Tasmanian News

$50m business support package


A "life raft" for COVID-hit businesses is how Tasmania's peak tourism lobby is describing the expanded $50 million support package from the state and federal governments.

Grants up to $50 thousand over two rounds will be available to operators struggling with border closures.

Labor has been calling for another Job Keeper-style system, but Tourism Industry Council CEO Luke Martin still likes what he sees.

"The payroll tax relief effectively for our larger employers is significant money in their coffers which is ultimately about reducing the cost of keeping staff employed," he said. 

"I understand why the federal government is not doing another Job Keeper package - what we've got to do is be pragmatic and I think this package is significant in scale and certainly hits the right spots."

While specific details are yet to be revealed, the funding from both Tasmania and Canberra essentially boosts the existing $20 million business support package to $50 million.

Mr Martin's understanding is that it will work in a similar way to the previous scheme. 

"If a business was eligible for the previous round in July and were able to demonstrate a 30 percent decline in revenue - which is directly relevant to the NSW/Victoria border situation - if you were able to demonstrate that in July, you'll get this automatically and then you'll get another round in November," he said.

Labor Leader Rebecca White said the funding was "too little, too late."

“The fact is that this financial support will not be available until October, which is too late for those businesses already in difficulty," she said.

“And the Premier has refused to spell out whether guarantees will be built into this program so that businesses will not be able to receive grants unless they provide a guarantee to retain staff."

"How can these businesses be expected to hold on for another month struggling to cope with the dire situation confronting the tourism and hospitality sector?" 



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