Industry support
  • Last updated:
  • 06 Jul 2020

There are a range of industry-specific measures to help you and your staff. We recommend you get in contact with your industry body both state and nationally to keep up to date with the specific assistance that caters to you.

The Federal Government's economic stimulus package has a fact sheet for specific COVID-19-affected regions and industries.

Approved COVID Safe Industry Plans

Any business or organisation that is in one of the listed industries is welcome to download and follow their approved COVID Safe Industry Plan and complete the Statement of Compliance to demonstrate you are undertaking best practice as a COVID Safe Business. From noon 3 July 2020, if the COVID Safe Business Framework applies to your industry or business you are required to operate in accordance with it.

Rental support 

Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies - Landlords will be required to reduce rents proportionate to the reduction in trade experienced by their tenants (if they are small to medium-sized retail, office and industrial businesses in distress) due to COVID-19. Rental relief would be proportional to a tenant’s decline in turnover and provided in two parts: (at least) 50% as a waiver and 50% as a deferral for payment over the remaining term of the lease.

Queensland Suppliers Database

A dedicated email – has been established as the point of contact for this new service. As enquiries are received from a company it will be registered, assessed and then assigned to the most appropriate area/agency to undertake some research. 

An Immediate industry recovery package has been announced, with market diversification and resilience grants are available for Queensland agriculture, food and fishing exporters and their critical supply chain partners, as well as industry organisations working with exporters. Market Diversification and Resilience Grants are available to help develop alternative markets.

Are you part of #TeamSunshineCoast and #MakingItForQLD? Tell the world! Whether you’re a manufacturer, meat processor, clothes designer, builder, baker or barista, showcase the work you’re doing! Post a photo or video on social media using the hashtags #MakingItForQLD #TeamSunshineCoast

Did you know sole traders are also eligible to apply for the $1500 per fortnight JobKeeper payments?  
JobKeeper package - a subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight. Sole traders can register their interest in this program with the Australian Tax Office. The JobKeeper Payment factsheet states the first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May. Registered charities are now able to access the JobKeeper COVID-19 wage subsidy if they experience a 15 per cent decline in turnover (reduced from the 30 per cent decline threshold currently in place for all businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or less). 

Overview of all Australian Government support available to Sole Traders - see this fact sheet.

The increased instant asset write-off – for sole traders and employees. The threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and is accessible to more businesses.

The increased and accelerated income support - for sole traders and employees supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. Payments will commence from 27 April 2020.

Backing Business Investment (BBI) – a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Boosting cash flow for employers - Temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations through two sets of cash flow boosts to support employers to retain employees.Support provided via tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000.

Job support loans - Loan for sole traders to retain employees and maintain their operations. Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure. 

Early access to superannuation- Sole traders or casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of the superannuation tax-free. 

Commercial and residential tenancies - Evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus. Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.

If you're a sole trader, learn what your business can get and where to go for help. You can also join other sole traders in an online group.

Boosting cash flow - Temporary cash flow support to small and medium businesses  through two sets of cash flow boosts to support employers to retain employees. Support provided via tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000

Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme –  the Australian Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to support short-term loans. 

JobKeeper package - offers a subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight per employee to keep eligible businesses paying their staff. Employers and sole traders can register their interest in this program with the Australian Tax Office. The JobKeeper Payment factsheet for employers states the first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May.

Supporting apprentices and trainees - Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. As of 2 April 2020, Registrations are now open for small businesses, and other eligible employers, to apply for the 50 per cent wage subsidy for apprentices. 

Job support loans - Loan for Queensland businesses to retain employees and maintain their operations. Low interest loans of up to $250,000 are available to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and Trusts.

Payroll tax relief package - SMEs may be eligible for one or more of a range of payroll tax relief measures as a result of the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses - The Australian Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issues a statutory demand

Finance for exporters - Export Finance Australia provides commercial loans, guarantees and bonds when the banks are unable to help. Speak to Export Finance Australia’s experienced team on 1800 093 724. 

SME power bill relief - Small and medium businesses may be eligible for $500 rebate off their energy bill.

Rent relief -  for small businesses who rent premises from the Queensland Government.

Commercial and residential tenancies - Evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus. Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to talk about short term agreements.

