The Queensland Government will offer businesses interest-free loans to help keep them afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled the new measures today, worth around $500 million.
In a statement, she said the “rapidly evolving impacts of the pandemic demanded a rapidly evolving response from Government.”
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“We know just how tough Queensland families and businesses are doing it in the face of this pandemic,” the Premier said.
“We know the effects of this outbreak will grow and intensify, and as they do, so will our measures to protect Queenslanders health, their jobs and their businesses.”
It comes as modelling shows the virus is likely to cost the Queensland economy around $2.5 billion.
The $500 million concessional loan facility will comprise loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period to help businesses retain staff.
“The Queensland Government already backs farms and businesses with assistance loans in times of natural disasters,” Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said.
“Through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, we already have the mechanism in place to start rolling these loans out the door as soon as possible to help Queensland businesses keep staff on and survive this downturn.”
The six-month coronavirus payroll tax deferral will also be extended to all businesses across the state.
“As the Prime Minister has pointed out, it’s small businesses that are hurting the most, and its them we moved to help first with our initial payroll tax deferral earlier this month,” Ms Trad said.
“But we are seeing this outbreak is having a devastating impact on all Queensland companies, large and small, so now we will extend the offer of a six-month payroll tax deferral to all affected businesses across the state.”
“We know the deferral for small businesses was popular – in the first fortnight we’ve already seen companies from the Gold Coast to Far North Queensland in sectors from tourism and hospitality to marine engineering take up the offer.”