Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 associated lockdown restrictions, support mechanisms have been announced at Federal and State level.
The Federal Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment financial support for workers will apply in all local government hotspots impacted by state health orders. Details of the package include $750 per week for workers who have lost more than 20 hours of work as a result of lockdown conditions, and $450 per week for those who lose between 8-20 hours of work. Applications for support will open Saturday 7 August 2021.
The Queensland State Government have announced a $260m Businesses Support package for businesses across the state. Small Businesses must demonstrate at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the restrictions which commenced on 31 July 2021. This consists of a $5,000 one-off payment for businesses with an annual turnover of more than $75,000 with an annual payroll of $10m or less. This is in addition to the Business Basics (Round 2) Regional Queensland, the guidelines of which will be released shortly.
Grants are also available for large businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector operating in the 11 local government areas in the lockdown, subject to meeting eligibility criteria.
Details of the package have been released on the Department's website. The guidelines and details of how to apply will be made available in coming weeks.
Some sole traders (with employees) will be eligible for the grants if they are not receiving, or are not eligible to receive income support through the Australian Government’s disaster payment. Non-employing sole traders may be eligible for support through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment with further information available on the Services Australia website shortly.
QSEC President Richard Warner is grateful for the support for businesses and workers from both State and Federal Governments as it assists them in managing an uncertain environment. It's our understanding that most social enterprises including not-for-profit, for-profit and many different sizes of enterprise will be supported through some of these initiatives. We are interested in hearing from members if their needs are not reflected so we can provide feedback.
"We know that there are sole-traders and micro-business, particularly in CALD and Indigenous communities who are doing it tough," he said, "and may face barriers in accessing these funds. Some of these micro-businesses are providing essential financial support for vulnerable families, and it is important we don’t allow them to fall through the cracks.”
QSEC is keen to understand your experience, and would welcome feedback to be able to advocate on your behalf.
CEO Elise Parups has asked for people to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to provide the information we need to request changes to funding or highlight concerns in special interest areas.
QSEC will continue to advocate for these marginal voices and work with all levels of government to help address potential gaps in the support mechanisms.