Bushfire Loss of Business Income

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The popular Nugget's Crossing in Jindabyne is empty on January 4, 2020 after a tourist evacuation notice was issued. Photo Steve Cuff

BUSINESSES in the Snowy Monaro and Snowy Valleys council areas who were not directly impacted by bushfires but suffered severe income loss can now apply for a $10,000 grant.

This grant will be available to small businesses located in specified local government areas impacted by recent bushfires and who have experienced a significant decline in revenue. This grant will cover loss of income to your business.

The region’s peak business organisation, the Illawarra Business Chamber, has today welcomed the Federal Government’s Bushfire Affected Small Business Rebuild package as a remedy for small businesses indirectly impacted by recent bushfires.

For months now, the impact on businesses that did not suffer direct property damage has been severe, as they suffered through a collapse in visitation and the cashflow crisis that followed without access to either federal or state government grants.

Instead they were referred to a concessional loans scheme that had a highly complex application process and requirements that were exceptionally difficult to meet.

“Only yesterday I joined business-owners in Ulladulla who expressed their desperate need for cash support, and easier access to both concessional loans and financial advice,” said Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber.

The federal government is now responding to concerns that were raised on behalf of businesses who are hurting across the region. Further eligibility criteria and the application process are currently being developed and the application form will be available in the coming days on the Service NSW website.

“This will be the first time that businesses indirectly impacted by bushfires have had access to government grants. I know of so many small businesses across bushfire-affected areas in Southern NSW that have experienced a 40 percent drop in revenue or greater, and they will now have access to a $10,000 grant.”

“Importantly, this will allow all affected businesses to seek support and spend locally, for instance seeking financial advice from their accountant or planner, covering staffing costs, and generally keeping businesses up and running.”

The feedback from businesses has been that the complexity and sheer volume of documentation required to access concessional loans has been prohibitive. Now you will see existing eligibility requirements relaxed and simplified, and that the government will position advisers to assist business owners with their application.

“This is a welcome response from government, however businesses in bushfire affected regions still seek assurance that they will not be forgotten in the government’s response to COVID-19, including the expected stimulus package,” said Mr Zarth.

Today’s announcement includes:

·         A new $10,000 grant to assist small businesses in bushfire-affected regions that have experienced a 40 percent drop in revenue over a three-month period compared to the previous year,

·         Easier access to concessional loans of up to $50,000, and

·         Business advisers to provide tailored advice.

 

Business who have not registered are urged to visit the Service NSW website and request a call from the customer care service.

Service NSW Business Support Click Here

 

NSW Government Roadshow

During March, The NSW Government is hosting a NSW Bushfire Regional Roadshow to share information on support available for directly and indirectly affected businesses.

NSW Government Roadshow Schedule