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The ongoing 2022 eastern Australia floods have had a catastrophic effect on many individuals’ livelihoods, with damage from the floods expected to reach $1.5 billion. Therefore, the Australian government has introduced a range of disaster relief measures to support businesses that have been affected by these floods. Depending on which category your business falls under, you can apply for a variety of grants and loans of different amounts to help with financial relief. These are in addition to the usual grants for small businesses and COVID-19 rent relief for commercial tenants.

This article outlines the disaster relief measures available in Queensland and New South Wales and how you can claim them.

Queensland

Many people in Queensland have felt the effects of the flood severely, with South East Queensland being hit the hardest. Accordingly, the Australian and Queensland governments have jointly introduced a range of support measures known as Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements. 

You can apply for these grants and loans on the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) website.  

Businesses and Not-For-Profit Organisations

This table outlines some of the grants and loans available to businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have been affected by a natural disaster.

Recovery Grants This grant provides up to $50,000 with $15,000 paid upfront and the balance paid if needed upon proof of payment. You can use this grant for recovery activities, such as clean-up, repairing buildings and equipment, and stock replacement.
Disaster Assistance Loans These loans offer up to $250,000 for up to 10 years at a concessional rate. You can use this loan to repair or replace damaged plants, equipment or buildings. You can also use these funds on stock replacement or carry on costs such as rent.
Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital) These loans offer up to $100,000 for up to 10 years at a concessional rate. You can use this loan to pay carry on costs such as rent and rates, or pay personnel such as staff and creditors. You can also use it on essential costs such as fuel.

Primary Producers 

A primary producer is an entity (such as an individual, trust, partnership or company) that operates a primary production business. This means that they are in the business of:

  • plant or animal cultivation (or both);
  • tree farming or felling (or both); or
  • fishing or pearling (or both).

As a primary producer, you can apply for a special disaster grant of up to $75,000, with $15,000 paid upfront after providing proof of damage, and then a further payment of $60,000 if needed after providing proof of expenditure. You can use this money for different clean up and reinstatement activities, such as salvaging crops and repairing damaged equipment.

Primary producers can also apply for Disaster Assistance Loans and Disaster Assistance Loans (Essential Working Capital) as above.

Sport and Community Clubs and Associations 

If your business falls under this category, you can claim a Sport and Recreation Recovery Grant. This grant offers up to $20,000 for eligible clubs and associations to clean up and repair or replace equipment that has been damaged or lost due to disaster.

For more information on the above grants, visit the QRIDA website or call 1800 623 946.

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New South Wales

The extreme flooding has significantly impacted coastal New South Wales. Thus, the New South Wales government has a range of financial relief and support options available for affected businesses. Many of these are similar to those available in Queensland.

You can fill out a short questionnaire on the Service NSW website to receive a list of disaster relief measures you may be eligible for.

To receive some of these measures, you may require proof of a disaster declaration for your location. These are updated on a rolling basis.

Businesses and Not-for-profit Organisations

If you are a small business or not-for-profit organisation, you may be eligible for a storm and flood disaster recovery small business grant. You can receive up to $50,000, with $15,000 paid upfront and the rest paid if needed upon proof of payment.

You can also apply for Disaster Assistance Loans as discussed above.

Primary Producers

You can visit the ATO website for a list of primary production activities to determine whether your business falls into this category.

Then, you can apply for a special disaster grant of up to $75,000, with $15,000 paid upfront after providing proof of damage, and then a further $60,000 paid if needed.

Finally, you can also apply for a disaster relief loan at a concessional interest rate.

Sport and Community Clubs and Associations

Suppose your business is a sporting and recreation club directly affected by flood disasters. In that case, you are eligible for a low-interest rate loan to help meet the costs of restoring facilities and equipment.

You may also apply for a further grant of up to $2000 from NSW Treasury to assist with clean-up and debris removal. To do this, you must contact NSW Treasury via email, which you can do at natural_disasters@treasury.nsw.gov.au.

For more information on the above grants in New South Wales, visit the Disaster Assistance Service NSW website. You may also wish to look into booking a Business Concierge call to help identify support and fill out forms.

Key Takeaways

The Australian government has introduced a range of measures to help mitigate the effects of the ongoing natural disaster. In particular, extensive measures exist in Queensland and New South Wales, as these areas have been affected by the floods to a greater extent. If you are a business owner in these areas, you should visit the QRIDA and Service NSW websites respectively to apply for assistance.

LegalVision cannot assist with grants applications. If you require Iegal advice, our experienced lawyers can assist as part of our LegalVision membership. For a low monthly fee, you will have unlimited access to lawyers to answer your questions and draft and review your documents. Call us today on 1300 544 755 or visit our membership page.

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