Fresh support deployed for CQ’s struggling small businesses
A NEW financial year has brought with it fresh support to kick start CQ's small businesses recovery after being battered in the first half of 2020 by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Federal government's legislated tax cuts for small businesses kick in from July 1 and the Queensland Government are deploying a raft of support strategies, headlined by the next round of their popular $10,000 small business grant program.
Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said nearly 14,255 small and family businesses in Capricornia would be paying less tax as a result of legislated tax cuts passed by her government.
Incorporated small and family businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will see their company tax rate reduced from 27.5 per cent to 26 per cent.
Unincorporated businesses will also benefit as the rate of the small business income tax offset increases from 8 per cent to 13 per cent.
Ms Landry said bringing forward legislated tax cuts by five years would provide a shot in the arm for hard working small and family businesses in Capricornia.
"At a time they need it most, these tax cuts will lead to more investment, increased employment opportunities for Australians and helping small business owners keep more of their money," Ms Landry said.
"The Coalition Government has delivered extensive support for small and medium sized businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. We have extended the Instant Asset Write Off to $150,000 for another six months, are providing the Cash Flow Boost of up to $100,000 for employing small businesses, and are boosting access to capital through our COVID-19 SME Guarantee Scheme.
"This is in addition to the extensive income support JobKeeper, JobSeeker, and our Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy are providing to support small businesses and sole traders across Australia."
$10,000 small business grants
IT was a case of blink-and-you-missed-them when the Queensland Government introduced a $100 million Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program in May, providing $10,000 grants on "first in, best dressed" basis until the funding allocation was exhausted.
In a matter of days the money was gone and CQ's small business owners were clamouring for another round of grants to assist with the recovery process.
During her visit to Rockhampton last month, the Morning Bulletin asked Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk whether more grants would be made available and she responded saying they were definitely "on her radar".
"(They were) hugely popular, (we're) very encouraged by the regional responses to that and my government is looking very closely at how we can expand that into the future because it was inundated with requests," she said.
"I'd like to see more regional applications coming in. It's front and centre of our mind in terms of the next stage of our economic recovery."
Applications have opened for the second round of grants on Wednesday and small business owners have flooded onto the government's website to lodge their applications for a slice of another $100 million in funding.
Half of this funding was specifically earmarked for regional small businesses located outside of South East Queensland.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman acknowledged small business had done it tough and her government was now getting on with their economic recovery plan, Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs.
"These grants are already providing the much-needed shot in the arm to businesses," she said.
Grants can be used for professional advice, marketing, specialised equipment or towards utilities for businesses impacted by COVID-19.
The top three business sectors receiving Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grants in round one so far are food and beverage, tourism and retail operations.
Additionally, Ms Fentiman said they had committed $1.2 million in funding to establish a regional network of business support officers in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
"The eight officers will help local business communities become aware of and access available government support and other assistance, information, grants and programs," she said.
The business support officers will be based in Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Wide Bay, Toowoomba, the Redlands and on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, where they will work with councils, industry bodies, business associations, education and training providers, as well as government agencies to identify local employment opportunities and training needs for local small businesses.
Assistance available for Queensland small businesses includes:
• Almost $200 million for Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grants
• $1 billion in interest free business loans
• Procurement target of 25% for all government spend to go to small and medium sized businesses - approximately $4 billion per year
• Small Business Skills Hub - 400 free online courses for businesses and their employees
• Up to $950 million in payroll tax relief including refunds, payment holidays and deferrals for eligible businesses as well as a tax exemption for JobKeeper payments
• $100 million in electricity bill rebates for eligible small and medium sized businesses.
• $400 million in land tax relief
To apply for a small business grant, visit here.
For more information on support available visit www.business.qld.gov.au