CCIQ’s business insight at frontline of $6.75 million mental health support package
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) CEO Heidi Cooper says today’s announcement of the $6.75 million Small Business Wellness and Support Package is a step in the right direction towards providing vital mental health support for Queensland businesses.
The package follows dedicated CCIQ advocacy using direct insight, data, feedback and information from businesses and chambers at the frontline of managing the COVID economic crisis alongside direct and indirect impacts during recent natural disasters.
CCIQ’s Pulse Survey data showed more than 60% of businesses said they or their staff had experienced mental health challenges due to COVID-19 stressors in the December 2021 quarter, a significant increase from more than 40% only six months earlier in June.
The package includes mental health support for business owners and managers and means close to half a million businesses across the state have support and protection to plan their long term competitive, resilient and diversified recovery. The package includes psychological support and financial counselling for businesses.
CCIQ CEO Heidi Cooper said the package was in line with the business continuity package CCIQ had been advocating for on behalf of the state’s business community.
“Queensland businesses have experienced significant challenges over the past two years, and this has been further compounded by the recent flooding events,” Ms Cooper said.
“CCIQ has been calling for a holistic approach to business recovery and growth. An approach which dually looks at mental health and business operational needs. We believe this package is a step towards achieving this.”
However, Ms Cooper said there was still work to do to support long-term business and economic recovery and growth in Queensland.
“In the upcoming State Budget, we’ll be looking to work with the government on reducing business operating costs and complexities, connecting regions to build resilience, support for upskilling in emerging industries and markets, developing and enhancing products and services for future sustainability and advancing technology to generate opportunities,” Ms Cooper said.
Ms Cooper said CCIQ was pushing for a targeted joint state and federal support package for businesses most impacted both from COVID economic conditions and directly or indirectly during recent natural disasters.
“Those advocacy efforts came to fruition with this package of support,” Ms Cooper said.
“We used direct member engagement, Pulse and other survey data, insight from a network of more than 110 chambers of commerce across the state and direct qualitative insight from businesses to benchmark just what it was like to run a business in Queensland during this time and what those businesses needed to be resilient, competitive, diversified and sustainable long-term.
“We are proud this valuable, real time data guided this package and will continue to guide further support that our business community needs to move forward.”
To find out more about the Wellness and Support Package visit www.business.qld.gov.au or contact the Small Business Hotline 1300 654 687.
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