Benefiting from Back to Business Grants

Benefiting from Back to Business Grants

Twenty-nine local businesses from across the Gladstone Region impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are the lucky recipients of $100K in funds thanks to the Back to Business Grants program.

Shell’s QGC business teamed with Gladstone’s key regional economic and tourism organisations – Gladstone Engineering Alliance (GEA): Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited (GAPDL), Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Discovery Coast Tourism and Commerce (DCTC) – to provide the grants of up to $5000 designed to assist small to medium-sized businesses as they adapt to the new operating environment, while stimulating local spend.

The initiative is funded by Shell’s QGC business and administered by Gladstone Engineering Alliance.

GEA General Manager Chantale Lane said the recipients represented a broad cross-section of the business community, from cafes to tourism operators and allied health providers.

“Not only was there a significant diversity of businesses but the recipients are located across our region form the Gladstone CBD to Calliope, Boyne Tannum, Turkey Beach, and Agnes Water/1770 and various points in between,” Ms Lane said.

Lindy Fry-Mitchell, owner of Eden Element’s, a pottery business specializing in individually hand-crafted gifts, is one of the lucky recipients of the grant applying for it in July and receiving it in August.

“I have a small home-based business where I make pots. I have been doing pottery for 27 years and it has always been my passion for a large part of my life.”

You can find Lindy’s hand-crafted pots stocked at Our Tiny Emporium in Tank Street and at The Boat Shed Gallery in Turkey Beach.

The grant money is being used to create a website for Eden Elements due to the negative impact COVID-19 had on her business’ traditional means of sale.

“Once Coronavirus came the markets and festivals I normally do weren’t on and I’ve always sold locally at local festivals and markets.”

“I’ve always wanted a website, but it was just something that as a small business we struggled to find time to build and to find funds to pay someone.”

“I am getting the website designed and built by Olga Summerhayes at Infinite Imagination. Because the money was for local businesses, I didn’t want to get an external web designer to do it, so I got a local web designer. The $3,500 they have given me for the grant is being spent back in Gladstone on another small business, so two small business’ benefit.”

“This grant will be a huge help to my business, because currently my online sales are only through Facebook. Having a website just multiples the potential customers by hundreds of thousands of people.”

Lindy went on to say how thankful she was for the opportunity.

“I was quite lucky, because the day I did the application my husband had just came out of a seven-and-a-half-hour open heart surgery. So, the closing date was coming, and I hadn’t done my application, so here I am sitting in Brisbane doing this funding application outside of intensive care.”

“I’m just incredibly grateful that they have come out and offered to support small businesses, I think it’s amazing. I know two other businesses whose future will be changed dramatically just as a result of this.”