From 1 April, businesses impacted by COVID-19 and the floods will also be eligible to access the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.
Under the expansion, eligible flood-affected businesses with a turnover of less than $250 million will be able to access loans of up to $5 million over a term of up to 10 years and will also be offered up to 24 months of repayment holidays.
The SME Recovery Loan Scheme is aimed at helping businesses that were on JobKeeper during the March quarter by providing them with easier and more cost-effective access to finance, greater repayment flexibility, the ability to refinance existing loans into the scheme and to better manage their cash flows through an extended loan term and lower combined repayments.
But under the extension, flood-affected businesses will not be required to have been on JobKeeper during the March quarter to be eligible.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said businesses will be able to rebuild quickly.
“We want businesses and producers affected by floods to get back on their feet. Know that the federal government is backing you,” Mr Morrison said.
“This loan extension will allow businesses to have the security of capital to develop a tailored recovery plan that works for them.”
Extension of storm and flood clean-up grants program
Further, both the federal and the NSW government announced the activation of Category C and D assistance through the joint Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Under the program, recovery grants will be provided to small businesses of up to $50,000 and grants to primary producers of up to $75,000 where direct damage has occurred, on a cost-shared basis.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the clean-up strike force was just the first step.
“We want the community to know that we will be with them every step of the way as they clean up and recover from the floods,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We appreciate it will be a very challenging time for people as they go back to their homes and their properties, and we know the clean-up and recovery process may take weeks and even months.”
What the NSW Storm and Flood Clean-up Program includes
- Residential clean-up – to assist residents in flood-affected areas whose homes have been damaged by floodwaters
- Clean-up of essential public assets – to assist with the clean-up and debris removal activities from flood-damaged public assets (e.g. roads)
- Clean-up of community, recreation and cultural assets including sporting fields
- Primary producers and small business clean-up – to assist primary producers and small businesses to clean up and dispose of flood-related debris from their properties
- Clean-up and restoration of environmental assets – to assist with the clean-up and restoration of flood-damaged, priority environmental assets including beaches
- Associated clean-up and waste disposal costs – to cover additional costs incurred by affected councils and relevant state agencies
Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 (direct damage)
The grants are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including safety inspections, repairs to premises and internal fittings, and replacement of stock.
Primary producer recovery grants up to $75,000 (direct damage)
The grants are designed to provide short-term targeted assistance for recovery and reinstatement activities, including salvaging crops and repairs to damaged farm infrastructure (e.g. fencing) and equipment.