Dear Minister Farmer,
As the pandemic across the country worsens, governments must extend financial support to any person in Australia who needs it. With this in mind, we are writing to you to request that the Queensland Government reopen the COVID-19 Business Support Grants.
In both of our electorates, we have heard from constituents out of work due to isolation requirements or illness, small businesses having to close their doors, people struggling to find a job, and families unable to afford groceries.
Australian billionaires have doubled their wealth during the pandemic while big corporations, banks, and mining companies continue to make massive profits. In a wealthy country like ours, there is no reason why people should be struggling to buy food or pay rent.
In 2021, the Queensland Government provided COVID-19 Business Support Grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. At the time of writing, and to our current knowledge, there is currently no financial support from the Queensland Government for small businesses.
The Omicron wave has resulted in similar, and in some cases worse impacts on small businesses as the previous lockdowns. Staff shortages have rocked businesses, and sales have plummeted as people isolate and attempt to stay home as much as possible. The Brisbane City Council has provided some assistance by reducing fees and reducing complexity in maintaining licensing. But this still leaves businesses struggling with drastically reduced turnovers.
We urge the government to reopen applications for the COVID-19 Business Support Grants that were available in late 2021. Doing so will help take some of the pressure off small businesses.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail.
Member for South Brisbane
Member for Maiwar