LNP wants more help for small business in flood recovery

1 Feb 2011 4:31 PMJann Stuckey

1 February 2011

Many small businesses were being denied access to recovery assistance because of ‘mean’ testing criteria by the Bligh Government, the State Opposition said today.

LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Jann Stuckey said one-in-five businesses in Queensland had to close as a result of the floods due to full or partial water inundation, loss of power or being cut off from their business.

“Many more have also been indirectly impacted by the floods through a range of factors – affected customers and suppliers, employee incapability to reach work or through the loss of tourist bookings,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Bligh and Labor’s fiscal mismanagement and incompetence had put small and medium sized Queensland businesses in a vulnerable financial position before the floods hit and without urgent assistance many will go to wall and never recover.

“More often than not small businesses are finding they are not eligible for State Government assistance.

“As if losing everything in the floods wasn’t bad enough, a mean spirited Labor Government is adding to their woes by denying them urgent help to get back on their feet.

“In many cases businesses are being prevented from receiving critical help.

“The LNP understand the value of small businesses to Queensland’s economy and the massive role it plays which is why we are calling on the Government to show compassion.

“Small business is the backbone of the state’s economy and should not be left out in the cold when it comes to funding.

“Loss of income alone is also not a criterion for this payment, despite many businesses experiencing significant hardship as a result of loss of income.

Ms Stuckey called on the Bligh Government to relax some of the criteria for small to medium business to access flood recovery assistance by extending Anna Bligh’s Flood Appeal to include businesses experiencing loss of income.

“We are talking about mum and dad business operators, not big business but everyday Queenslanders trying to have a go.

“You would think that this Government would be keen to get as many small businesses up and running again as they play such an important role in local communities and to Queensland’s economy,” Ms Stuckey said.

Media Contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919