Disaster relief assistance for storm-affected SMEs in NSW

Disaster relief assistance has been announced for small businesses in 12 local government areas affected by the once in a decade storms that have battered NSW this week.

Disaster relief assistance has been announced for small businesses in 12 local government areas affected by the once in a decade storms that have battered NSW this week.

The violent weather has lashed the Hunter region, Central Coast and Sydney and left devastation in these communities – including to small businesses. Jointly announced by the NSW and Australian governments, the disaster assistance relief will help small businesses rebuild and ensure repairs and maintenance are carried out as soon as possible. 

Under the assistance, small businesses and primary producers directly impacted by the disaster may be able to apply for loans of up to $130,000 at a fixed concessional interest rate (subject to certain eligibility criteria). These loans may be used to provide essential working capital to meet carry-on requirements or to repair or replace damaged property not covered by insurance.

The 12 areas covered are Cessnock, Dungog, Gosford, Great Lakes, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Newcastle City, Pittwater, Port Stephens, Singleton, Warringah and Wyong. The funding has been made available under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA). It will be administered by the NSW Government.

“The loss of just one day’s income can really hurt small businesses, especially those which don’t have a significant financial ‘buffer’,” Federal Minster for Small Business Bruce Billson said. “While some damage may be covered by insurance, other repair and maintenance requirements may not.

“I also encourage small businesses and independent contractors in need to take advantage of the Australian Government’s Single Business Service which provides advice and referral services on a range of issues including stress and hardship counseling.

Businesses interested in the storm damage assistance should contact the NSW Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593 or visit the Rural Assistance Authority website. The Single Business Service, which is delivered by AusIndustry, can be accessed at www.business.gov.au or by calling 13 28 46.

* Image credit: www.mamamia.com.au.

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