The Queensland government has announced that it will create a $500 million loan scheme to support businesses affected by coronavirus across the state.
The concessional facility, which will also extend the coronavirus payroll tax deferral, comprises of loans of up to $250,000.
The scheme will remain interest free for the first 12 months to help businesses retain staff.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the impacts of the rapidly evolving pandemic demanded a swift and adequate government response.
“We know the effects of this outbreak will grow and intensify, and as they do, so will out measures to protect Queenslanders health, their jobs and their businesses,” she said.
Almost 300 small to medium sized businesses have taken up the initial offer of a payroll tax deferral in two weeks.
Deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad said the new loan will add to assistance for farms and businesses.
“Through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority, we already have the mechanism in place to start rolling these loans out the door as soon as possible to help Queensland businesses keep staff on and survive this downturn,” she said.
“We know the deferral for small businesses was popular.
“In the first fortnight, we’ve already seen companies from the Gold Coast to Far North Queensland in sectors from tourism and hospitality to marine engineering take up the offer.”
The Office of State Revenue will also work with businesses to create repayment plans for deferred taxes.