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As part of the Advancing Small Business Queensland Strategy, the Palaszczuk Government has committed $6 million over three years to help small businesses around the state engage with the global digital economy.
Two million dollars per year over three years has been allocated for the program which will provide grants of up to $10,000 to be matched by participants.
Speaking from Sarina, where she is visiting local businesses, Small Business Minister Leeanne Enoch said funding received through the program can be spent on the purchase of hardware, software and services – such as digital coaching.
The Palaszczuk Government is working to help small businesses embrace digital technologies and make the most of online business opportunities.
“As our economy resets itself, it is vital that we put in place support to help Queensland’s small businesses compete in global markets and remain competitive domestically. Research tells us that only 55 per cent of small businesses in Australia currently participate commercially online,” said Enoch.
A 2015 report by PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates that the Queensland economy could benefit by up to $11.3 billion over the next 10 years if there is greater uptake of digital technologies by businesses.
Through utilising technologies, working smarter and fostering an entrepreneurial culture, said Enoch, Queensland small business will be in a stronger position to respond to competition, embrace new opportunities and grow into globally competitive businesses.
Member for Mirani Jim Pearce said the program could have a significant impact on regional small businesses by expanding potential markets through an online presence.
“We have many unique and innovative small businesses in regional Queensland – more than 4800 in my electorate,” Pearce said.
“By providing them with the tools and the know-how to sell their products online we can help them increase their reach to not just across Queensland, but potentially right around the world. This will provide regional small businesses to grow, expand and employ more locals.”
The Digital Grants Program is part of a $22.7 million Budget commitment by the Palaszczuk Government to provide additional support for Queensland Small Businesses – which includes the creation of the Office of Small Business.
“Helping small business to enter the digital economy will form a key action in the strategy to empower small business and support the entrepreneurs of tomorrow,” Enoch said.
“By expanding our support for the sector we are establishing Queensland as the state for small business to start, grow and employ.”
The Digital Grants Program will be implemented by the new Office of Small Business and will be opened later this year.