$8.76m Small Business Wellness Package at work: Chambers help support good mental health for small businesses

Published Friday, 28 April, 2023 at 12:30 PM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Di Farmer


  • The Palaszczuk Government and key business group Business Chamber Queensland are shining a light on mental health and wellness in the workforce through 32 projects being rolled out across the state by local chambers of commerce.
  • Coinciding with Queensland May Small Business Month, the Queensland Government’s Chamber Wellness Program is providing $150,000 in grants projects that will help build awareness of services and will upskill chamber members to support local business owners.
  • The Chamber Wellness Program is part of the Queensland Government’s $8.76 million Small Business Wellness Package.


The Chamber Wellness Program is a collaboration between the Queensland Government and Business Chamber Queensland to provide support to chambers of commerce and their business networks across Queensland.

The Program includes the Chamber Wellness Fund and the Business Chamber Queensland online mental health resources for chambers.

Chambers from Cairns in the north, Mt Isa in the west and Gold Coast in the south will receive funding of up to $5000 to support small businesses in their local area.  

Commerce North West (Mount Isa) will host a Workplace Wellness event to share knowledge and skills related to self-care, stress reduction, and healthy living. 

The Valley Chamber of Commerce, Spring Hill will run meditation sessions followed by breakfast, teaching the importance of relaxation in our busy modern lifestyle.

The LIVINWell Southern Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce project will address the need for small business owners and their staff, to feel that they can ask for help and how to ask for help with mental health concerns affecting them, their colleagues or families.  Their project will educate members on the signs that may indicate they need help and will give them solutions about what to do next.

On the Sunshine Coast Chambers to receive funding include Nambour, Yandina, Eumundi, Noosa, Caloundra and Marooychydore.

Quotes attributed to Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer:

“Running a business can be very rewarding but it can also take its toll on the business owners and employees – when the business is under stress.

“Through the Chamber Wellness Program we’re equipping local chambers with the skills and resources to tailor mental health wellness initiatives to local small business owners and operators in their region.

“This is another important part of the Queensland Government’s $8.76 million Small Business Wellness package which is creating meaningful change to the wellness of our business communities. Programs through the package include the appointment of six specialist business wellness coaches across Queensland where they are needed most (Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, North Brisbane, South Brisbane, Toowoomba).

” Each coach has up to 28 clients at any one time. Interactions with those clients each month can range from physical visits, telephone support as well as support to access other services. Some clients may not need much support for the duration of the engagement with a coach and others will need intensive assistance requiring multiple hours of work.”

Quotes attributed to Business Chamber Queensland CEO Heidi Cooper:

“We know mental health and wellness is a significant priority for Queensland businesses and their workforces with many businesses identifying mental health as a significant issue for workforces going forward.

“It’s why the Chamber Wellness Program is such an important asset for chambers across the state and also the local business communities and workforces which rely on them.

“This Program means chambers can take positive steps to look after, connect and support their business community.

“Local chambers have a really important role to play in their business communities and we’re so pleased to work with the Queensland Government to empower chambers to promote positive mental health and wellbeing among businesses in every part of Queensland.”

To find out more about the Business Chamber Queensland’s Business Wellness Program visit Business Wellness Program » Business Chamber Queensland (businesschamberqld.com.au)      

To find out more about the Small Business Wellness and Support Package visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/support/wellbeing


Media contact:

Gary Shipway 0458 090 906 (Minister Farmer’s office)

Emma Clarke 0403 944 902 (Business Chamber Queensland)


About the $8.76 million Small Business Wellness Package

  • The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) has partnered with the Queensland Mental Health Commission, the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport, Business Chamber Queensland (BCQ) and the Queensland Small Business Commissioner to develop the Small Business Wellness Package. The Queensland Mental Health Commission is contributing $1.21 million to the project to extend the Wellness Coaches for a further year to 30 June 2025 and undertake an independent evaluation of the package.
  • The Small Business Wellness Package is available for small businesses and includes:
    • access to a $3 million Small Business Support Services Fund to assist small business owners to address stresses such as cash flow, financial planning and minor works.
    • the appointment of six specialist business wellness coaches across Queensland where they are needed most (Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, North Brisbane, South Brisbane, Toowoomba).
    • the Brisbane Chamber Queensland Business Wellness Program to help chambers support small businesses in their community with their mental health and wellness. The Business Wellness Program provides coordinated promotion of support services, triage points for small businesses needing assistance, and prompts for chambers to design their own support initiative and is available for chambers from www.businesschamberqld.com.au.
    • the Chamber Wellness Fund grant program is providing a great opportunity for chambers of commerce across Queensland to implement their own mental health and wellbeing pilot program or event in their local area. With $150,000 available, chambers have applied for up to $5,000 in funding to deliver their programs. Successful applicants will be notified on 28 April 2023.