On 17 March 2020, the Queensland Government announced two additional measures to assist Queensland business and the State economy in response to COVID-19 and these rapidly evolving times.
$500 million concessional loan facility
This will comprise loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period to support businesses and keep Queenslanders in work. It is expected that the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority will commence rolling out these loans shortly and more information will be available within a few days.
We will keep you updated on the roll out of this measure.
Payroll tax deferral
The initial 6-month payroll tax deferral for SME’s with an annual Australian wage bill of up to $6.5 million has now been extended to all affected businesses. Payroll tax returns do not have to be lodged or paid before 31 July 2020. The OSR will work with affected businesses to create repayment plans for the deferred tax liabilities.
Further details should be available in coming days.
Other measures amounting to $27.25 million previously announced:
Support for tourism operators and hospitality providers
- Registration fees will be waived for 12 months for tourism operators (for fees paid since 1 February 2020) who register a business that sells Qld tourism packages wholesale/retail to overseas purchasers – Government Initiative $24,750
- Commercial tourism operators will receive the waiver of daily passenger fees which are incurred for each passenger (over 5 years of age) transported to a protected area, including Green Island Recreation Area, for the period 1 February 2020 to 31 July 2020 – Queensland Government Initiative $2,578,788
- Operators with tourism leases from the Queensland Government will receive a deferral of lease rent payments (until 1 January 2021). For invoices already sent for Q1 2010 that were due on 1 March 2020 will be adjusted to 1 January 2021 – Queensland Government Initiative $64,300
- Ports North is providing a relief package for relevant tourism operators which includes a 100% rebate on marina fees for existing commercial (tourism) and reef operators from 1 February 2020 and a freeze on Cairns Marlin Marina Schedule of Charges for commercial operators at the Marlin marina until January 2023. Those eligible include:
Marine tourism industry operators
- Operators using the Cairns Marlin Marina
- Land-side retail/food and beverage businesses
- Tourism operators who access Green Island – Queensland Government Initiative $3.05 million
- All liquor licensees will have their fees waived for application to change trading hours or the area to which the licence operates (for those who have paid the application fee since 1 February 2020). The fee waiver will apply until 31 July 2020 – Queensland Government Initiative $95,828
Support for fisheries
The fishery area for the tropical rock lobster fishery will be expanded for 3 months to reduce operating costs for quota holders. Other assistance includes:
- Waive fishing boat licence fees and quota fees
- Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Program
- Small business financial resilience workshops
- Business mentoring for small business
Support for international education and training sector
- Student counselling and support ($1 million) for 12 months
- Study Queensland and its partners will increase the availability of student support and welfare services
- Additional counselling services in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and cairns student hubs to provide more support staff and case managers
- A pop-up student hub to be opened in Brisbane
- International education and training marketing campaign ($2 million)
- Ensuring students are aware of services, events and experience opportunities
- Promote Queensland as an education and training destination for all students
Business support programs
- Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ) will strengthen Queensland’s export brand in China by running a new e-commerce initiative to fast track a cohort of exporters to enter the Chinese marketplace
- TIQ will provide tailored advice to exporters and sectors around international export options and provide funding support for exporters looking to enter new markets to finalise an export deal, based on:
- Market intelligence
- Expert advice
- Go Global Grants ($5,000 to $25,000 – Round 2 from 29 February to 17 April 2020 and Round 3 from 18 April 2020 to 29 May 2020)
It is likely additional measures will be announced in the future as the coronavirus crisis continues to change almost daily and governments continue look to assist business and jobs.