Businesses clean up on Covid

Businessman Ralph Rogers and Mayor Clare Stewart. Photo: Rob Maccoll

Noosa’s Business Roundtable is calling it a win for local business after successfully lobbying the State Government for a Covid-19 cleaning rebate.

The Treasurer has announced $20 million in funding to help the business sector as part of a total $70 million business rescue package.

Council’s Acting Director of Sustainable Development Anthony Dow initiated a sub-committee of the Noosa Business roundtable to gauge ways in how council could provide immediate support to the business community during the lockdown.

Sub-committee member and Interim President of the Noosa Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ralph Rogers flagged the idea of urgent funding for COVID deep cleans at a discussion last week.

“This was something our committee on behalf of members felt strongly about, it’s unfair a business that is adversely affected at a time they need help gets stuck with the cost and management of appropriate deep cleaning,” he said.

It was one of several initiatives raised by Mayor Clare Stewart during a Zoom meeting with South-East Queensland Mayors and State Treasurer Cameron Dick.

“It’s fantastic that the idea was well received by the Treasurer and other mayors,” she said.

“Our Business Roundtable members work extremely hard to identify workable solutions during this pandemic and it’s a credit to them that we have managed to get a result from the Queensland Government,” Cr Stewart said.

Mr Rogers applauded the collaborative approach.

“It’s easy to come up with the ideas, but equally important is having the civic leader who can successfully lobby the local cause,” he said.

Mr Rogers said the new measures would deliver immediate help to many local operators.

“This funding will certainly help ease the financial burden on them and assist them at a time they most need it,” Mr Rogers said.

Noosa MP Sandy Bolton welcomed the extra assistance that has just been announced.

“This last four weeks has been an intense time in lobbying for not only financial assistance for our small businesses, but greater clarity and surety regarding any potential future lockdowns, which we are still waiting on” she said.

“The deferral of fees to our hospitality and tourism sector will assist, however again, our businesses need compensation for every day’s loss of trade and perishables during lockdowns.

“The deep clean rebate was much needed, and thanks go to our Business Roundtable and Mayor Clare for targeting, as well the ongoing broader list of needs that are being fought for on behalf of our community in response to Covid-19 and its impacts.“

Cr Stewart said working together was the only way forward.

“We need to listen to our business community and work with them to get through this challenging period,” Cr Stewart said.