More funding to help Queensland businesses grow and create jobs

| March 7, 2018

A new $2.3 million business fund to support more local Queensland companies grow and create jobs has been released by the state government.

The State’s Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman announced the new funds alongside the co-founder of Orange Sky Laundry, Lucas Patchett.  Minister Fentiman said the new Business Growth Fund will mean small and medium sized businesses will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000.

“I am proud to announce the Business Growth Fund will provide targeted assistance to so that businesses can purchase specialised equipment or access professional advice to help their business grow.

“Orange Sky Laundry is a Queensland success story, starting out as a business of two people in 2014 and expanding rapidly to 30 by 2018.”

“We know that small business take a lot of risks when expanding. We want more small businesses to expand sustainably with expert advice and support, to provide Queenslanders with strong stable jobs. That’s what this new fund will achieve.

The Palaszczuk Government knows small businesses are the engine room of our diverse Queensland economy and investing in them to get off to the best possible start leads to more local jobs.

Lucas Patchett, co-founder of Brisbane-based social enterprise Orange Sky Australia, welcomed the announcement of the Business Growth Fund and said the organisation will be submitting an application to make the most of the funding.

“Co-founder Nic and I enjoyed giving back to the community after participating in a school project to feed the homeless, our eyes were opened to a big issue at an early age,” Mr Patchett said.

“Since being jointly awarded Young Australian of the year in 2016 we have been on a trajectory of growth that put us into a bit of a spin cycle that took us to the next level.”

“In 2016 we went from having four vans and 200 volunteers to 11 vans, 600 volunteers and employed 12 people.  Since then we have grown and now employ 30 people and have 22 vans in operation.”

Applications will open on 28 March 2018 and applicants will go through a 2 stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank-style pitch during which they’ll have to put their plans to a panel of business experts.

The Business Growth Fund is open to businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum turnover of $500,000 can apply for the funding and must be able to make a contribution of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

Applications for the Business Growth Fund will open this month. Visit the Growth Fund site for more information.