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News & Media

Disaster Assistance - Support for small businesses affected by bushfires - Updated 11.03.2020

Fri 20 Mar 2020

Red tape cut, access easier for bushfire affected small businesses - Updated 11.03.2020

Joint media release with the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud MP, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, NSW Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope

The Morrison Government has today announced a new $10,000 grant and simplified access to existing loans and other services for small businesses impacted by recent bushfires. 

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the Government was listening to feedback from fire-affected communities.“ We are listening and acting to help fire-affected communities while supporting states to roll out recovery programs quicker than they have been,” he said.  

Minister for Small and Family Business, Michaelia Cash said small businesses are the backbone of regional economies, and it is critical we work to address their concerns.“ It is also vital that the recovery is led locally through direct support for the small business community,” Minister Cash said. 

The newly launched Bushfire Affected Small Business Rebuild package will ensure small businesses devastated by the recent bushfires receive immediate support tailored to their individual circumstances.

  • Click here to read the full media release on Red tape cut, access easier for bushfire affected small businesses
  • Click here to apply for a NSW Small Business Bushfire Support Grant




NSW Bushfires Clean Up Program - Updated 10.02.2020

Practical support is available to all businesses affected by the NSW bushfires, from damaged or destroyed property to disrupted business and reduced income.  

The below links are for businesses who wish to assist with the clean -up program.

  • Click here for information on BlazeAid Milton
  • Click here for information on BlazeAid Kangaroo Valley
  • Click here for information on Tradies Register - Insurance Council of Australia
  • Click here for more information on NSW Bushfires Clean Up Program - Laing O'Rourke - working with local subcontractors and regional small businesses
  • Click here for more information on e-tendering - Bushfire-affected communities rebuild portal
  • Click here for more information on procure-port



Support for bushfire-impacted businesses - SMALL BUSINESS  
Service NSW - Updated 10.02.2020

Service NSW is working in collaboration with federal, state and local government to bring together all the support and services available to help small businesses get back on their feet.

  • EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
    • Clean-Up 
    • Fences
    • NSW Rural Assistance Authority
    • ASIC
    • ATO
    • Payroll tax
    • Mental health
    • Training disruptions
    • Click here for Emergency Assistance information

  • FINANCIAL SUPPORT
    • Financial advice - Various banks are providing help for bushfire-affected individuals through a range of financial assistance packages, deferred loans, waived fees and charges, grants and relief. Contact your bank for more information on the options available to you.
    • Financial Institutions' helplines
    • Fair Trading - Cancellations & refunds
    • Small Business Commissioner
    • Buy Regional - Buy Regional is a campaign encouraging people to consider buying from regional businesses in bushfire impacted communities. If you'd like your business to be promoted on their website.
    • Insurance
    • Financial Difficulty
    • Financial Counselling
    • Click here for Financial Support information
  • MENTAL HEALTH
    • 24/7 telephone services
    • In-person services
    • Online services and resources
    • Free counselling
    • Medicare rebates for treatment services
    • Grants
    • Click here for Mental Health information

  • LOST OR DESTROYED LICENCES, PERMITS, CERTIFICATES
    • Fair Trading
    • SafeWork NSW
    • Click here for lost of destroyed licences, permits, certificates for bushfire-impacted businesses information.

  • LIQUOR & GAMING NSW, SUPPORT FOR BUSHFIRE-IMPACTED LICENSEES
    • Click here for Liquor & Gaming NSW, support for bushfire-impacted licensees information

    • INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES
      • Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance
      • Entitlements
      • Payments for volunteer firefighters
      • Insurance matters
      • Bushfire smoke
      • Training Services NSW
      • Click here for Information for employees in bushfire affected areas

    • FEDERAL & STATE GOVERNMENT GRANTS & SUPPORT FOR BUSHFIRE-IMPACTED BUSINESSES
      • The federal and state governments are providing business support services, recovery grants, loans and rebates.
      • Business Concierge Service
      • Business Connect
      • Register with eTendering
      • Destination NSW
      • Rural Resilience Program
      • Recovery Grants
      • Loans - Concessional loans of up to $500,000 are available for eligible small businesses and not-for-profit organisations. There are 2 types of loans available, and each loan has a 2-year interest-free and repayment-free period:
        • the Bushfire Working Capital Loan of up to $50,000 over 5 years
        • the Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000 over 10 years.
        • Visit the Rural Assistance Authority to check your eligibility and apply.
      • Safework
      • Department of Education
      • NSW Business Chamber
      • Click here for Federal and State government grants and support for bushfire-impacted businesses information

    • NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANISATIONS (NGOs) - GRANTS & SUPPORT
      • Commonwealth bank - Bushfire Recovery Grant
      • Dress for Success - Bushfire relief packages for business women
      • SES - Emergency Business Continuity Plan
      • Click here for Non-government organisations (NGOs) - grants and support information

    • INFORMATION FOR EMPLOYEES IN BUSHFIRE-AFFECTED AREAS
      • Commonwealth Government Disaster Recovery Allowance
      • Entitlements
      • Payments for volunteer firefighters
      • Insurance Matters
      • Bushfire smoke
      • Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG)
      • Training Services NSW
      • Click here for Information for Employees in Bushfire-affected areas
    • ANIMALS & LIVESTOCK
      • NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)
      • University of Sydney
      • Charles Sturt University
      • Click here for Animal Assistance information
    • Click here to be taken to the Service NSW website to find out more on the services outlined above.

