How small businesses impacted by floods can claim disaster payments

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on March 03, 2022 Fact Checked
How small businesses impacted by floods can claim disaster payments

With countless businesses impacted by floods across the east coast, here's how affected small business owners can access financial assistance.

Australian Government

The Federal Government’s Disaster Recovery Allowance (DRA) assists employees, small business owners and farmers who experience a loss of income as a direct result of a major disaster.

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.

Residents in affected areas can claim support online via myGov, or by calling Services Australia on 180 22 66.

NSW Government

The NSW Government is currently offering immediate support for small businesses, primary production, and not-for profit organisations.

This support includes:

  • Small business and primary producer concessional loans of up to $130,000
  • Concessional interest rate loans for not-for-profits
  • Freight subsidies of up to 50% for primary producers 

Further, the NSW Government offers small businesses a disaster recovery grant of up to $50,000 is to help pay for the costs of clean-up and reinstatement of a small business or not-for-profit organisation’s operations.

To qualify you must be a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in a defined disaster area to be eligible. If you're a primary producer, you may be eligible for financial assistance tailored to your industry.

Covered costs could include, but are not limited to:

  • Payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections.
  • Equipment and materials required for cleaning up.
  • Equipment and materials essential for immediately resuming operations.
  • Payment for a cleaner if the service would not have been needed, or exceeds ordinary cleaning costs, in the absence of the disaster.
  • The removal and disposal of debris, damaged materials, or damaged stock.
  • Repairing premises and internal fittings.
  • Leasing temporary premises, replacing or repair of motor vehicles, or replacing lost or damaged stock, if it’s essential for resuming operations.

Further information regarding eligibility can be found on the Service NSW website.

Queensland Government

Joining NSW, the QLD Government is offering immediate support for small businesses, primary production, and not-for profit organisations.

Grants of up to $50,000 are available for affected small businesses following the South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace or repair damaged infrastructure and stock and other costs associated with the recovery process.

Applicants need to show they are an eligible small business, within the defined disaster area and demonstrate they have suffered direct impact from the disaster. 

Businesses are encouraged to take photographs of the direct damage to accompany their application.

The maximum grant amount is $50,000 and is available through two applications:

  • An initial amount of up to $15,000 is available to support an initial claim. Evidence of the direct damage such as photographs, quotations, tax invoices and official receipts is required.
  • A subsequent amount of up to $35,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

Covered costs could include, but are not limited to:

  • Equipment and materials to undertake clean-up.
  • Additional labour costs (above and beyond normal wage expenditure i.e. day-to-day staffing).
  • Disposing of damaged goods and stock, including associated costs.
  • Repairs to buildings (other than housing).
  • Reconditioning/ repairing essential plant and equipment.
  • Purchase or hire/ lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of the business.
  • Payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections.
  • Essential repairs to premises and internal fittings that is not covered by insurance.

NAB

NAB will provide $1,000 business grants to help restart or reopen and cover the cost of damaged property, equipment, fencing – and for loss of stock or livestock. 

NAB business and agribusiness customers wishing to access the grants can call NAB’s dedicated team on 1300 769 650.

All enquiries will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the NAB Assist team to determine eligibility.

Westpac

Westpac will provide $3,000 for small business customers who meet the eligibility criteria. Small business customers can apply for the cash grants to help with urgent expenses or repairs by contacting their Westpac banker or customer support teams.

The flood grants are available for existing small business customers in NSW and QLD in flood impacted postcodes who have experienced significant damage to, or destruction of, income-producing assets due to the floods. This could include business premises, equipment and loss of stock or livestock. Additional eligibility criteria apply.

On top of cash grants, Westpac customers are being offered the following support:

  • Affected customers with business loans may be able to apply to defer repayments for up to three months.
  • Affected businesses with existing loans can request loan restructuring without incurring the usual bank establishment fees.
  • Affected business customers with merchant facilities are eligible to receive assistance, including monthly terminal access fee waivers for up to three months.

Business customers who need support can contact their Relationship Manager or call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497.

Westpac extends the support to Westpac Group associates with St George business customers who need support can contact their Relationship Manager or call St George Assist on 1800 629 795.

CommBank

Commonwealth Bank is providing its Emergency Assistance to businesses in flood affected areas in South-East Queensland and New South Wales.

CommBank has also kicked off its CanGive Flood Appeal for affected customers and businesses, pledging an initial $500,000 to flood affected areas. Donations can be made via the CommBank app, and the bank has pledged to match donations up to $500,000.

CBA is also addressing support payments on a case-by-case basis. Impacted customers can discuss their circumstances with Commonwealth Bank by calling 1800 314 695.

CBA is offering a variety of options for those impacted, including:

  • Customised payment arrangements including the option to apply to defer payments on eligible business loans.
  • Loan restructuring for business customers and existing loans.

To access this support phone 1800 314 695 or visit a in branch where it is safe to do so. Further information about Emergency Assistance is available online.

ANZ

ANZ business customers affected by floods are encouraged to contact ANZ’s dedicated financial hardship team on 1800 149 549 or online.

ANZ’s offers Disaster Relief Packages which may be available to businesses including:

  • Short-term payment relief on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans (we may still charge you interest during that period).
  • Waiving fees for restructuring business loans.

Customers with ANZ Home and Contents Insurance may be eligible for emergency funds and temporary accommodation.

To lodge an insurance claim, customers can call 13 16 14 or visit the ANZ website.


Image by Jo-Anne McArthur via Unsplash

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Jacob Cocciolone joined the Savings team in 2021 as a Finance Journalist. Driven by a passion for keeping Australians up to date with the latest financial news and trends, his areas of interest include financial technology, investing, property and motoring.

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