05/01/2021 – 10:17

When other businesses were winding down over Christmas, local uniform manufacturer Seaborne Clothing was ramping up for the back-to-school rush.

Their cutting room is strewn with school uniform patterns and chequered cloth in blue, gold and maroon, while four sewing machines are spinning ‘round the clock.

Spurring production is some great news to start the New Year – the local business is one of three to receive a Federal Government Energy Efficient Communities grant.

Member for Fairfax Ted O’Brien met with staff on the factory floor today.

“It’s just an amazing hive of activity here right now,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce more than $19,000 in funding to support Marcoola’s Seaborne Clothing with the purchase of energy efficient sewing machines and an air conditioning unit.

“I’d also like to congratulate the Woombye Pub and Nambour’s Accura Group which each receive more than $19,000 in Energy Efficient Communities – Small Business Grants.”

Seaborne clothing owner Sean Sharkey said the funding was gratefully received.

“It’s important to us that we source everything as close to home as possible and use Sunshine Coast tradies too, so that the grant money goes back into the local economy,” Mr Sharkey said.

“We’ll be putting $10,000 towards the purchase of three industrial sewing machines.  The rest will be used to upgrade lighting systems and to retro-fit an air conditioning unit which really does make a difference when your busiest time of year coincides with the hottest time of year!”

In total Fairfax businesses are receiving $58,684 with Seaborne Clothing receiving $19,480; the Woombye Pub $19,254 and accounting group Accura $19,950.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the Morrison Government was focused on bringing down the cost of energy for small businesses.

“Energy bills are a significant overhead for many small businesses. These grants will help small businesses all around Australia pay less on their energy bills, allowing them keep their doors open, expand their business and employ more Australians.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said helping small businesses lower their energy costs is critical for them to prosper, grow and create more jobs.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities and the backbone of the Australian economy. Employing over 6 million Australians, our 3.5 million small businesses contribute over $418 billion to our national economy” Minister Cash said.

“Lowering energy bills for our small businesses through the Energy Efficient Communities Program will help alleviate financial pressure and deliver the conditions they need to succeed.”

The Energy Efficient Communities Program was announced as part of the Government’s $3.5 billion Climate Solutions Package to deliver on Australia’s 2030 climate commitments.

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