Financial counselling - Any small business impacted by COVID19 can now contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service Southern Queensland – phone (07) 4622 55

Charities and non-for-profit organisations - information can be found at the Australian Charities and Non-For-Profits Commission

  • Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning has compiled a useful factsheet of assistance[520KB] available to you.
  • Help for vital supplies - if you are finding it difficult to obtain vital materials and supplies to remain open, complete the Manufacturer’s Supply Matching Request form.
  • If you are a business able to supply to other businesses who are experiencing supply chain issues, please register your business on the ICN Gateway and complete your company profile comprehensively. When specific supply chain opportunities are identified that match your business’ capabilities based on your profile, you will be notified of the opportunity by email that an expression of interest (EOI) has become available. 
  • Can you make PPE? Is your organisation equipped to supply domestic production capabilities for medical and personal protective equipment? Surgical gowns, gloves, goggles, hand sanitiser, clinical waste bags, waste bag closure devices like ties, blood and fluid spill kits, mask fit test kits, thermometers or others? The Australian Government wants to talk to you, read more on AusTender.
  • Queensland manufacturers who are mobilising and repurposing to support the state during the COVID-19 crisis are being asked to share their inspiring stories as part of the #MakingItForQLD campaign.

  • Queensland Government announced the $12.5 million Economic Recovery: Strengthening Queensland’s Agribusiness and Food Sector on 16 June. The initiative will include:
    • $5.5 million digital transformation in agribusiness – to develop integrated supply chains that improve traceability, biosecurity and food safety.
    • $5 million reinvigorated agricultural trade relationships – to support e-commerce and virtual trade facilitation in key markets and assist coordination of demand for additional regular air freighter services.
    • $2 million agribusiness diversification assistance – to build capability and explore potential diversification opportunities in agricultural businesses, including for tourism.
  • Queensland Agriculture Workforce Network officers can help agribusiness employers during COVID-19 and beyond. They provide free advice on workforce attraction, retention and ongoing development of the workforce to all Queensland agribusinesses, regardless of commodity or organisation membership. They will work with you to understand your workforce needs and connect you with the most appropriate solution to help grow your business. If you’re an employer in agriculture in Queensland and need additional advice on these services, you can contact your local agriculture workforce officer
  • Irrigation prices frozen until 2021. The Queensland Government will absorb price increases in 2020-21 recommended by the Queensland Competition Authority, pass on any price decreases recommended by the Queensland Competition Authority, and subsidise $42 million worth of dam safety upgrades over the next four years.
  • It is recommended you plan ahead for how the needs of livestock, pets or wildlife will be met if restrictions impact on their normal care arrangements or their carers become sick.
  • Safe Food Queensland has developed a guideline and checklist for agricultural, meat and livestock processing operations to mitigate risks in their workforce. Food businesses can also seek assistance to move to home delivery services.
  • Free drought planning and recovery webinars have been developed to assist small landholders to provide best practice advice about feeding livestock in a drought and making decisions about their future. Go to the DAF website access the animals in drought portal.
  • The Food and Agribusiness Network (FAN) is providing members online video sessions on hot topics, a shop local campaign and much more. Get in touch today.
  • Queensland primary producers will have an extra six months to lodge drought assistance claims and are being urged to apply electronically due to the impact of COVID-19 on claim processing times. Scanned claims complete with copies of the relevant tax invoices can be lodged electronically by email. This extension will apply to claims lodged from March 11 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.
  • Not sure where to start with implementing a workplace health and safety regime for your farm or agribusiness production facility during COVID-19? Growcom, have brought together a range of resources, including easy-to-follow guidelines and checklists that can be adapted for your situation.
  • The National Retail Association has created a raft of posters, social media tiles and other supporting material for retailers to use.
  • Laws allowing supermarkets to be able to re-stock shelves around the clock in Queensland have been extended until 31 October 2020. Check here for more information on trading hours of retail shops in Queensland.
  • Austrade is working closely with the network of government departments and industry agencies to help Australian businesses overcome complex and fast-evolving COVID-19–related challenges. Their website contains updates on markets and logistics, and links through to the Government’s extensive business support programs.
  • Export Market Development Grants - $49.8 million support package for Export Market Development Grants, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services.
  • The $1.1 million market ready initiative will provide tailored export advice to SMEs to leverage opportunities in the Chinese online market, support brand development by providing market intelligence and expert advice for exporters entering new markets and host China market development forums to provide practical export advice. Trade and Investment Queensland is working with the Australia China Business Council (QLD) on messages to help Queensland businesses re-engage in the market when borders re-open. New supply channels are being investigated to speed up trade between Queensland and China when borders re-open.

Support for fisheries - market diversification and resilience grants are available to support activities such as market evaluation studies, market visits, training, new processing equipment and boat modifications necessary to meet new market requirements. The catch area for tropical rock lobster will be extended for three months to reduce operating costs for quota holders and enable alternative markets to be developed. Fishing boat licence fees and quota fees for tropical rock lobster and coral trout will be temporarily waived. For further information contact the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23.

Queensland legal practitioners able to use video conferencing technology to conduct a range of transactions that usually require face-to-face meetings. The making of documents such as wills, general powers of attorney, enduring powers of attorney, advance health directives, statutory declarations, deeds and many other types of documents are also available under the modified arrangements.