to public transport, as well as the Nundah Village shopping precinct.
The Hub will be open on Mondays to Fridays from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm. Bookings for its use can be made through the Council’s website.
For more information about the Hub, visit brisbane.qld.gov.au/business.
For more information about Queensland Small Business Month events, visit www.business.qld.gov.au or call 1300 654 687.