As devastating floods continue, we have appealed to the government for financial support.
Both the Queensland government and the NSW government are responding to this crisis in different ways. Below we present each state’s options for supporting businesses in crisis. The regions that funding will be provided for will be outlined at the end of this report.
Here are the guidelines.
First steps for both states
Regardless of which state you are in it is important that you prioritise these steps before pursuing any financial assistance:
- Evaluation damages: Your first task is to assess both structural damages as well equipment and product damages and itemise these. Evaluate what can be repaired and what needs to be replaced.
- Contact your insurance company: Do not commence any repairs. Contact your insurance company first for a claims form and for their guidance and recommendations.
- Contact your landlord: If you are leasing your property, please contact your landlord and note that any structural damage would come under their building insurance. Request them to take action and ask them if you can assist by providing two quotes. Sometimes landlords have their own handymen, so it is not necessary for your insurance to step in.
- Financial repayments: If you have loans and your business is not able to operate, contact your lender for your payment schedule. It would also be advisable to first discuss this with your accountant who can determine a potential financial management plan.
- Australian taxation office: If you are having difficulty paying your taxation accounts, contact the ATO for term-payment considerations. Your accountant or bookkeeper can assist with this too.
- Quotations for replacement and repairs: Once the above have been determined you can now access quotations to estimate costs of repairs or replacements. But remember, before any action in repairs or replacement, be guided by your insurance company.
- Government relief assistance: Please note that before you can apply for any financial relief or grants from the government you will need to have all the above documentation in place first.
Government disaster recovery allowance For NSW and Queensland
As well as offering disaster recovery payments of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child, the federal government has announced a Disaster Recovery Allowance for employees, small business owners and farmers who have suffered a loss of income due to the floods.
The allowance will provide workers and business owners with payments for up to 13 weeks, from the date of loss of income.
Payments are set at a maximum rate equivalent to Jobseeker or Youth Allowance payments, depending on circumstances, and will be taxable.
This support is available for people in 26 affected local government areas.
These are as follows:
In Queensland: Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.
In New South Wales: Ballina, Bellingen, Byron, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Tweed.
Eligible residents can claim this support via myGov or by calling Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Employees and individuals
The Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) is also available to provide financial assistance not just for small businesspersons but also for employees who are located in any of the 26 flood-affected regions.
This allowance provides for a maximum of 13 weeks’ payment from the date you have or will have a loss of income as a direct result of a disaster. The DRA payment is set at the maximum equivalent rate of Jobseeker Payment or Youth Allowance, depending on your personal circumstances, and is taxable.
To access further information and claim your support contact Services Australia or phone their information line 1800 2266. Find out more here
GOVERNMENT FUNDING FOR QLD BUSINESSES
Queensland businesses can assess a Disaster Assistance Loan through the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangement (DRFA) scheme. This scheme provides loans of up to $250,000 with a 10-year term. Check this out here.
If you are in a rural region you will need to review the terms set out by The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) as state funding is provided to help you re-establish normal operations. This funding provision is for small businesses only and funding is to be used for repairing and replacing buildings, damaging equipment and meeting rent payments. You can also contact QRIDA by phone 1800 623 946 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disaster Assistance: Essential Working Capital Loans are also available to assist primary producers, small businesses and non-profit organisations with essential working capital for expenses such as wages, creditors and creditors, as well as rents and buying goods. Check this website to see if you qualify
If you are not sure if your region will qualify for funding here is the list for Queensland:
Brisbane, Fraser Coast, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, North Burnett, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset, South Burnett, Southern Downs, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba.
Government funding for NSW Business’s
Specifically for NSW, you may wish to access the NSW Storms and Flood Disaster Small Business Grant. Please note applications are open until the end of March 2022. Click here to apply
There is also another provision through the Disaster Relief Loans program. To check this out you can contact 1300 795 299 or check the link
While the NSW government has not announced any specific financial support for flood-affected businesses you can still reach out for the federal government funding assistance we have outlined above.