LNP leader calls for business support

LNP leader David Crisafulli in Noosa on Tuesday. Photo: Rob Maccoll

Queensland Government Opposition Leader LNP’s David Crisafulli visited Noosa on Tuesday ahead of the COVID lockdown to say it was time small business owners had a support package from State Government during a lockdown.

“People are crying out for certainty,“ he said. Mr Crisafulli said he had just spoken to a cafe owner at Cooroy who had $1000 in perishables in his store that he would have to destroy if the government called a lockdown.

He said a support package would make a big difference especially in service and tourism industries and it was something other state governments were providing to small business.

CCIQ echoed the Opposition Leader’s sentiments calling for COVID-19 Hotspot Recovery packages to support small business in lockdown

CCIQ is calling for payments of up to $25,000 for affected businesses to cover loss of stock and trade and support the reinstatement of business operations after the package was first proposed during the March greater Brisbane lockdown.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland policy and advocacy general manager Amanda Rohan said unpredicted lockdowns and restricted business activity would inevitably create challenges for businesses including significant long-term recovery issues.

Ms Rohan said businesses needed targeted support to cover their losses and give certainty during a lockdown, similar to support already provided to COVID-impacted businesses in Victoria and Western Australia.

“This is the third lockdown for Queensland businesses and the second without a support package in place after JobKeeper eneded,”Ms Rohan said.

“We know the immediacy of a snap lockdown creates significant operational issues for businesses forced to close, and can take a significant amount of time for businesses to recoup or in some cases even maintain an ability to stay in business.”

A survey of businesses during Queensland’s last lockdown in March showed average expected business losses from a three-day lockdown could amount to $65,000 for medium sized businesses.

Even smaller businesses expected a three-day lock down could cost them on average $12,000 to $58,000.

“Half of those surveyed called for a nationally consistent framework to support business planning and certainty, while nine in 10 businesses expected a loss of revenue due to booking cancellations and ongoing implications on consumer confidence to impact their revenue,” Ms Rohan said.

“We’re calling on Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer to support business and the proposed package which is aimed at providing a safety net for businesses as well as certainty and support to continue.