Queensland businesses given COVID reprieve but there is still work to do

Queensland businesses given COVID reprieve but there is still work to do

Queensland businesses impacted during the fourth lockdown this year have access to payments of $5,000 to help them pay staff and ongoing bills and help them get back to business as soon as possible.

Expected to be announced today, the Queensland Government support payments come after Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ) has been calling for a lockdown hotspot package since the March greater Brisbane lockdown.

Queensland businesses endured two lockdowns this year without a package in place.

CCIQ Policy and Advocacy General Manager Amanda Rohan said the payments were an especially welcome relief for businesses who were forced to close their doors or significantly reduce their trading capacity as a result of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, as well as those outside lockdown hotspots, however there was still work to do support those more heavily impacted.

“While many businesses will be in lockdown for the fourth time this year, there is some relief with the government coming to the party with these $5,000 payments for not only those in hotspots but businesses across the state who are able to prove lockdowns impacted their viability,” Ms Rohan said.

“We welcome the acknowledgement of the financial and emotional impact a lockdown can have on business owners, not only for the duration of a lockdown but beyond when restrictions ease. For that reason, we need to see a long-term recovery plan for businesses to help them get back to businesses when lockdowns end.

“It’s also important to acknowledge the same as a lockdown can impact business and consumer confidence outside a hotspot, supporting those business forced to close can go a long way in helping the broader Queensland economy recover.

“We have been calling for a support package since March and after businesses endured two lockdowns without support in place. These payments are a lockdown lifeline we and the business community welcome.”

Ms Rohan said businesses still needed to know details on how they were able to access the assistance and what information or supporting documentation they needed to apply so they were able to access the payments quickly and efficiently.

“We know the payments can support businesses to pay ongoing bills and overheads during a lockdown, maintain their commitment to staff who rely on them and support them and in getting back to business as soon as possible,” Ms Rohan said.

“What we need now is for business to have timely, efficient and effective access to these payments to ensure they’re able to maximise the potential for the package to make a meaningful impact where it’s needed most.

“Businesses have waited a long time for this lockdown support and they can’t financially or emotionally afford to wait any longer.”

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