The scheme was so popular that the Northern Territory Government extended funding for the Home Improvement Scheme from $30 million to $100 million to ensure as many Territorians as possible could benefit from the program. The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation are now flat out processing and auditing the applications. The scheme is closed to new applications and tradies throughout the Territory are getting down to work.
Benefits will be felt over the next year as the NT economy recovers from the coronavirus lockdown, which helped the Territory be one of the safest jurisdictions in the world during the pandemic. The Home Improvement Scheme, which is administered by the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation, grants $6000 to a Territory homeowner or landlord who contributes $2000 or a $4000 voucher for a $1000 contribution.
Michael Owen of Darwin-based fencing company Trojon Contractors says: “It is a blessing to small business.” His team carried out 1020 quotes – every one of them in person. “We worked from four in the morning and my wife Kristy finishing up sending the quotes at 1am most nights,” Michael says. “But it was worth it – people appreciated us going to their homes and giving them a quote, rather than quoting over the phone. “We got tremendous feedback about that.
People liked the chance to discuss the job face-to-face. We got a lot of inquiries through word-of-mouth recommendations.” Trojon Contractors, which is charging exactly the same for a job as it did last year, uses up to nine teams, made up of staff on wages and subcontractors.
The Home Improvement Scheme has enabled the company to take on two more workers, which is quite a triumph during a pandemic. Michael who has worked within the Trojon companies for more than 10 years, started as a labourer and in April 2018 he and Kristy created Trojon Contractors.
They are a local family-owned company and are grateful for the Home Improvement Scheme because it helped keep all their employees in jobs during the pandemic. TQ