Gold Coast businesses hit hard by the border closures are being offered another lifeline from both the state and federal governments.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk unveiled a $54.5 million emergency support package on Tuesday to try and support those who have been impacted by the ongoing border restrictions and lockdowns interstate.
“We know that border communities have been doing it particularly tough,” the Premier told Parliament on Tuesday.
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“Families have been separated and communities divided and many business have been hard hit.”
The new package includes $6.3 million towards extending the existing COVID-19 Business Support Grants Program.
$6.5 million will also go towards a one-off hardship grants scheme that will offer payments of $5,000 for employers and $1,000 for sole traders.
Up to $1 million will be spent to match the funding for a voucher campaign, delivered by City of Gold Coast and Destination Gold Coast, encouraging locals to go and support businesses at the border who have been struggling. $50,000 will also be set also for a tourism marketing campaign for the Coolangatta area and surrounds.
The tourism and hospitality sectors right across the state will also be able to access a $40 million hardship program which will deliver one-off grants of up to $50,000 to business that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70 per cent since July.
$700,000 will also be spent on mental health support for business owners and their families in the border zone.
“This stimulus will provide a lifeline for many business that are doing it tough right now,” the Premier said.
“I think it’s great to see, in this instance, the state government working with the Commonwealth government to bring about a support package to those that need it the most.
“It support businesses in the border zone as well as tourism operators across Queensland who are severally impacted by the ongoing lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria.”
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said it was clear some Queensland businesses had shouldered a heavier burden than others but was quick to shift the blame to NSW.
“The burden has not come from any lockdown imposed by the Queensland Government,” Mr Dick told parliament.
“On the contrary, for each of our short, sharp, timely lockdowns, Queensland Treasury analysis of bank data shows that overall consumer spending has fully rebounded.
“Unfortunately, it’s not true for everyone.
“Some businesses along our border have suffered because of actions and inactions of the New South Wales government resulting in outbreak, lockdown and the border restrictions that necessarily follow to protect Queenslanders.”
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Government was pleased to come to the party and offer additional funding for “businesses and industries that need it most”.
“Tourism and hospitality businesses on the Queensland and New South Wales border have done it particularly tough as they feel the impact of lockdowns and border restrictions,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“But there is light at the end of the tunnel. By sticking to the National Plan, agreed to by State and Territory leaders, we can safely ease restrictions and open up our economy.
“And as we progress towards our vaccinations targets of 70 to 80 per cent, the Morrison Government will continue to work closely with the Palaszczuk Government to support Queensland businesses through this challenging time.”
The Joint Federal State package includes:
- $40 million for the Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program to deliver one off grants of $15,000, $25,000 and $50,000 for small, medium and large employing businesses across the state that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70 per cent for at least seven consecutive days between 1 July and 30 September.
- $6.3 million to extend the existing COVID-19 Business Support Grants program
- $6.5 million to provide one-off Hardship Scheme grants of $5000 for employing businesses and $1000 for non-employing sole traders to recipients of the COVID-19 Business Support Grants in the border zone in the event of an extended border closure
- Up to $1 million to match City of the Gold Coast Council and Destination Gold Coast’s ‘Play Money’ campaign, encouraging Gold Coasters to patronise border businesses
- $50,000 support for marketing campaigns in Coolangatta
- $700,000 for additional mental health support for business owners and their families in the border zone