Tourism and hospitality businesses in Queensland may be eligible for new governments grants of up to AUD$50,000 as part of a new round of funding available to help operations continuing to be hit hard by ongoing border restrictions.
The grants are part of a new AUD$40 million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Hardship Program introduced by the Queensland Government as part of a larger AUD$600 million economic recovery plan for the state overall.
Funds are on offer to businesses in an effort to help preserve jobs, with three different levels of grants depending on the size of the applicant’s payroll. To be eligible, businesses must be open, located in and operated in Queensland, must be solvent and employing at least one full-time worker and able to demonstrate a revenue loss of 70% or more over a seven-day period between 1 July and 30 September 2021 compared to the same period in any of the last three financial years.
Queensland Tourism Minister, Stirling Hinchliffe, said the program builds on existing support to tourism operators across the state who are doing it tough due to interstate lockdowns.
“Up to 85 per cent of Queensland’s interstate visitors come from New South Wales and Victoria,” Minister Hinchliffe said.
“With the Federal Government, we’ve designed financial assistance to help tourism and hospitality operators retain skills and stay in business once vaccinations are in arms and the lockdowns end.”
The funds have been welcomed by industry leaders across the state, with Destination Gold Coast CEO, Patricia O’Callaghan, saying the industry’s calls for government support are being heard.
“We know this measure is a significant step forward in financially supporting our 4,600 tourism businesses whose bottom line is hurting right now.”
Tourism Tropical North Queensland Chairman, Ken Chapman, added the Far North was experiencing its worst bookings for a school holiday period since the pandemic began.
“Without travellers from New South Wales and Victoria, and with consumer confidence at an all-time low, this will give employers and employees a much-needed temporary reprieve from a dire financial situation,” Chapman said.