$250 million for small biz

Funding recognises pressure on business with package to address cost challenges

THE State Government has announced a new $250 million initiative to support Queensland’s small business sector.
Launched at the Queensland Small Business Friendly Conference in Cairns last week the Queensland Small Business Strategy aims to address operational cost pressures and economic challenges over the next three years.
The new strategy seeks to sustain small business growth through a variety of support measures, including direct grants, free financial counselling, and wellness coaching.
These services will be available statewide to help small business owners navigate financial challenges and improve their operations.
The strategy also focuses on maximising procurement and supply chain opportunities for over 200,000 small businesses in sectors such as construction, technical professions, and real estate.
Minister for Employment and Small Business Lance McCallum said the strategy aligns with Queensland’s extensive infrastructure projects in housing, energy, hospitals, schools, and transport.
Key initiatives of the strategy include simplifying procurement processes, introducing a small business action plan, and appointing a dedicated Small Business Procurement Advisor. Additional investments will be made in cybersecurity, safer retail precincts, and continuing successful grant programs. There will also be expanded mentoring and upskilling opportunities for Indigenous businesses and free training under the Free TAFE program to ensure workers have the necessary skills. Mr McCallum said the strategy will address key challenges such as operating costs and skill development.
“This plan will enable small businesses to innovate, adapt, and thrive,” he said.
“We can thank small businesses – our local tradies, hairdressers, and cafe owners – for growing our economy and supporting our regions and local communities.”
The strategy is expected to benefit over 480,000 small businesses and support more than a million jobs. Business Chamber Queensland chief executive officer, Heidi Cooper, said the initiative provided practical solutions to current challenges and preparing businesses for future opportunities.
“It is an important time for business in Queensland and it is essential that small businesses are supported to meet current day challenges while also ensuring the state’s business community has the confidence it needs to capitalise on the opportunities ahead in our state,” she said. 
Queensland Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb also supported the continuation of the Small Business Financial Counsellors program and regional activation initiatives.