“Small and medium businesses are especially vulnerable to these external shocks, so today we are giving them the option to defer their payroll tax obligations for six months, backdated to when the travel ban started on 1 February,” Ms Trad said.
The Queensland government has already announced a $27.25 million package of measures to help businesses on the Gold Coast, in Cairns and in other popular tourist destinations across the state.
However, recognising the gravity of the impact the virus has had on tourism, the government’s new initiative enables eligible businesses with an annual Australian wage bill of up to $6.5 million to self-assess whether their economic indicators like turnover, bookings, contracts or profit have been impacted by business conditions associated with the coronavirus.
“This is one of the ideas put to me when I visited Cairns last month to hear directly from tourism operators about the kinds of impacts COVID-19 was having on their businesses, and today the Palaszczuk government is acting and delivering for those businesses,” Ms Trad said.
All SMEs included
Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman explained the support package will be available to small and medium businesses across all sectors.
“The most immediate impact of the coronavirus has been on the tourism, export and education sectors,” Ms Fentiman said.
“But we recognise that as the outbreak spreads, its impacts spread as well."