Funding doubled for struggling QLD ECEC businesses through interest-free loans
The Queensland Government has secured an additional $500 million in funding for its program of 12-month interest-free loans for COVID19-affected businesses, including those operating in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) space, doubling the initial commitment.
Through the injection of additional funds, Queensland Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said, thousands of businesses, and “tens of thousands” of Queensland jobs would be supported.
To be administered through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA), and provided through the Queensland Investment Corporation, the 12-month interest-free loans, of up to $250,000, have “overwhelmingly” been taken up by businesses who don’t pay payroll tax, Mr Furner said, adding that 86 per cent of loans recipients fall below the $1.3 million wage threshold.
The number of applications for the $500 million program of 12-month interest-free loans up to $250,000 meant it was oversubscribed when applications closed on 18 April, he added.
“By working with the Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), we’ve been able to provide an additional $500 million to fund these loans,” Mr Furner said.
“QIC’s reputation as an internationally-renowned investment manager gives us the ability to access funding in ways that other jurisdictions might not be able to do.”
He commended QRIDA for its work in delivering the funding, as well as its established track record of helping Queenslanders in their hour of need.
Traditionally, QRIDA has been responding to cyclone, drought, or other natural disasters, Mr Furner said.
“The scale and complexity of what they have been able to deliver in a short period of time has helped protect the jobs of tens of thousands of Queenslanders,” he added, saying that moving forward, QRIDA will also provide free access to business advisory services for business who submitted a formal application but were unsuccessful in securing funding.
The additional loan funding takes the value of COVID-19 measures committed to support Queenslanders’ health and Queensland households, jobs and businesses to over $6 billion.
More information about the COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan Scheme can be found by contacting QRIDA via [email protected] or freecall 1800 623 946.