$100m for businesses

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: The Commodore Hotel director Michael Kosch said the funding had potential to help many businesses in the Limestone Coast with a variety of matters such as employment and infrastructure.

Tyler Redway

The State Government has announced a $100m economic recovery fund for local South Australian businesses.

The funding will be over spread over four years, with the first round of grants set to kick off in September this year.

There will be several rounds of grants and the criteria for each round will be announced prior to the call for submissions.

Chamber of Commerce president Hayley Neumann said local businesses still continue to struggle with the rising living costs such as fuel and transport.

She said any funding or support from the grants would be welcomed for a variety of different businesses.

“You never know if the money may help you to keep an employee a little longer or to pay rent for an extra month,” Ms Neumann said.

“We really hope the government will look after all businesses and not just the ones in their sight.

“As long as it is fair and equitable across the state and it’s not just focused on Adelaide.”

She added although the approach of winter would affect the amount of people trading in businesses such as tourism and hospitality, she hoped these businesses would last until spring.

Ms Neumann also mentioned businesses have been able to apply for grants previously through a government website.

“Usually businesses can apply for the grants through the Department of Treasury and Finance website,” she said.

“We haven’t heard anything from this new government yet so they may do it in a different way this time.”

The Commodore Hotel director Michael Kosch said the funding has a lot of potential to assist in areas such as human resources, employment and infrastructure.

He added the tourism economy for the business relied heavily on Victorian visitation which represented 50 per cent of their market mix, which he said had a major boost once the borders reopened.

“At periods where we rely so heavily on the Victorian economy, tourists and corporates travelling, it is such an important tourism avenue for us,” he said.

“From the reopening of the borders in late November, we were pretty quick to experience of the uplift of pre-Covid occupancies and accommodation trading.”

Mr Kosch hoped the the fund would help existing business operators to expand existing offerings for further investment.

He also said he would like the funding to focus more on employment opportunities to build a higher quality workforce.

“A massive challenge in tourism and hospitality at the moment is getting people into the business and filling casual vacancies,” he said.

“We could put in an application for a casual food and beverage staff or a casual front receptionist and certainly the number of quality applicants is just not enough to match with the jobs.”

Further details on the fund will be released in the coming months.