Undeniably, many small businesses have been hit hard by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. To help them bounce back, the Queensland Government is extending the “Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program” as part of Queensland’s Economic Recovery Strategy.

With up to $100 million being made available in the second round of grants, this program aims to support small businesses subject to closure or profoundly impacted by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Half of this funding is allocated specially for regional small businesses located outside of South East Queensland (SEQ), and the second round is scheduled to open on 1st of July, 2020.

The program is available to eligible SEQ businesses and regional businesses throughout Queensland. You are considered “regional” if your primary area of business is any local government area within Queensland that’s not identified as SEQ. Since the focus of this program is to help severely impacted businesses, you need to meet specific qualifications. For example, you need to demonstrate a minimum of 30% decline from 23 March 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.  You must also employ staff and have fewer than 20 employees when applying for the grant—the payroll from which should be less than $1.3 million. There should also be an annual turnover of over $75,000 for the 2018–19 or 2019–20 financial year. There are more eligibility requirements stated in the Queensland Government website, so you better check it out first.

The available grant amount is a minimum of $2,000 and up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business.  Once you obtain the grant money, you can use it towards building the business through marketing and communications activities. Use it to create better sites with improved capabilities to market and sell online.

With up to $10,000, you can have a more cohesive online content and more effective social media presence, which can help you quickly recover from the financial damage of the pandemic. You can use it to develop your digital/technological strategy and train your employees to adapt to the online platform. There’s also the additional option for specialised digital equipment or business-specific software for you to move business operations online.

Due to the high demand for this grant, the funding round may only be open only for a short period. Many businesses are expected to apply, so funding allocation will likely be exhausted quickly, and the applications will close then. Since Regional Queensland and South East Queensland have independent funding allocations, the second round may close at different times in these areas. 

To apply, check your eligibility first using the tool that the Queensland Government provided in their site. Read more as well on the application guidelines, frequently asked questions (FAQs), and application tips. You need to prepare your application and supporting documents when round 2 opens so that you can quickly apply. You have to remember that slots fill up fast.  After round 2 begins, return to the Queensland government site to lodge an online application.

For more information and complete details regarding the application, check the Queensland Government website.