As we navigate our way through these extraordinary times, Townsville Enterprise is keeping up its advocacy efforts to all levels of government on behalf of our local businesses with the message that:
- Cash is king; and
- Support packages must keep doors open and people in jobs
Right now as our region braces for continued economic uncertainty, every dollar in the till, the bank account, and hip pocket of our local businesses counts. To protect the ongoing operation of businesses and their capacity to keep staff employed, we support the position of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) for a complete payroll tax freeze for at least six months for businesses with wages up to $5M.
Local businesses across our region's diverse industry landscape are under an increasingly large amount of pressure and need further reassurance that these dollars will stay where they matter most, including retaining cash flow to ensure job security across our community.
This is one of many measures that we must see endorsed to increase the resilience of our region's business community during this time and for the foreseeable future. Based upon the feedback we are receiving from the tourism and broader industry surveys we distributed to our members on Monday, Townsville Enterprise is submitting short, medium and long term measures and solutions to all three levels of government.
The following information was received from 100 of our region's tourism businesses in 24 hours to inform the discussions we are currently having with relevant government departments:
- 81.82% of tourism businesses have seen cancellations as a result of Coronavirus
- 4,555pax have cancelled
- Loss of business to date: $1,179,177.00
- 45.76% of businesses have made redundancies or reduced hours
- 1,288 hours (32 Full Time Equivalent Jobs) have been cut-back
- 49.12% of tourism businesses are seeing future bookings far below average and 36.84% are below average. Events have come to a stand-still having large implications on venues and support services
If you are yet to complete one of these surveys we encourage you to do so as soon as possible by clicking below. This information will ensure we are accurately representing the needs of Townsville North Queensland's broader industry landscape through the advocacy agenda we are promoting on behalf of our members.
The Federal and State Governments have responded quickly over the past few days with a number of policy and funding announcements to support businesses. The State Government's $500M concessional loan facility announced yesterday is a welcomed support measure to assist businesses to keep staff employed as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, the State Government's deferral of payroll tax is a step in the right direction.
In addition, we welcome the Federal Government $715M relief package for airlines announced today, on top of the recent $17.6B economic response package for communities and businesses across the nation which we broke down in our Member Alert on Monday.
There has also been further advice on not travelling overseas and a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 100 people. For more information on today's announcements, and to stay across all future updates from government and Townsville Enterprise activities, please refer to the Townsville Enterprise rolling COVID-19 information page on our website by clicking here.
We will continue to work exceptionally close with our members and business community to communicate feedback to all of our political representatives and directly to governments about what support mechanisms are needed most during these extraordinary circumstances.
Like many others, the Townsville Enterprise team is working remotely this week but despite travel restrictions and disruptions to our working environment we are stepping up our advocacy and engagement. We will continue to provide regular updates to our members across the weeks and months as we tackle this challenging time as we always do, as a united North Queensland.
**COVID-19 Business & Health Video Resource**
Tomorrow (Thursday 19 March) we will be sharing a video on the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can best prepare your business for the potential impact to your day-to-day operations.
The video will feature representatives from Keir Steele Waldon Lawyers, PVW Partners and Northern Australia Primary Health Limited and offer clear and concise advice.
The video will be shared on both the Townsville Enterprise website here and via our social media channels. This will be the first of a series of videos to support our members in accessing COVID-19 support measures and services.