Queensland small businesses impacted by COVID-19 are set to receive an additional $100 million in support to help them recover.

The Queensland Government is extending the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program. As part of Stage 2 of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy – Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, up to $100 million is being made available to deliver a second round of grants, with half of this funding specifically earmarked for regional small businesses located outside of South East Queensland.

Round 2 will open on 1 July 2020.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said a second round of the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption grants of up to $10,000 would be made available from next month to help more small businesses survive and maintain and grow their staffing levels.

“Our small business community has spoken, and we have listened and responded as part of the second stage of our Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Round one of the Small Business grants received an overwhelming response.

“In the second round, we are prioritising regional areas and allocating half of the funding to support small businesses in regional Queensland.”

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the plan is about supporting our small businesses to create more jobs for Queenslanders.

“Small business owners, including those who had expressed interest in the first round, are encouraged to prepare the required documentation in readiness for grant applications opening on July 1,” Ms Fentiman said.

“They should read the eligibility guidelines now to ensure they have all the documentation ready to submit their application.

“First round grants have been approved for businesses right across the state from the south-east corner to the Douglas Shire in the far north and west to Goondiwindi and Longreach.

“The upfront grants of up to $10,000 will assist those small businesses forced into hibernation, to restructure, significantly change their business operations or move online.”

The objective of this program is to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions announced by the Queensland Government, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience.

The program aims to see small and micro businesses:

  • prepare for the safe resumption of trading in the post COVID-19 recovery
  • continue to meet operating costs
  • access digital technologies to rebuild business operations and transition to a new way of doing business
  • respond to online opportunities, where possible, to sustain employment and maintain potential for longer-term growth
  • upskill and reskill business owners and staff to benefit from new technologies or business models
  • embrace business diversification to adapt and sustain operations
  • create or retain employment.

Regional and SEQ funding available

The program is available to eligible businesses throughout Queensland. For round 2, funding is being equally divided between regional Queensland and South East Queensland (SEQ).

South East Queensland businesses

When applying for round 2, you are a South East Queensland (SEQ) business if your principal place of business is located in 1 of the following local government areas:

  • Brisbane City Council
  • City of Gold Coast
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redlands City Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • Toowoomba Regional Council.

Regional businesses

You are a ‘regional business’ if your principal place of business is any other local government areas within Queensland that is not identified as a SEQ location.

Use the eligibility tool to find out if your business is in SEQ or a regional local government area.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible, your business must:

  • have been subject to closure or otherwise highly impacted by current shutdown restrictions announced by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer on 23 March 2020
  • demonstrate you have experienced a minimum 30% decline since 23 March 2020, over a minimum 1-month period due to the onset and management of COVID-19
  • employ staff and have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant (employees must be on your payroll and does not include the business owner(s))
  • have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) active as at 23 March 2020
  • be registered for GST
  • have a Queensland headquarters
  • have an annual turnover over $75,000 for the 2018–19 or 2019–20 financial year, or you can provide financial records that show this will be met for recently started small businesses
  • have a payroll of less than $1.3 million
  • not be insolvent or have owners or directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

Only 1 application per round will be accepted from an individual ABN or a financial beneficiary of a business.

Successful applicants from round 1 of this program cannot apply for funding under round 2.

If you have submitted a round 1 application but haven’t heard back yet, you are eligible to apply for round 2.

Use the eligibility tool below to find out if your business is eligible to apply.

Read the frequently asked questions for more information regarding eligibility.

What will be funded

The available grant amount is a minimum of $2,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business.

In recognition of the significant impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, the funding can be used towards the following:

  • financial, legal or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification
  • continuing to meet business operational costs including utilities, council rates, rent, telecommunication charges, insurance fees, licensing or franchise fees
  • strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching aligned to business development and diversification
  • building the business through marketing and communications activities (e.g. content development – web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.)
  • digital/technological strategy development
  • digital training or re-training and up-skilling employees to adapt to new business models
  • capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 safety requirements
  • specialised digital equipment or business specific software to move business operations online (e.g. logistics program for online ordering).

Note: Grant funds can be used towards any of the above activities occurring from 23 March 2020 onwards, keeping in mind the project must be completed within a maximum of 6 months from the date of approval.

What won’t be funded

Non-eligible activities

All invoices or quotes from suppliers will be checked to determine if they are genuine (e.g. supplier has as active ABN and the invoices or quotes have not been altered in any way).

Applying small and micro businesses must meet the eligibility and assessment criteria to be considered for funding.

How to apply

Round 2 will open on 1 July 2020

This funding round may only be open for a short period due to demand and will close when the funding allocation is anticipated to be exhausted.

Regional Queensland and South East Queensland will have independent funding allocations and may close at different times.

Get ready to apply by completing the following steps.

  1. Check your eligibility to:
    • find out if you are eligible to apply for round 2
    • confirm your business location
    • subscribe to be alerted when round 2 opens.
  2. Read the application guidelinesfrequently asked questions (FAQs) and application tips.
  3. Prepare your application and supporting documentation ready to submit when round 2 opens.
  4. After round 2 opens, return here to lodge an online application (only available after the round opens).

Assessment process

In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, applications will be assessed against the following:

  • funding availability – applications will be processed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and therefore not all applications will be successful
  • submission of a complete application form, with all requested supporting documentation included
  • value for money, as determined by the Queensland Government.

Grant payments

Funding will be paid upon approval of your grant application. Applicants will have 6 months to complete their projects and must acquit the total amount of funding received.

Grant recipients may be subjected to a random audit by the Queensland Government (or its representatives) to ensure that the information provided is true and correct. Where it is found that false or misleading information has been provided, penalties may apply, including refunding some or all of the grant funding.

Click here to check your eligibility or contact us on 0414 015 209 for any assistance

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