Townsville is open for business

Date published: 4 March 2019

The Palaszczuk Government has kicked off the Go Local campaign in North Queensland to help small businesses recover from the recent floods by encouraging all Queenslanders to Go Local and buy products and services from their local businesses.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said supporting Queensland’s small businesses re-opening in North Queensland was vital to the region’s recovery.

“We welcome back our local small businesses in Townsville, Charters Towers, Burdekin, Ayr, Innisfail and across North Queensland that are open for business,” Ms Fentiman said.

“Due to the strong community spirit and a range of recovery assistance programs, many small businesses have re-opened and we need to support them to grow their business, create local jobs and help their community thrive.

“I continue to be in awe of the resilience shown in this region with businesses bouncing back and getting back to business, and I encourage locals and visitors alike to Go Local when buying products and services.”

Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill said supporting local businesses and industries is crucial to the growth of the city following the unprecedented floods.

“We have the capacity to help rebuild our city by using local suppliers and local industries – I really encourage the community and visitors to get on board with Go Local,” Cr Hill said.

“Any flood-affected residents should consider asking their insurers if repairs to their homes or replacement car purchases are being done through local businesses and supporting local workers.”

Townsville business owner, Karen Bennett of Bennett’s Barbershop has re-opened after her shop suffered water and electrical damage during the floods.

“When you support locally owned small businesses, you actually help create a community”, said Mrs Bennett.

“As a small business owner, I know myself, that I make a conscious effort to shop local and use trades and services from within our own community.

“It creates a sense of support, belonging, a feeling of pride and also creates local jobs. The busier small business is, the more the local economy benefits.

“I think Townsville’s long-term recovery from this unprecedented event, will see us grow as a community. North Queenslanders are the most positive and resilient people you’ll ever meet and together, we are supporting each other more than ever before.

“For every heartbreaking story, there is also a heartwarming story, like the pay it forward system in my shop, locals paying for others’ haircuts. Strangers are now firm friends, neighbours are looking out for their mates and we as locals, have been humbled by the kindness, compassion and generosity of everyone.

“My advice for other small business’s trying to get back on their feet, would be to just keep on doing what you can. Baby steps. Stay positive and utilise any resources available to assist you.

“For example, the Small Business Recovery Centre was able to clarify things for me regarding my lease, while I was unable to trade due to damage from Townsville’s monsoonal rain event. They also provided valuable advice and information regarding assistance, loans and grants that my staff were possibly eligible for.

“The Small Business Recovery Centre, your accountant, your insurance broker, your bank and your fellow local small business owners are all more than willing to offer assistance, advice and moral support.

“Why Go Local? We get to know you, you get to know us and more money is kept in the local economy.”

Minister Fentiman said the Small Business Recovery Centre is open daily, 9am to 5pm.

“The Centre is a partnership between the Queensland Government, the Townsville City Council, Townsville Enterprise, the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and the Townsville Business Development Centre with the support of a wide range of local, state and national agencies.

“It just shows how important small businesses are to the community and how much we all want to get behind them.”

Support North Queensland businesses and buy local products and services, download resources and share your stories on social media with #GoLocalQld