BIG BOOST: Almost $70,000 in grants has been awarded to local businesses as part of the Shell's QGC Business Navigator COVID Response Program.
BIG BOOST: Almost $70,000 in grants has been awarded to local businesses as part of the Shell's QGC Business Navigator COVID Response Program.

$70k funding boost to hit the pockets of region business owners

SIXTEEN local businesses in the region will receive a share in $70,000 worth of grants thanks to the Shell’s QGC Business Navigator COVID Response Program.

The businesses were successful in applying for the ‘Ready to Reopen’ grant which offered funding for businesses to help build economic resilience following the COVID-19 shutdown.

These businesses will receive funding of up to $5,000 to assist in getting back to business after the recent restrictions due to the pandemic.

The successful businesses include Hedges Sports Store, Dalby Squash Centre, Jenn’s Beauty, Wandoan Café, Condamine Hotel, Innov8 Hair Style Beauty, Tara Newsagency, Miles Windsor Hotel Motel, Juandah Hotel Motel, Lisa Kennedy Collections, DropBear Fitness, The Dulacca Hotel, Creek Café, Kobbers Motor Inn Dalby, Graham Winter’s Smash Repairs and Country Pathfinder.

Paul Winter from Graham Winter’s Smash Repairs was successful in his application and says the grant will support purchasing toolboxes to allow each work bay to have their own tools, helping to keep teams separate.

“We are implementing dedicated toolboxes to each work bay with the grant funding,” he said.

“This allows for the disinfection of tools only once a day as only one staff member will be using that toolbox, rather than every time a tool is used, to prevent cross contamination.”

“This grant is a fantastic chance to get this done and into place now.

“This will allow us to get on with the job of smash repairs while being COVID safe.

“We take the COVID restrictions very seriously as it is important to us that we protect the safety of our staff, customers and our families.

“Thank you to Shell’s QGC for this wonderful initiative and Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise for the implementation of the grant funding.”

This ‘Ready to Reopen’ grant is part of a larger COVID Response Program offering a range of services to businesses in the Western Downs to assist with response and recovery including several grants and also the opportunity for local businesses to work with a grant writer.

These services are being facilitated by the team at Business Navigator Western Downs, a business growth and innovation advisory service supported by Shell’s QGC business and delivered by Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise.

During the pandemic, their focus has been on helping business owners access funding, assisting with financial management, marketing to new customers and developing new business products.

TSBE CEO Ali Davenport said the recipients will benefit from the financial assistance in various ways.

For some, this may include costs associated with observing new social distancing and health requirements.

“The program is assisting business in the Western Downs to reopen, to ensure they can take advantage of opportunities, and assist in ensuring businesses are resilient during this time,” said Ms Davenport.

Other companies who were successful with their applications have purchased protective equipment, sneeze guards, new signage and the creation of outside dining spaces to accommodate more patrons while complying with social distancing requirements.

The funds are also going towards building renovation projects to comply with COVID-19 restrictions and the creation of website platforms with the capability from online sales and booking features.

Fran Peterson from Shell’s QGC business now was a better time than any to be giving back to local businesses.

“While most businesses know what needs to be done to respond to these challenges or grow their customer base, having access to additional resources, including advice from business growth experts and additional funding, enables them to make this happen more quickly and easily,” she said.

“Shell’s QGC business is committed to building diverse, thriving economies in the regional communities we have been a proud part of for many years, and that means doing what we can to support the local business community during these challenging times.

“We are pleased to be able to provide this additional support through the Business Navigators program to support business resilience in the Western Downs.

“The grants will assist these businesses make their plans a reality, helping to create a thriving, diverse local economy. The continued growth and success of local businesses has a positive impact on the entire community.”

For more information on the Shell’s QGC Business Navigator COVID Response Program please see: https://www.navigatorwesterndowns.com.au/covid-support


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