Redland City Council has welcomed State Government financial support for small and medium businesses impacted by the current south-east Queensland lockdown.
Mayor Karen Williams said the $5000 State Government grants were a good start and a welcome addition to initiatives Council had already implemented to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 during the past 19 months.
“It is important for all levels of government to step in and do what they can to help small businesses during times of crisis,” Cr Williams said.
“They not only create jobs for residents, they also help grow the local economy and provide essential goods and services.
“When our local businesses suffer, our economy suffers and a lot of people’s livelihoods are put at stake.
“While it is impossible to completely remove the burden this pandemic is having on Redlands Coast, Council remains committed to doing what it can to continue supporting our businesses.”
Cr Williams said that, in addition to providing increased flexibility in many regulatory requirements, Council had provided a substantial amount of support through the delivery of advice to local businesses.
“Council support services have effectively triaged business information needs by helping point to relevant support, with a number of business inquiries seeking information on Federal and State government economic stimulus packages,” she said.
“In July 2020 Council also provided grants totalling almost $260,000 to 81 local businesses to help them access professional advice services or to restructure their operations – as part of a $2 million COVID-19 social and economic assistance package.”
Cr Williams said Council was also giving preference to local suppliers, had strengthened fast-track payments to businesses, and provided businesses with COVID business resource kits.
“Council continues to facilitate and deliver capacity building opportunities through business workshops and webinars, upskilling and training opportunities for workers, and the provision of regular COVID 19 updates that facilitate access to up-to-date information and grant opportunities.”
Cr Williams said Council had also implemented initiatives to help local tourism operators recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
“This includes the development and delivery of destination marketing tourism campaigns, the delivery of crisis ready workshops to help operators deal with crises such as pandemics, and an industry workshop focusing on enhancing customer service and consumer confidence.
“Council also supports community events impacted by the pandemic through access to COVID-19 safe events resources, event management masterclasses, an event supplier register and help with rescheduling events.
“An important message I want to give our residents is to buy local to support our businesses. My message to our businesses is that Council is here to help in any way we can.”
Redlands Coast Chamber of Commerce president Rebecca Young said she welcomed the continued support of Council.
“This time last year where Queensland experienced a lengthy lockdown the Chamber congratulated Redland City Council for the cash grants they facilitated to the local business community,” Ms Young said.
“They were one of very few councils in Queensland to facilitate cash grants for business during this time.
“Since those grants, the Chamber has seen Council continue to support business with activities such as workshops, the Aspire Careers Expo and the COVID recovery economic development taskforce.
“The Council also acknowledges the ongoing support the Chamber provides to the business community by ensuring we work in collaboration.
“Through the ongoing actions of Council through its economic development activities and support of the Chamber of Commerce, it is evident that Council has focused on supporting sustainable business post cash grants and will continue to do so in support of the welcomed grants from the Queensland Government.”