The Australian Government has committed more than $4.7 million to provide small regional businesses affected by coronavirus with access to free and confidential financial counselling.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Rural Financial Counselling Service could support hundreds of regional small businesses including those in Cairns and Far North Queensland.
“This announcement is another step forward in regional Australia’s economic recovery from this pandemic, with more investment in industries and businesses hardest hit,” Mr McCormack said.
“The service will also create jobs for small business financial counsellors and support workers.
“This builds on our previously announced support for regional aviation and air freight, export industries, the arts industry and tourism businesses.”
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the initiative demonstrated the Morrison Government’s commitment to the future of regional communities.
He said the funding would help eligible small businesses access the immediate advice and assistance they need to keep afloat and navigate the road to recovery.
“This is crucial support and I know how valuable it will be to many local small businesses across Cairns and Far North Queensland,” Mr Entsch said.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and we know that many are struggling and trying desperately to recover.
“This measure is designed to ensure that businesses remain resilient through the COVID-19 downturn and are able to rebound when normal trading conditions resume.
Federal Small and Family Business Minister Senator Michaelia Cash said the funding is part of the government’s focus on keeping businesses viable, Australians in jobs and supporting the national economy.
“We have more than 3.5 million small businesses across the country, they are the backbone of our economy and a key part of our COVID-19 recovery,” Ms Cash said.
“This announcement builds on a comprehensive suite of existing support measures that encourage economic growth in impacted regions. I encourage all small business owners to reach out and take advantage of the range of initiatives on offer to assist them.”
The funding is part of the Morrison Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund which is delivering targeted assistance to regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus.
More information on the fund is available at: www.agriculture.gov.au/ag-farm-food/drought/assistance/rural-financial-counselling-service