Phillip Thompson welcomes extra interest-free loans for COVID-19-affected businesses
Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson has welcomed the State Labor Government putting right a major blow to local businesses in need of financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The State Government’s Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) closed applications for its 12-month interest free loans on April 18, simply because the $500-million allocation dried up.
Mr Thompson said he took the fight up to the Premier after receiving a barrage of messages and phone calls from distressed business owners who had been hopeful of obtaining the financial lifeline, only to find out that they were too late.
“This was another case of the State Labor Government leaving the Townsville business community high and dry while already at its knees,” Mr Thompson said.
“To simply close the door on applications because the need for loans exceeded the Government’s arbitrary $500-million limit beggars belief.
“Businesses in desperate need of cash have been forced to wait nervously for almost a month for news as to whether the loans would be made available again, and struggling to pay their bills in the meantime.
“I’m sure this extra funding will be a major benefit for many mum and dad operators in our city, and I call on the State Government to be generous in their application of the eligibility criteria to ensure the help reaches every corner of our community.”
The Federal Government has announced a raft of measures worth $320-billion to support the sector through the coronavirus crisis, including the $130-billion JobKeeper wage subsidy helping eligible businesses continue to pay their employees.