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Support for small businesses factsheet

The help available for bushfire affected small businesses has been boosted, to help more businesses and make it easier to apply.

Call your state hotline and check what’s available to you. It might be more than you think.

Details at www.bushfirerecovery.gov.au/small-business 

$10,000 grants for businesses impacted directly and indirectly

This grant was announced on 11 March 2020.

It is for small businesses in select fire-affected Local Government Areas, as determined by the relevant state government.

Small businesses are defined as having less than 20 full-time employees.

You apply through your state government. It is funded by the Australian Government.

Directly and indirectly affected businesses can apply. Primary producers can access this grant if they identify as a small business.

Purpose: Help you cover the costs associated with recovery following the fires.

Key points: Your revenue must have dropped, compared to the previous year, as a result of the bushfires. You can be directly or indirectly affected by the bushfires.

Spend it on: Expenses such as salaries, wages, utilities, fuel and/or financial advice.

The $10,000 grant is available to small businesses in the following Local Government Areas, which were determined by the relevant state government.

  • In Victoria: Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong, Unincorporated Victoria (including the Falls Creek, Mount Hotham, Mount Buller and Mount Stirling alpine resort areas only), Wangaratta, Wellington
  • In New South Wales: Armidale Regional, Bega Valley, Bellingen, Blue Mountains, Cessnock, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Glen Innes Severn, Greater Hume Shire, Hawkesbury, Kempsey, Kyogle, Upper Lachlan, Lithgow, Mid Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Mid-Western Regional, Nambucca, Oberon, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Richmond Valley, Shoalhaven, Singleton, Snowy Valleys, Snowy Monaro, Tenterfield, Walcha, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly.
  • In South Australia: Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island, Kingston, Mid Murray, Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Yorke Peninsula

 The Agency highly recommends that individuals resist 'self-assessment' and talk to their state service centre.

We’ve made it easier to apply

We know filling in forms takes time and energy.

We have 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.

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:

Financial advice

Getting some financial advice can inform what recovery will look like for your business.

The Small Business Financial Support Line is on 1800 413 828.

It is staffed by specialist financial counsellors. They can provide advice on the assistance available in bushfire affected areas. 

Recovery grants of up to $50,000 (small business)

This support was announced in January 2020.

The application process and required documents has been simplified.

It is for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in fire affected Local Government Areas (areas declared Category C).  

Directly affected businesses only.

Purpose: Help with costs associated with direct impacts of the bushfire.

Key points: Grants of up to $50,000.

Spend it on: Clean up and reinstatement activities, including replacement of goods and products and equipment damaged by fire, smoke, ash or soot.

Recovery grants of up to $75,000 (primary producers)

This support was announced in January 2020. It is for primary producers in bushfire-affected Local Government Areas (Category C).

The Australian and State Governments have collaborated to expand eligibility, simplify application processes and documentation requirements, and extend timeframes to give primary producers more time to request support.

Applications are open until 15 December 2020 in NSW and 31 December 2020 in QLD, SA, and VIC.

Directly affected primary producers only (including farmers, fishers, private foresters and beekeepers).

Purpose: Help with direct impacts of the bushfire (damage from fire, smoke, ash and/or soot).

Key points: Grants of up to $75,000. This includes the $15,000 grant available to primary producers under Category C arrangements. 

If your initial application is for less than $75,000 (the maximum grant amount), additional applications may be submitted if further funds for recovery are required.

Spend it on: Fodder and water, sheds, fencing and agricultural equipment. You may also spend this grant on clean-up from bushfires, including damages caused by smoke taint or ash, or soot. This payment can also be used to salvage or harvest damaged crops.

Read about eligibility and how to apply on our Primary Producers webpage

Concessional loans

This support was announced in January 2020.

The application process and required documents has been simplified.

It is for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in fire affected Local Government Areas (areas declared Category B).

Directly and indirectly affected businesses.

Purpose: Low cost finance to help you get back on your feet

Key points: Loans of up to $500,000. No repayments or interest for the first 2 years, and a concessional rate for the remaining term of the loan.

Spend it on: Restoration and replacement of assets damaged by the bushfires. Working capital expenses where a business has suffered revenue losses due to the bushfires.

ATO Assistance

If you are experiencing difficulties with your tax affairs following the 2019-20 bushfires, the ATO can work with you to get things back on track. Whether you’re an individual, business owner or primary producer and are having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations, call the ATO on 1800 806 218 so they can find a solution based on your individual circumstances.

Visit ato.gov.au/bushfires for more information.

 

Extra staff in Recovery Centres

As part of the package announced on 11 March 2020, 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.

You’ll start to see those extra people in Recovery Centres from next week (first staff on ground on 16 March).

Applications will still be assessed by the relevant state government, which we’re funding to connect people with support.

Business advisors

We are enabling 21 expert business advisors to get out on the ground in fire affected regions and help businesses plan their next steps. These advisors will work closely with Chambers of Commerce and local businesses in fire affected areas.

Advisors are already on the ground in some areas, with all 21 advisors expected to be servicing all areas by July 2020.

Bushfire clean up assistance

The Australian Government is working with the NSW, VIC and SA governments to share the cost of clean-up for residential and commercial properties destroyed by this season’s bushfires. This is a big task, and it’s going to take time.

This service is at no cost to property owners, and is available for insured and uninsured homes.

To register your property for clean up:

Key Contacts

It's good to talk

Contact name Contact number
Connect to counselling in your area                                       180 22 66
Lifeline 13 HELP
(13 43 57)
Mensline 1300 78 99 78
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800

National

Contact name Contact number
Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance 180 22 66
Financial Support Line for Small Businesses 1800 413 828
Primary Industries Grants Program National Hotline 1800 900 090
Rural Financial Counselling Service 1800 686 175
Centrelink debt recovery 1800 076 072
ATO Emergency Support Infoline 1800 806 218
Support for Carers 1800 052 222
A/H 1800 059 059
National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007
Salvation Army Disasters Assistance 1300 662 217
St Vincent de Paul bushfire assistance team 13 18 12

NSW

Contact name Contact number
Service NSW 13 77 88
Primary Industries Grants NSW 1800 678 593

VIC

Contact name Contact number
Bushfire Recovery Victoria 1800 560 760
Victoria Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)
Bushfire Recovery Grants Team
(03) 8862 5160
Primary Industries Grants VIC 1800 260 425

SA

Contact name Contact number
SA recovery hotline 1800 302 787
Supporting Business in South Australia 1300 142 820
Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grant (SA) (08) 8429 3242
Primary Industries Grants SA 1800 931 314
Green Industries SA (08) 8204 2051

QLD

Contact name Contact number
QLD disaster and alerts 132 500
Primary Industries Grants QLD 1800 623 946