24 June 2021
As Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council, Ipswich City Council is extending its support local businesses in its 2021-22 Annual Budget.
Nearly $3 million has been set aside in council’s 2021-22 Budget to empower local businesses and create the right environment for investment.
New measures from Queensland’s first Small Business Friendly Council include $150,000 in grant funding, and $75,000 to cut red tape.
The Budget includes funding for industry coordination and showcasing, with industries such as food and agribusiness, health, advanced manufacturing and the defence supply chain set to benefit. Fire Station 101 is undergoing upgrades, as part of a new education and building business hub.
Economic and Industry Development Committee Chair and Deputy Mayor Nicole Jonic said it is council’s priority to support the city’s job creators.
“Ipswich is known as a sought-after location for business, industry and visitors," Cr Jonic said.
“Our business community has done it hard for 18 months, but we have come through a global pandemic together and we are bouncing back.
“Council was there last year providing vital financial support for small businesses and we will be there again this year.
“Council is doubling down on supporting local businesses with reduced red tape, new know-how, and expanded investment.”
Cr Jonic also highlighted the façade improvement program, based on the successful pilot in 2020-21, will continue in the new financial year, partnering with local businesses to improve street appeal and accessibility of shopfronts and businesses, with $100,000 on offer in co-contribution funding.
“We’re also continuing to revitalise Ipswich Central, reinvigorating the traditional heart and cultural hub of Ipswich. Work is underway to ensure Ipswich Central, once again, is a fabulous place to build businesses and a vibrant and dynamic place for all," she said.
Small business and industry initiatives are supported by council’s $450 million commitment to a three-year capital works program, including investment in finalising the Nicholas Street Precinct, and increasing patronage to businesses in Ipswich Central.
Council launched the Buy Ipswich Procurement policy in June 2020 to leverage ratepayers’ funds in support of local jobs. In the eleven months to May 2021, more than $46 million was spent on suppliers with an office based in Ipswich.
Council’s proportional spend on local suppliers increased by 30 per cent to 38.63 per cent, comparing Ipswich spend over the period to the policy’s first month of operation.