Mackay business boosted to recover

Published Wednesday, 29 July, 2020 at 12:16 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

As the ‘Queensland – You’re Good to Go’ marketing campaign ramps up, the Mackay tourism sector is getting ready to welcome more domestic visitors to the region.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman hosted a Jobs and Skills Roadshow at the Mackay Ocean International Hotel today to highlight the support available for locals in North Queensland including Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grants which the club was successful in receiving.

“We know the tourism sector is one of the industries that felt the full brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Because of the great job we’ve done on the health response to COVID-19, we can now focus on our economic plan for recovery.

“Our plan: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs is all about supporting our local businesses to recover so they can create more local jobs.

“Already more than $80 million in support has been committed to the tourism industry as part of our plan.

“And the ‘Queensland – You’re Good to Go’ campaign is expected to generate $1 billion in overnight visitor expenditure.

“Importantly, our Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants are assisting impacted businesses to adapt their business and take advantage of new opportunities – these grants are still open for businesses in Mackay.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said there was a range of support available for businesses in Mackay to help them recover post COVID-19 with more than 60 businesses in Mackay successful in receiving grants so far.

“As more than nine in 10 businesses across the state are small businesses, they have been able to access grants, payroll tax relief, energy rebates, free online training as well as free business mentoring and financial resilience workshops,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“We are supporting businesses to get back on their feet with our extended Back to Work program, which now provides employers with payments of up to $20,000 to take on an apprentice or trainee.

“And I would encourage any employing small business in Mackay who was impacted by COVID-19 to get online and apply for grants of up to $10,000.”

The Mackay Ocean International Hotel experienced a significant downturn in accommodation bookings and closure of its function and restaurant operations for more than two months due to COVID-19.

Owner Hannah Guerin said the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant of $9,100 will enable upgrades to the hotel website and online ordering system and help fund a social marketing campaign.

“Our revamped website will be mobile-friendly, allowing instant bookings and orders and the marketing campaign will enhance our visibility and audience reach,” Ms Guerin said.

“We are returning to pre-COVID trade levels and appreciate the support of some very loyal locals, our amazing landlord and government financial assistance.”

Support available for the Mackay region includes:

  • Almost $200 million in Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants
  • Free online TAFE courses
  • $70 million extension to Back to Work program with a new boost payment of up to $20,000 to employ an apprentice or trainee who was previously unemployed
  • Free apprenticeships and traineeships for under 21s
  • Payroll tax relief
  • Energy rebates for households and small and medium sized businesses
  • 25% procurement target for small and medium sized businesses - $4 billion of support each year

For further information visit or call 1300 654 687.



Media Contact:          Inga Williams             0439 949 719