Sunday, January 16, 2011

AUSTRALIA: VOLUNTEERS DONATE TIME TO HELP FLOOD VICTIMS

Perth Now report: VOLUNTEERS pitching in to help Queenslanders recover from the floods are being urged to remember their local small businesses.

Treasurer Andrew Fraser says Queensland's response to the flood crisis has been "inspirational", with thousands of people giving up their weekend to help clean up in the aftermath of Thursday's flooding in Brisbane and Ipswich.

But small businesses shouldn't be forgotten, because the sooner they are up and running again, the sooner the economy can recover.

"If you've already helped your neighbours and friends, please have a think about offering your support to small business operators," Mr Fraser said.

Brisbane Ciry Council and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) have joined forces with the treasurer to ask volunteers to turn their attention to businesses.

CCIQ president David Goodwin said a call centre and website had been set up for small business people seeking assistance and advice after the floods.

"Many small businesses in the industrial suburbs and in the regions will be crying out for help during the cleaning up process," he said.

Brisbane City Council was so overwhelmed by volunteers at its rallying points at the weekend that it was forced to turn many away.

Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said as backbones of the community, businesses should not be forgotten.

"One of the major keys to recovering from this disaster is to get business going again so everyone please get in and help protect each other's jobs," he said.

The CCIQ hotline is 1300 548 044 and its website is www.cciq.com.au/floods .

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