Time was standing still for Simon Saunders, owner of the Time Machine bookstore in Merimbula. It was January 2020, usually the busiest time of the year, and the Black Summer bushfires had hit the area. All the tourists had left the town and Simon had to shut up shop for the season.
He heard through the National Bushfire Recovery Agency that he might be entitled to a $10,000 Small Business Grant and decided to apply through the NSW Government.
“I was amazed at how easy it was – I received immediate confirmation and it only took a couple of weeks to receive the money,” Simon said.
“I told my fellow shop keepers about it and many of them applied too.”
Simon used the money to pay his rent for six months, which was particularly useful when COVID-19 kicked in, hitting the local tourism industry again.
“It’s made such a difference to me, not just financially but mentally too,” he said. “It’s lifted a huge amount of stress and worry about my business.”
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