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Help is available to small business owners and not-for profits recovering from the 2019-20 bushfires

We know people may be under pressure from single or multiple events, including bushfires, flood and drought. 

For details on mental health support, visit our mental health support page. Or call Lifeline’s dedicated bushfire recovery line on 13 HELP (13 43 57) for immediate help.

If your small business is also a primary producer business, please also read about support for primary producers below.

I need financial counselling

Call the free Small Business Financial Support Line on 1800 413 828.

I need business advice

Bushfire - Entrepreneurs’ Program:  Strengthening Business

A free tailored advisory service is available for small and medium businesses affected by the bushfires.

It is available in certain Local Government Areas most affected by the fires. 

Call 13 28 46 or visit business.gov.au (search for ‘strengthening business’)

The National Indigenous Australians Agency

The National Indigenous Australians Agency is able to assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and their communities, organisations, and businesses with access to supports and services.

Contact details for support services are available through the National Indigenous Australians Agency’s Support to bushfire affected communities’ page.

I need money to help wildlife and habitat recovery from the bushfires

Wildlife and Habitat Recovery Program

Applications have now closed.  

Grants from $20,000 to $200,000 were available to support the immediate survival and long-term recovery and resilience for fire-affected Australian animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians.

For more information on approved projects and funding, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program page.

Recovery for Wildlife and Habitat Community Grants Program 

Applications have now closed.  

Grants from $5,000 to $150,000 were available for community organisations, conservation groups, Indigenous organisations and local governments for wildlife and habitat recovery projects.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program page.  

Indigenous Fire and Land Management Workshops Program 

Grants from $20,000 to $200,000 were available Australia wide to Traditional Owners and Indigenous enterprises to deliver Indigenous-led fire and land management workshops.

For more information, visit the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program page.  

I need money to keep my business or not-for-profit going

$10,000 grants for small business

Applications have closed in all states.

The $10,000 grant was available to small businesses in Local Government Areas affected by the 2019-20 bushfires.

The grant was for businesses whose revenue income dropped by 40 per cent or more because of the bushfires. 

Recovery grants of up to $50,000

Applications have closed in all states.

The grant was for small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in 2019-20 bushfire-affected Local Government Areas (areas declared Category C of the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements).

This grant was to help with direct impacts of the 2019-20 bushfires, including damage from fire or smoke. 

Concessional loans of up to $500,000 

Applications have closed in all states.

These loans were for small businesses, not-for-profits and primary producers in areas affected by the 2019-20 bushfires (areas declared Category B).

This low cost finance was available to small businesses to help them get back on their feet.

There are no repayments or interest for the first two years, then a concessional rate. 

I need help filling in application forms

Bushfire Recovery Centres 

You can get help from staff in recovery centres to fill in application forms for recovery support for the 2019-20 bushfires

Recovery Centres are established by state governments in areas affected by the 2019-20 bushfires with support from the Australian Government. 

Recovery Centres provide a one-stop-shop for small business owners to make sure they have access to expert support.

Find your nearest Recovery Centre:

My business is in financial distress

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. 

If you are an individual, business owner or primary producer and are having difficulty meeting your tax and super obligations, get in touch. 

Call the ATO on 1800 806 218 so they can find a solution based on your individual circumstances. Visit the ATO’s bushfires page for more information.

My business premise was damaged or destroyed by the 2019-20 bushfires

Property clean-up

Registrations remain open in New South Wales. Registrations in Victoria and South Australia have closed. 

The Australian Government is working with the New South Wales, Victorian, and South Australian Governments to share the cost of clean-up for the 2019-20 bushfires.

This includes residential and commercial properties destroyed by the bushfires.

There is no cost to property owners for this clean-up initiative. 

Further information on the clean-up program in each state can be found by calling the following numbers or clicking on the links below: