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GCCI CALLS FOR ADDITIONAL HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The Gladstone Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) has called out for additional help for local small businesses that will have a more immediate approach against the fallout from COVID-19.

GCCI President Joe Smith said: “We are in very uncertain times with many local businesses already feeling the economic effects from COVID 19.   It is now more important than ever that we come together as a community and work to get through these unprecedented and difficult times.”

“There are several stimulus packages and concessions that have been announced by Federal and State Governments which we welcome such as the tax free payments up to $25,000 for employers, increased instant asset write off thresholds, wages incentives relating to apprentices & trainees, interest free loans and payroll tax concessions.”

“While these items are welcome, I believe that we need more in the way of stimulus which will have a more immediate effect on assisting businesses with their cash flow.”

GCCI has written to Glenn Butcher MP, Ken O’Dowd MP and Mayor Matt Burnett to ask for their support in lobbying for additional stimulus that can directly assist businesses in the Gladstone Region that are dealing with the devastating effects of COVID-19.

Cash flow is one of the major issues for small businesses.  GCCI proposes that a freeze on loan and credit card repayments (and interest), both business and personal, would also give businesses and employees some breathing space to survive the tough times ahead.  While banks are offering ‘holidays ’on loan repayments they will still charge interest and businesses will be worse off in the long term.

“I also believe that a moratorium on insolvency proceedings relating to the current situation may also give business owners a safety net that could help them keep their businesses operating.”

An additional idea that was brought forth from GCCI, was to subsidise hotels & motels who provide accommodation to people who need to self-isolate. Paperless vouchers could be given to these self-isolating or working from home who could order in food from local restaurants and cafes.

“This would help the hospitality and accommodation sectors in continuing operations as well as deal with the current shortages of some food items in the supermarkets.  This would be a better alternative than providing cash handouts that are not guaranteed to be spent in the way intended to boost the economy.”

Many local businesses are experiencing a sharp reduction in activity as a result of COVID-19. Assistance with managing cash flow is critical in times like these.

GCCI encourages all levels of Government to continue its support for the business community during this challenging time.

MEDIA INFORMATION: For further information contact GCCI on 0448 333 121 or email mail@gcci.com.au

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