NSW small business storms and flood support
Support services available for small business owners affected by the March 2021 storms and floods.
Updated 6 April 2021.
The March 2021 storms and floods are having a devastating impact on communities and small businesses around NSW.
There are support services available for small business owners who have suffered direct damage to their assets or loss of income as a result of the floods.
To see what support is available, click on the links below.
You can read the latest new and updates here.
Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) have been activated in the 34 local government areas of: Armidale, Bellingen, Central Coast, Cessnock City, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour City, Dungog Shire, Kempsey, Lake Macquarie, Maitland City, Mid-Coast, Nambucca, Newcastle City, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Tenterfield, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Camden, Campbelltown, Canterbury Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Liverpool, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Sutherland, The Hills and Wollondilly.
Loans of up to $130,000 at a fixed concessional interest rate may be available to small businesses, primary producers and non-profits (subject to certain eligibility criteria) that have been directly impacted.
Disaster Recovery Payment
One-off financial assistance for individuals at a rate of $1000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child. Claims for this payment can be lodged with Services Australia for a period up to 6 months.
Disaster Recovery Allowance
A fortnightly income supplement that is available to primary producers and sole traders who have lost income as a direct result of the disaster.
Small business recovery grants up to $50,000 (direct damage)
These 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. For eligibility criteria, visit Service NSW.
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.
For more information on disaster and recovery assistance, visit Service NSW or phone 13 77 88 for assistance.
Help for affected small businesses to meet their tax obligations
The ATO also offers assistance with meeting tax obligations for businesses impacted by floods. More information is available here.
Help from your financial institution
The major banks and others have announced special support for flood-affected clients. Contact your institution for further details.
Help from your telecommunications provider
Telstra and Optus are offering assistance for residential and small business customers who have lost services following the severe storms and major flooding across eastern parts of NSW. Contact your provider for more information.
To prepare an insurance claim, there are a few steps affected small business owners can take. Our office has a step-by-step a guide to help you put together your claim and assist you in getting paid quickly and smoothly after a disaster or disruption. To read the guide see here.
If you are unsure whose responsibility it is to repair the damage to the premises, you can look at the terms of your lease agreement to understand these repair obligations. If you operate a retail lease shop and are unable to trade at this time or your trade will be diminished because of damage to the premises, you may be able to receive discounted rent for this period by negotiating with the property owner (lessor).
If the property owner (lessor) and tenant (lessee) are unable to come to an agreement, contact our office to discuss options to resolve the dispute through our mediation service.
After you have taken the necessary photos of the damage to the leased property for your insurance claim and record keeping, and you have taken the appropriate measures to assess that it is safe enter the premises again, advice from NSW Health can assist you to clean up safely.
If you’re experiencing financial distress because you’re unable to meet your financial obligations due to the direct impact of the storms and floods, there are certain steps you can take to seek relief. To read information about financial assistance available to small business, see here.
The impact of disasters, such as storms and floods, can take its toll on small business owners. The stress, worry and anxiety many operators experience can have an effect their health and ability to effectively run the business, and can impact those around them, including employees and family. To find out what mental health support is available to help small businesses, see here.
The Commission has information on how to recover from disasters and make your business more resilient. The step-by-step guide is available here.
Who can I contact?
For information on available disaster assistance and grants, contact the Disaster Customer Care Service at Service NSW on 1377 88.
For questions relating to damage to the business premises, rent payable and issues relating to leases for small businesses who have been directly affected by the floods, contact the NSW Small Business Commission Customer Service on 1300 795 534.