Queensland businesses afforded certainty they have been pleading for months

Queensland businesses afforded certainty they have been pleading for months

Tourism and hospitality businesses planning their COVID restriction and lockdown recovery have today been offered some of the certainty and support they have been desperate for all year.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has been calling for support measures similar to those offered in the first lockdown in 2020 to be reinstated to support the state’s business economy alongside business and consumer confidence to recover from the impacts of four snap lockdowns this year.

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said the acknowledgement of businesses outside lockdown hotspots and the flow-on impacts they suffered was especially welcome.

“Businesses across Queensland have been telling us all year the uncertainty which comes with snap lockdowns hits business and consumer confidence hard, both inside and outside lockdown hotspots,” Ms Rohan said.

“These businesses are financially and emotionally exhausted and many are telling us they fear this lockdown will be their last.

“Close to half of businesses we surveyed in the June quarter Pulse survey said they or their staff suffered mental health challenges due to COVID with more than 40% of businesses forced to contribute their own personal funds to keep their business afloat, on average more than $110,000.

“During the fourth lockdown last week we raised the alarm again for the need for broader support for business to be reconsidered, similar to measures offered in 2020, to give some confidence to those businesses who feared they wouldn’t survive with this lockdown and the uncertainty around future lockdowns.

“We know these things worked well last year and without them on the table again this year, businesses were struggling financially and emotionally.

“Businesses were telling us they needed permit and fee waivers, including liquor licensing fee waivers, payroll tax relief and disaster payments to help them survive the immediate impact of lockdowns but to also plan their long-term recovery.

“Today businesses were offered some of the much needed certainty and support with the government announcing payroll tax relief for tourism and hospitality business, an expansion of the business support grants to include larger tourism and hospitality businesses, a six month deferral of payroll tax, a range of fees for tourism and hospitality businesses waivered, refunded or deferred until June 2022, and a COVID cleaning rebate for exposure sites.

“These measurers are providing businesses with some certainty for the next six months.”

CCIQ in July renewed calls for liquor and gaming license fee relief and support to be reinstated after it ended when some businesses were still in lockdown.

“To know those businesses who have already paid the liquor licensing fees will be refund and fees waivered is a significant relief because we know the bottom line at pubs, clubs and restaurants across the state was impacted through lockdowns and restrictions,” Ms Rohan said.

Ms Rohan said the support would provide some welcome relief for tourism and hospitality businesses both in lockdown and locked out from markets in south east Queensland and other states but they needed details on what it meant for them.

“What businesses need now is details on eligibility, how and when to apply and what information they’ll need to have on hand to ensure they’re well placed to make the most of this support,” Ms Rohan said.

If you or someone you know needs help contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

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