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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

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Small business grants coming to Far North Queensland

Small businesses in regional Queensland have another chance to receive funding support thanks to Round Two of the State Government’s Business Basics Grants Program.

Selected eligible businesses will receive $5,000 to put towards marketing, training, website builds and upgrades, professional business advice or business continuity and succession.

The program’s second round provides a $5 million top up to the existing Business Basics Grants, with applications for Round 2 open from September 8.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Di Farmer said the grants are delivering on the Queensland Government’s commitment in the COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan to back small businesses.

“The hugely popular Business Basics grant was launched on May 31, and as we had acted on the feedback from my Small Business Roadshow and shared details and an example application form in advance, we received thousands of applications very quickly,” said Minister Farmer.

“While it was fantastic that there were so many people ready to go with strong applications, the last round was oversubscribed and so it’s running again with a focus on regional Queensland.”

Member for Cairns Michael Healy said the money for this round of grants was coming from an existing program that is no longer in demand, the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grants program.

“The COVID-19 adaptation grants were for regional small businesses that have had a 30 per cent decline in revenue for at least a month due to the pandemic, and thanks to our strong economic recovery, businesses are just not meeting that criteria anymore,” Mr Healy said.

“Applications have been falling since around September last year, and over the last month that’s reduced even further.

“We promised this money for the regions and we are committed to it staying in the regions, and that’s why we’re redirecting the funds to a regional round of Business Basics so that we can provide the type of support Cairns small businesses are looking for right now.”

Weipa-based company, Heartland Helicopters, was one of the businesses to receive money in the first round of Business Basics that opened earlier this year.

Owner and pilot Bevan Duke said the $5,000 grant will allow the young business to develop its first website to reach a wider market and attract more customers to its range of services.

“I started the business late last year and bought the helicopter six months ago, and the business has grown through word of mouth and phone contacts, so with the website we are expecting the business to really take off,” Bevan said.

“The grant will help promote the full range of services, from customised scenic tours and heli-fishing for barramundi to mustering and aerial culling, search and rescue and wet season transfers.”

Applications for this round of the Business Basics Grants Program will be competitively assessed, with Round 2 closing when enough applications have been received to carry out the competitive assessment.

Connect // business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/business-basics-grant

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