The Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line (1800 413 828) is fully operational. Callers are greeted with an introductory message and then are put through to a special queue for bushfire related support.
SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANTS
The Government recently announced the bushfire small business package which includes a $10,000 grant for businesses indirectly affected by the bushfires in the 20 most heavily impacted Local Government Areas.
The package also focusses on providing additional on-the-ground support for small businesses and reducing red tape to enable faster access to funds for relevant businesses. The Government’s focus for this package has been on streamlining access for small businesses. And the NBRA is encouraging relevant small businesses to use part of the $10,000 grant to seek financial advice.
More information can be found here. ACCI will continue its close engagement with the NBRA.
Grants of up to $50,000 are available for eligible small businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have suffered direct damage to their premises or equipment, and intend to re-establish in the community.
The grants will not be available for expenses that are covered by insurance, nor to recompense lost business income.
Visit Apply for a bushfire recovery grant for directly-impacted small businesses to learn more.
Concessional loans of up to $500,000 are available for eligible small businesses and not-for-profit organisations.
There are 2 types of loans available, and each loan has a 2-year interest-free and repayment-free period:
- the Bushfire Working Capital Loan of up to $50,000 over 5 years
- the Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000 over 10 years.
Visit the Rural Assistance Authority to check your eligibility and apply.
NSW Rural Assistance Authority
The NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) provides a range of grants, subsidies and loans to help primary producers, small businesses, non-profit organisations and sporting and recreation clubs affected by bushfires. See Disaster relief loans and Grants and subsidies for more information.
The RAA is now offering a special bushfire disaster grant for eligible primary producers in impacted LGAs. Grants of up to $75,000 are available.
Businesses must apply by 31 July 2020. Visit Special Disaster Grant – Bushfires for more information.
Natural disaster recovery grants
Natural disaster recovery grants provide immediate relief to eligible primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations, for clean-up and restoration costs in the aftermath of extreme natural disasters.
These grants are administered in each state and territory under the joint Commonwealth and state and territory government funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) 2018.
NSW: Disaster Recovery Grants
Grants of up to $15,000 are available if your business has been directly affected by bush fire.
- Applications can be made to the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit their website for eligibility criteria.
SA: Recovery grants for small business and primary producers
A grant of $10,000 is available for eligible small businesses affected by the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island bushfires.
A grant of $15,000 is available for eligible primary producers affected by the Cudlee Creek and Kangaroo Island bushfires.
The grants is designed to assist with the immediate costs of beginning to rebuild and recover and is provided under the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
SMALL BUSINESS DISASTER RELIEF LOANS
Small businesses who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster including floods, fires or storm damage, may be eligible for low interest loans.
This low interest rate loan can help a small business:
- return to its normal level of trading or until the next major income is received within 12 months from the date of disaster.
- replace and repair damage caused to your small business and associated improvements not covered by insurance.
NSW: Disaster Relief Loans
Natural disaster assistance low interest rate loans are available to eligible:
QLD: Disaster Relief Loans
Concessional loans of up to $250,000 for those who suffered direct damage and concessional loans of up to $100,000 for those who did not suffer direct damage, but suffered loss of income as a direct result of the bushfires.
Freight subsidies of up to $5,000 for primary producers are also available to assist with recovery, including shipment of materials, fodder and water, as well as the removal of livestock from burnt pastures.
For further information visit:
- Primary producers, and small business and not for profit loans: qrida.qld.gov.au or free call 1800 623 946
- Freight subsidies: daf.qld.gov.au or phone the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DISASTER RECOVERY ALLOWANCE (INDIVIDUALS)
Assistance is available if you can show you have experienced a loss of income or have been adversely affected as a direct result of the Bushfires.
The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income. The payment is available only in specific local government areas and for particular timed events. You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks. It’s payable from the date you lose income as a direct result of the Bushfires.
Qld – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/eastern-queensland-bushfires-november-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance
NSW Bushfires https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/nsw-bushfires-september-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance
South Australian https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/south-australian-bushfires-november-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance
Victorian Bushfires https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/victorian-bushfires-december-2019-disaster-recovery-allowance
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT DISASTER RECOVERY PAYMENT (INDIVIDUALS)
The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help people adversely affected by the bushfires occurring in November 2019 to January 2020.
Adversely affected includes for example:
- you have been seriously injured
- you’re the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died
- your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
- the interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
- damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
- your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
- the interior of your residence has been affected by sewerage contamination
- you’re the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.
If you’re eligible you will receive $1,000 per adult and $400 for each child younger than 16.
QLD – Eastern Queensland Bushfires– https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/eastern-queensland-bushfires-november-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
NSW Bushfires – https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/nsw-bushfires-september-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
Victorian Bushfires https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/victorian-bushfires-december-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
South Australian Bushfires: https://www.humanservices.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/south-australian-bushfires-november-2019-australian-government-disaster-recovery-payment
NATIONAL RED CROSS EMERGENCY GRANTS
Red Cross launched an emergency grants program on 23 December to support individuals and communities affected by severe bushfires across the country. The grants are available to people across the country whose primary place of residence (owner/occupied or rented) has been destroyed, or made uninhabitable or unfit to live in, as a result of a bushfire since 1 July 2019. Each household can apply for $2,000, with funds provided as a contribution to meet basic recovery needs.
