COVID-19 Update: Lockdown Ending

Thursday 1 April, 2021

The Queensland Government announcement of the Greater Brisbane lockdown ending today is positive for QLD businesses, but the impact has already been felt across our state, and further relief supports are crucial for the longer-term health of Queensland’s business economy.

Now that stimulus packages have ended, the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIQ) see an immediate need for a government relief package to support businesses who are forced to close or have had their business activity heavily impacted in declared hotspot areas.

In a CCIQ survey of businesses this week, small and medium enterprises report they expected to lose between $12,00 to $65,000 due to loss of stock and trade across the three-day lockdown.

With uncertainty driving down business confidence and consumer behaviour, the survey data shows 50% of businesses are calling for a recovery package and a nationally consistent framework for hotspot closures that allows businesses to forward plan.

Without the safety net of JobKeeper, CCIQ’s general manager of advocacy and policy, Amanda Rohan, said what is needed now is a state government package of support for businesses who are forced to close in hotspot areas.

CCIQ is calling on the Government to implement a proposed COVID-10 Hotspot Recovery Package that could be implemented efficiently to provide grants and funding to hotspot affected businesses.

“Now is the time for targeted support for businesses to cover their losses. This could be a mechanism similar to the disaster recovery arrangement that exists when environmental disasters hit out state, a diverse range of funding release measures including financial assistance.’’

 ‘’Businesses don’t have a safety net anymore, which will be an ongoing issue until Queensland’s vaccination program rolls out or businesses in hotspot locations will no longer be restricted in their ability to trade.”

“Targeted support for businesses to cover their losses, at the least, is needed to give certainty and support to businesses in declared hotspot areas to see their business through a period of restricted business activity, along with clear communication of the safety nets available.” 

“In light of these measures rescinding, it is crucial for the state government to create a recovery package for businesses who are forced to close in declared hotspot areas, and CCIQ will be advocating for this on behalf of our members.”

“What will be essential though, is clear communication of expectations and requirements so businesses are aware of the current conditions and know what support they can rely on.”

CCIQ is committed to working with the government to ensure businesses are supported and informed on the current and changing conditions which will affect them.