The announcement of one-off grants for small and family businesses could’ve been strengthened and ready to go today if the State Government hadn’t ignored calls from the Opposition to prepare for a lockdown.
On more than 100 occasions in Parliament, media conferences and on our small and family business roadshow, the LNP has called for a lockdown support package that included lockdown payments.
Today’s announcement that the $5000 grants (available for only 1 in 9 Queensland businesses) will take a fortnight to rollout and has no ability to be tailored to individual needs is disappointing.
Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli says sole traders who turn over less than $75,000 can’t access a cent and larger businesses that might need a little extra to help with cash flow don’t have the ability to state their case.
“Perhaps most concerning is there has been no work done in preparing the framework to get this money out the door with the Treasurer saying it’ll take two week just to open applications,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“It seems the only person surprised by the lockdown is the Treasurer who has resisted our calls to have a package ready to go for exactly this situation.
“We will continue to fight for Queenslanders and put positive suggestions forward to give certainty in uncertain times.
“There must be a sliding scale of financial support to suit different sized businesses.
“Rebates must be made available for deep cleaning cover for any business that has been listed as an exposure site.”
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Businesses Brent Mickelberg says a strong support package should have been prepared for when lockdown was announced on Saturday.
“While we welcome the one-off grants, a package should have been ready to go rather than being cobbled together during a lockdown.” Mr Mickelberg said.
“This is just policy on the run. My concern is that this will be a case of first come first serve. The businesses who need this most will miss out and this will be nothing more that the hunger games for small business.
“Small and family business owners should not have to live in fear of another lockdown.
“We know that the uncertainty of lockdowns is causing significant mental health issues for employers and their staff.
“Small and family businesses need clarity on what assistance will be offered to them to keep their doors open and staff employed as well as provide the support for mental wellness they need.”