Flood assistance loans for NW Queensland small businesses
Published Friday, 22 February, 2019 at 04:41 PM
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
Small businesses across Burke, Carpentaria, Charters Towers, Croydon, Etheridge and Winton local government areas can now apply for Category B disaster assistance loans.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman welcomed the expansion, which allows more small business owners to access concessional loans that can fund their flood clean up and recovery plans.
“This monsoon and flooding has caused unprecedented damage in the region and is still flowing through our river catchments causing further disruptions and damage across the state,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We know that that following a disaster one of the most effective ways to help the community recover is to ensure local small businesses survive and thrive.”
“The Category B loans are also available to small businesses in Burdekin, Cloncurry, Douglas, Flinders, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay, Richmond and Townsville local government areas.”
Affected small businesses may be eligible for disaster assistance loans of up to $250,000 and essential working capital loans of up to $100,000. Call the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946 for further information.
Earlier this week Ms Fentiman met some affected small business owners in Townsville to listen to their stories and better understand the support they will need to get back on their feet.
“I have seen firsthand some of the effects this event has had and while some owners have made amazing progress in their clean-up and recovery plans, bouncing back from this event will take months” Ms Fentiman said.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of these regional and rural communities, they employ locals, serve local customers and clients and engage other suppliers, and it is important they can access additional support to overcome a blow like this.
“Even businesses that weren’t directly damaged may face cash-flow problems from forced closures, cancelled bookings, issues with transporting their supplies or products or find their trading is down as their community focuses on their other priorities.
“Being able to call on these low interest rate loans can help small business owners get through these tough times and ensure they are still operating when times are better and economic growth returns.
“The Queensland Government is committed to supporting small businesses throughout the state and especially those impacted by natural disasters. The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training is working to provide advice and support arrangements as soon as possible.”
Further financial assistance is being actively progressed including a Go Local campaign to promote the benefits of supporting local business to help them to continue to provide services and jobs essential to recovery.
To help the Queensland Government apply for Australian Government disaster relief funding, small business owners are invited to complete a short survey and provide first hand feedback of the impact on their business. The survey is available on the Business Queensland website www.business.qld.gov.au
Flood affected small businesses contact: Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946
Media Contact: Inga Williams 0439 949 719