Help for bushfire affected businesses

Published:03/02/2020

Help for bushfire affected businesses

The effects of the nation's bushfire crisis are continuing to impact local industries and businesses across Australia. If your business has been affected, there is help available.

The Federal Government has announced a comprehensive, multi-million dollar support package targeted to help eligible small business owners deal with the emotional and financial challenges they are facing and will continue to face during the current bushfire crisis.

The package includes new top-up grants, concessional loans, tax relief benefits and a specialised disaster support line to help businesses in need during their recovery efforts.


Top-up Grants

Under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, the Federal Government is providing top-up grants of up to $50,000 to eligible small businesses and non-profit organisations that have suffered significant asset and revenue loss. The grants, which are uncapped, will be in addition to the disaster recovery grants put in place by the State Governments.


Concessional Loans

Concessional loans of up to $500,000 will be available to eligible businesses (including farmers and primary producers) and non-profit organisations to help restore or replace damaged assets and boost working capital. The loans are interest free for 10 years and would then come with an interest rate set at 50% of the 10-year Government bond rate (currently at 0.6%)


Single Contact Point

The Government is providing $3.5 million to establish a Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line with an additional 10 small business specialist financial counsellors. The line should have the ability to provide support and advice to approximately 100 bushfire affected small businesses per day.


Tax Relief

The Commissioner of Taxation has agreed to put in place measures to help alleviate cash flow pressures for those businesses in bushfire affected areas. Taxpayers in those eligible postcodes will be given an extension until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay business activity statements and income tax returns.

Impacted businesses that pay their Pay-As-You-Go instalments quarterly will also be allowed to claim zero dollars for the December 2019 quarter and claim a refund for any instalments made in the September 2019 quarter.


Important Resources

Your business may also be eligible for other grants and assistance programs to help recover from the bushfires. To access a full list of grants and programs, click here.

For eligibility information and the application process, check your relevant state Government website. Not all states have full details available at this stage but there will be soon.

How Coverforce can help

The effects of a bushfire and other natural disasters are felt by all - however those who are uninsured or underinsured risk life-changing financial consequences.

Our team of expert insurance brokers can assess your risks and provide personalised advice on the right insurance program to reliably protect your business and assets should disaster strike.


Lodging a Claim

Our dedicated in-house claims team is here for our bushfire affected customers, partners and communities. If you have been affected by the bushfires and need to lodge a claim, we are on hand to provide advice and minimise disruption to your business. Our team will work with the insurer on your behalf to ensure you receive your full entitlement without undue delay.

To lodge a claim, please contact us on 1-3000-COVER or email brokingclaims@coverforce.com.au


The information provided in this article is of a general nature only and has been prepared without taking into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. If you require advice that is tailored to your specific business or individual circumstances, please contact Coverforce directly.


References

  • https://www.pm.gov.au/media/immediate-small-business-support-bushfire-affected-communities
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-20/small-businesses-hit-by-bushfires-to-receive-grants-and-loans/11881082
  • https://www.linkedin.com/feed/news/bushfire-help-package-for-small-biz-4042233/


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