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27th November 2023

• Three businesses on the Sunshine Coast are set to share $207,294 in funding under Round 5 of the Queensland Government’s Business Growth Fund.
• Noosa’s Studio Steel, Telge Fisheries of Minyama and Chevallum-based GeoDrill Australia will receive funding in the latest round of the program.
• Through the fund, eligible Queensland small businesses can access grants of up to $75,000 to purchase specialised equipment to accelerate growth, increase production and expand their workforce.

In total, 28 businesses across Queensland from the Gold Coast and Brisbane to the Whitsundays and Cairns will share in funding of $1.9 million.

That includes three businesses based on the Sunshine Coast – Studio Steel, Telge Fisheries and GeoDrill Australia.

Studio Steel is a full-service structural steel fabrication business that offers advanced modelling using 3D LiDAR scanning of existing buildings to establish accurate-as-constructed building models. A $57,000 grant will support the purchase of a Trimble X9 scanning package to expand scanning capabilities and access new customers, in new markets.

Minyama-based Telge Fisheries – which provides trawler-caught seafood to restaurants and retails in Australia and abroad – will use a $75,000 grant to purchase and install a high-tech weighing and packaging machine. Installed on-board Telge Fisheries’ FV Kelvana trawler, the machinery is expected to improve product quality and prolong shelf life, significantly increase outputs and reduce wasted catch on-board and along the supply chain.

GeoDrill Australia – a family-owned business specialising in mineral and coal exploration, geotechnical and water drilling services – will use a $75,000 grant to enhance capabilities of its fleet of three Hydrapower HP850 drilling rigs. The business will engage a Toowoomba-based engineering firm to design, engineer and implement rig enhancements, which will upgrade depth capacity beyond 3000m and allow the business to remain competitive with interstate drilling businesses.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:
“Across Queensland through our Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-23 more than 5800 grants have been awarded totalling more than $37 million.

“This latest round of the Business Growth fund will help businesses in 28 businesses across Queensland to meet demand and unlock their potential, including on the Sunshine Coast.

“Recipients in Round 5 represent the enormous diversity of businesses on the Sunshine Coast – from drilling experts and structural steel providers serving major construction projects, to experienced fishers supplying Australia and the world with premium Queensland seafood.

“Each of these businesses have identified speciality equipment that will help take their operations to the next level.

“This will support the continued prosperity of the Sunshine Coast – which is projected to experience the second-fastest increase in employment by 2025-26.”

Quotes attributable to the Member for Nicklin Robert Skelton
“The Palaszczuk Government knows small businesses are the backbone of the region and our vibrant Sunshine Coast community. I’m committed to supporting them and our track record of helping Sunshine Coast small businesses grow is second to none.

“This Business Growth Fund gives confidence for growth and diversification, while increasing productivity, profit and/or employment .

“It can also contribute to their transition from small to medium-sized businesses. I look forward to seeing how local businesses turn this funding into enhanced productivity, more jobs and better economic returns.”

Quotes attributable to Telge Fisheries Owner Jacky Cartwright:
"The Business Growth Fund will assist us in advancing our onboard at sea processes.

"With the implementation of the 4.0 onboard weighing and packaging machine we will be able to not only diversify our smaller retail ready packaged at sea options, but we can continue to focus on providing the premium quality wild caught Australian Eastern King prawns that our consumers expect.

"In partnership with the Australian Council of Prawn Fisheries, Curtin University and our research partners we foresee advancements for our industry and small business in efficiency, output, quality, reduced wastage, reduced handling, and ultimately increased revenue."

Explainer/fast fact and or further information:
• The Business Growth Fund Program is a highly valuable support initiative of the Queensland Government’s Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-23.
• More than 5800 small business grants have been paid totalling more than $37 million through the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-23 grant programs.
• Three small business grants made available through Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-23 include:
o Business Growth Fund grants (up to $75,000) – for small and medium-sized businesses to purchase specialised equipment. 110 Queensland businesses have been supported to-date, sharing in almost $5.7 million.
o Business Boost grants (up to $20,000) – for small businesses businesses to enhance their efficiency and productivity. 379 businesses have been supported to-date, sharing in more than $4.7 million.
o Business Basics grant ($5000) – for new and emerging businesses to increase core skills and adopt best practice. 5390 businesses have been supported to-date, sharing in $27 million.

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