For most business owners affected by the Black Summer bushfires, the first question they ask is: “how long will it be before I can open the doors again?”
It can be a hard, long road to get a business up and running after a major event like a bushfire. That’s why the Business Council of Australia (BCA) developed BizRebuild.
BizRebuild is a business-led initiative that provides practical, on-the-ground assistance to small and local businesses left devastated by the bushfires. It is a five-year initiative specifically designed to help businesses recover and create jobs, rebuild stronger communities, and restore thriving local economics.
“Business is the glue that keeps communities together. Whether it is bushfires or global pandemic, we need businesses to pull through and keep communities alive,” said BizRebuild Chair, Sir Peter Cosgrove.
“We’re doing what business does best: acting quickly to cut through red tape and get things done.”
On New Year’s Eve 2019, the NSW South Coast village of Mogo was devastated by catastrophic bushfires. Many businesses were lost or damaged. But within six weeks, 13 demountable buildings, donated by BCA member ATCO, were delivered to create a pop-up mall.
“These containers that have been put together for us are the best thing that could have happened to us because that’s the only way we could run our business. It will give us an opportunity to have a place to come to work to. We just wanted to trade and service our customers,” explained Lorena Granados, owner of Roman Leathergoods.
The pop-up mall is expected to stay in place for 1-2 years while more permanent facilities are built. BizRebuild has also distributed 289 vouchers worth $392,000 for businesses impacted both directly and indirectly by the bushfires on the NSW South Coast. Nationally, it has distributed 631 vouchers worth $720,500.
Small businesses can use the $500 business recovery vouchers for professional services such as local lawyers and accounting services to help draw up business recovery plans. Small businesses and tradespeople can use the $2,000 business recovery vouchers to replace tools and equipment.
Cobargo resident Scott Herring was able to buy a much-needed compressor for his business.
“Having this voucher available meant that I could take advantage of a good deal from a local supplier at the time,” he said.
“BCA have made it easy to buy essential equipment as I need to and be reimbursed later. Thanks in advance for this very amazing initiative from the BCA. It makes a real difference.”
For more information on BizRebuild, visit www.BizRebuild.com.au