The move will get cash to businesses quicker.
The move will get cash to businesses quicker.

Mining firm’s plan to pump $100M into economy amid COVID-19

IN A BID to support its communities and regional economies during the COVID-19 pandemic, mining giant BHP has revealed plans to reduce payment terms for small, local and indigenous business.

The company, that has contracts with many business in Central Queensland, will make immediate payments of outstanding invoices.

The accelerated payment program is expected to deliver about $100 million more quickly into the hands of its small business partners.

BHP will also reduce payment terms to seven days (from 30 days) for more than 1100 small Australian businesses.

BMA asset president James Palmer said the company knew small businesses were the backbone of every community and that is why the company wanted to support them.

“We know people are doing it tough. And that’s why we’re making it quicker and easier for people to get paid,” Mr Palmer said.

“We’re reducing our payment terms to seven days for all small, local and indigenous businesses to do our bit to keep Queensland on its feet.

“As a community we’ve never faced a situation like this, and it calls for unprecedented action.”

BHP has also created a $6 million fund to support its labour hire companies and their employees.

The fund will be used for one-off payments for people quarantined after entering Australia and pay for labour hire employees not entitled to sick leave but affected by COVID-19.

BHP spends around $1.5 billion annually with local Australian suppliers.

A small business is defined as generating less than $10 million revenue, restrictions on FTE numbers have been removed.

The revised payment terms arrangements will take effect next week. BHP will contact eligible small business partners with more information in coming days.

BHP CEO, Mike Henry said looking after the wellbeing and safety of its people, communities and partners was the highest priority.

“We are taking action to reduce the risk of transmission at our sites, in our offices and in our communities,” Mr Henry said.

“Our local and small business partners play a critical role in supporting our operations and our people, and we know this is a very difficult time for them. We must look out for each other as we manage through this together.”