On 11 March 2020, the Australian Government announced changes to support for small businesses impacted by the bushfires.
The changes respond to feedback we’ve received from communities and businesses.
Small businesses who suffered as a result of the fires – both directly and indirectly – will be able to better access assistance, to help them rebuild and recover more quickly.
The changes include a new $10,000 grant, more staff on the ground, and work to make applying for grants and loans easier.
$10,000 for small businesses
This new grant is for small businesses with less than 20 full-time employees.
It can help you cover the costs associated with recovery following the fires, including expenses such as salaries, wages, utilities, fuel and/or financial advice.
Your revenue must have dropped by 40 per cent over a three-month period, compared to the previous year, as a result of the bushfires. You can be directly or indirectly affected by the bushfires.
The grant is available for small businesses in the following Local Government Areas, as determined by the relevant state government.
- In Victoria: East Gippsland, Towong, Alpine
- In New South Wales: Snowy Valleys, Snowy Monaro, Eurobodalla, Hawkesbury, Shoalhaven. Bega Valley, Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Wingecarribee, Port Macquarie, Clarence Valley, Queanbeyan, Mid Coast, Wollondilly, Kempsey, Richmond Valley, Nambucca
- In South Australia: Kangaroo Island.
You apply through your state government.
- Apply in New South Wales on the Service NSW website.
- Apply in Victoria through the Rural Finance website.
- Apply in South Australia on the Business South Australia website.
Making it easier to apply
We know filling in forms takes time and energy.
We are working to cut down the number of documents you need to provide when you apply, and made it easier to prove the impact of the bushfires on your business.
Governments announced a commitment on 11 March 2020 to make application processes easier, and you’ll see changes in the coming weeks.
Call your state hotline to see if the simpler application process will change things for you.
You can get help filling in application forms for bushfire support, from extra staff in Recovery Centres.
Find your nearest Recovery Centre at the web pages below:
- NSW - www.emergency.nsw.gov.au/Pages/for-the-community/disaster-assistance/recovery-centres.aspx
- VIC - www.emergency.vic.gov.au/relief/#relief_and_recovery_centres
- SA - dhs.sa.gov.au/services/disaster-recovery
Extra staff in Recovery Centres
We are putting even more people on the ground, with up to an extra 50 people being deployed to Recovery Centres in fire affected areas.
Those extra people can help fill in forms, explain the assistance on offer, and answer questions to help people understand the processes.
The first of those extra people have already started in Recovery Centres and you’ll see more as time goes on.
Applications will still be assessed by the relevant state government, which we’re funding to connect people with support.
We are employing 21 expert business advisors to get out on the ground in fire affected regions and help business plan their next steps.
Those 21 business advisors will be working closely with Chambers of Commerce and local businesses in fire affected areas.
They’ll be on ground in communities in the coming weeks.
For details on the full suite of support available for small business, including grants of up to $50,000 and concessional loans of up to $500,000, visit our small business page.