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Post-JobKeeper: financial counselling for small tourism businesses

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering $2 million to support Queensland tourism businesses facing hardship with Sunday’s axing of JobKeeper by the Federal Government.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service would provide expert advice to tourism operators who need guidance on a range of matters including scaling down or pausing some parts of their business.

“It’s vital that we support as many tourism businesses as possible to make it through this pandemic,” the Premier said.

“It’s been a challenging 12 months for this industry and with JobKeeper coming to an end within days, it’s not going to get any easier.

“I’ve spoken extensively to the tourism industry in recent months and what we’ve heard loud and clear is that operators need more expert advice to help guide them through the pandemic.

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“The message is clear – we’ve got your back. That’s why we’re establishing the Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service to give tourism operators the help they need.”

More than $790 million has been delivered by the Palaszczuk Government in direct assistance to the tourism industry since the global COVID pandemic turned the business plans of tourism operators upside down.

A Panel of travel experts has also been set up by the government to create a blueprint for the tourism industry’s short to medium term future and beyond the long tail of COVID.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service would focus on micro, small and medium-size tourism businesses with up to 199 workers.

“For some businesses this could be the lifeline they need after the Federal Government’s axing of JobKeeper,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“There are 15,000 Queensland tourism businesses receiving JobKeeper, supporting up to 60,000 tourism workers.

“Small operators are anxious about what comes next after Jobkeeper but we’re determined to support as many tourism operators as we can make it to the other side of the pandemic.

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“This new Financial Counselling Service also includes legal and human resources advice and builds on existing state-wide government counselling assistance offered to small business in these difficult times.

“Specialist counsellors will be available in Cairns, the Whitsundays, Brisbane and Gold Coast.

“This $2 million package of counselling services provides free advice to tourism operators who need guidance on adapting their business to a changes market.”

“Businesses in need of expert advice also have access to a panel of appointed professional service providers plus a rebate where the government will match tourism operators on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum of $2500 for each business.

“It’s a precise and targeted approach to helping tourism operators adapt and survive.”

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