The Emergency Grants Program is one component of a broader Red Cross Recovery Program which provides funds directly to people in communities impacted by a disaster to meet basic needs. The funds are being distributed as part of this program will be drawn from the Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery fund (DRR) donated by the general public and corporate communities.
Westpac Group Bushfire Recovery Support Package
- A grant of up to $15,000 to assist small businesses with the cost of refurbishing premises that have been destroyed during the bushfires.
- 2.83% three-year variable rate, low-interest rebuilding loans for business customers, up to $1 million individual loans ($1 billion allocation).
- Up to $2,000 in emergency cash grants for customers whose business premises have been destroyed or damaged by the bushfires.
- No foreclosures for three years on any farming businesses in the affected areas.
- Fast track credit approvals to provide short-term assistance.
To find out if you are eligible for the Bushfire Recovery Support Package call:
- Westpac 1800 067 497
- St.George 1800 629 795
- Bank of Melbourne 1800 600 266
- BankSA 1800 679 461
Westpac Insurance customers
All affected insurance customers should contact Westpac on 1300 369 989 so that we may assist. Claims can be lodged 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling this number.
STATE-SPECIFIC FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
Emergency Relief Assistance Payments
Emergency relief assistance is available for up to seven days after the event if you are unable to access or live in your home because of an emergency.
Payments of up to $560 per adult and $280 per child (up to a maximum of $1960 per eligible household) are available to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing and personal items.
Emergency Re-establishment Payments
Emergency re-establishment assistance is available if your principal place of residence (your home) is uninhabitable for more than seven days because of an emergency.
Provides up to $42,250 per eligible household experiencing financial hardship, who have been affected by fire at their primary place of residence.
The grants will be available for clean-up, emergency accommodation, repairs, rebuilding (a principal place of residence), and replacing some damaged contents.
Re-establishment assistance is available to individuals or families who do not have building (home) insurance or contents insurance.
Personal Hardship Assistance Program
The Personal Hardship Assistance Program provides assistance to people experiencing financial hardship because of a single house fire or a natural disaster related emergency such as bushfire, flood, severe storm or earthquake.
Emergency relief assistance may be available for up to 7 days after the emergency event. A one-off payment is provided to help meet immediate needs, including emergency food, shelter, clothing, medication and accommodation.
VicRoads is refunding remaining registrations for fire damaged vehicles and replacing licences for free
A Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy is also made available to primary producers who are affected by a declared natural disaster event.
A Community Recovery Fund (CRF)
The fund has been activated to further assist bushfire affected communities. Funding is available for a range of measures including targeted community projects and mental health support.
Recovery grants of up to $15,000 also are available for eligible primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations.
To apply for a recovery grant, primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations can contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit raa.nsw.gov.au
Re-establishment Grants up to $10,000 for Bushfire Residents
Eligible South Australians who are uninsured and have had their principal residence damaged by bushfires can apply for grants of up to $10,000 to help them re-establish their homes.
The payments can be used to help repair bushfire-damaged homes or replace essential household items.
The payments are available only to those persons who meet the following criteria:
- Their primary residence has been damaged
- They meet an income test
- Their losses are not being met by insurance, compensation or other assistance measures
- The structure/dwelling component of the grant can only be paid to owner-occupiers
- The essential household and personal item component may be paid to owner-occupiers or tenants.
- For more information on eligibility please visit a relief centre or phone the SA Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 (8.00 am to 8.00 pm).
Personal Hardship Emergency Grants (DRFA)
South Australians directly affected by the Cudlee Creek or Kangaroo Island fires are able to apply for one-off emergency grants to assist with immediate, temporary relief.
The Personal Hardship Emergency Grants of up to $700 per family (or $280 per individual adult) can be used at the discretion of each recipient, but are intended to pay for essential items such as food, toiletries, clothing and medication.
- For more information including how to apply please phone the Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 or visit an Emergency Relief Centre in SA.
Queensland Structural Assistance
Structural assistance grants of up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples/families for those personal property owners who are uninsured or unable to claim insurance
Essential service safety and reconnection grants of up to $200 for inspections and $4,200 towards repair work for those property owners who are uninsured or unable to claim insurance.
Emergency hardship assistance
Financial assistance available for people in activated disaster areas to help with immediate and urgent needs such as food, clothing and medication. Emergency hardship assistance is not income tested. If deemed eligible, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of 5 or more. The grant is initially available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in your area.
Essential services hardship assistance grant
This grant supports people directly impacted by a disaster to meet their immediate needs where they have experienced loss of one or more essential services for more than 5 days.
The Essential Services Hardship Assistance grant is not income or asset tested. Subject to the criteria above, applicants may receive $150 per person, up to $750 for a family of 5 or more. The grant is initially available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in your area.
Essential household contents grant
If you are uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance to provide a contribution towards replacing or repairing essential household contents, such as beds, linen and whitegoods, that have been lost or damaged in a disaster.
Grants of up to $1,765 for single adults and up to $5,300 for couples/families are available.
Structural assistance grant
If you’re uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, you may be eligible for a one-off payment as a contribution towards repairs to your home to make it secure and safe.
Grants of up to $10,995 for single adults and up to $14,685 for couples/families are available.
Essential services safety and reconnection grant
If you’re uninsured, or unable to claim insurance, you may be eligible for a grant to help you reconnect essential services that were damaged by a disaster.