Coronavirus is significantly impacted our state. As we proactively take the necessary steps to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians, we know very real and significant economic consequences are occurring.
I applaud The Examiner on its Buy Local campaign, encouraging Northern Tasmanians to support small businesses in their community.
These are extremely difficult times, and we know in times like this, Tasmanians rally together. Please think about supporting small businesses when they need it most and where you can, please buy locally.
We're working hard to mitigate the economic impacts and support local businesses and Tasmanian jobs right now, as well as preparing the state for economic recovery.
I am continuing to work with industry peak stakeholders and small businesses to strengthen resilience and respond effectively and proportionately to this challenge.
This is an unprecedented time for small businesses, which is why we have introduced a range of financial support measures through our $420 million stimulus support package, ranging from loans and grants to fee relief and a number of other measures.
Further support measures will be developed for impacted businesses as we continue to proactively respond to the challenges ahead.
We know every business is different, so if you are a business owner or an employee who has been impacted by COVID-19 and would like to find out what support you may be eligible for, please visit www.business.tas.gov.au or contact the Business Tasmania hotline on 1800 440 026.
During this challenging time, it's also important to keep in touch with your neighbours and friends, and check in with elderly relatives to see if you can help them with anything, such as doing their grocery shopping.
It's so important for Tasmanians to support each other and continue to adhere to Public Health directions in relation to self-quarantine, social distancing and hygiene.
For general information about coronavirus, call the national 24-hour coronavirus information line on 1800 020 080 or visit the Australian Government Department of Health website at www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov.
- Sarah Courtney is Tasmania's Health and Small Business Minister.