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    Calling all local businesses and local contractors
    NSW Government - Updated 08.02.2020

    Due to the recent bushfires, the NSW Government would like to hear from any local businesses in regions affected by bushfire, that are able to provide goods and services to their community.

    The NSW Government is establishing a supplier list that covers all kinds of goods or services, including those that are not already available from government.

    Registration is easy. Just a few simple questions on a portal. Everyone is welcome to apply.

    The purpose of this portal is to connect buyers with regional suppliers and vice versa. It assists buyers to give first preference to an appropriate local supplier based in the same region. Any information gathered that is not commercial-in-confidence will be publicly available on the Procure Point so everyone can access it.

    Buyers: If you are a NSW Government buyer (including private hospitals, local councils, non-profit organisations, educational institutes and public authorities) or a private buyer you can use this platform to provide information about your needs and the programs you have carried out of bushfire recovery work.


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      Survey - Small Business impact (NOW CLOSED)
      Small Business Commissioner - Updated 07.01.2020

      The NSW Small Business Commissioner is seeking to hear from small business owners in bush fire affected areas regarding the impact of the recent fires on their business.

      Information provided will be shared with government agencies and other organisations and be instrumental in determining the level of recovery support provided.

      If you run a small business in the Shoalhaven, please share your thoughts via the survey.

      • Click here to take the Small Business impact survey
      • This survey is currently closed. Please contact NSW Small Business Commission or further assistance. 
      • Telephone: 1300 795 534 
      • Email: we.assist@smalbusiness.nsw.gov.au 

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      Disaster Recovery Allowance
      Services Australia - Updated 04.03.2020

      Assistance is available if you can show you have experienced a loss of income or have been adversely affected as a direct result of the NSW Bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020.

      The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income.

      • You can get it for a maximum of 13 weeks
      • It’s paid from the date you lose income as a direct result of the NSW Bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020.
      • Disaster Recovery Allowance is a taxable payment. 
      • You can ask the Department to withhold voluntary tax deductions from your payments. 
      • If you get Disaster Recovery Allowance you might be able to access Beneficiary Tax Offset. This may reduce the amount of tax you pay. 
      • You’ll need to contact the Australian Taxation Office to find out more about this. The payment is available in specific local government areas. 

       

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          Disaster Recovery Payment
          Services Australia- Updated 22.01.2020

          The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off payment to help you if a declared disaster significantly affects you. It’s not for minor damage or inconvenience.
          To get the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment you must:
          • be an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa
          • be 16 years or older at the time of the fire or getting a social security payment
          • haven’t already got an Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment for the bushfires in August 2019 through to January 2020 in NSW.
          You also need to have been adversely affected by the fire. For example:
          • you’ve been seriously injured
          • you're the immediate family member of an Australian citizen or resident who died
          • your principal place of residence has been destroyed or must be demolished
          • the interior of your principal place of residence has sustained major damage
          • damage from the fire has exposed the interior of your principal place of residence to the elements
          • your principal place of residence has been declared structurally unsound
          • the interior of your residence has been affected by sewage contamination
          • a major asset or assets you own located at your principal place of residence has or have been destroyed or suffered major damage from the fire
          • you're the principal carer of a dependent child who has experienced any of the above.
          For the purposes of this payment:
          • Your principal place of residence is the main place where you have a right or license to normally reside. It doesn’t include holiday homes or investment properties.
          • A major asset is an asset or assets with a combined market value of $20,000 or more. For example, this can include buildings, vehicles, caravans, water tanks or large scale machinery.
          • You’re a principal carer of a child if the child is your dependent and hasn’t turned 16. The principal carer must have legal responsibility for the day-to-day care, welfare and development of the child.
          If you’re a member of a couple, you can both receive this payment. You and your partner will need to complete separate claim.You can’t claim on behalf of a person who has died or their estate.If you’re eligible you’ll get:
          • $1,000 per adult
          • $400 for each child younger than 16.
          The payment is available in specific local government areas. 

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            Disaster Assistance - Rural Assistance Authority
            Updated 08.02.2020 

            Natural disaster assistance is available to help communities and individuals directly affected by flood, fire, storm damage or any other declared natural disaster. To support relief and recovery following a declared natural disaster a range of measures are made available by the NSW Government.

            Natural Disaster Assistance is available to Local Government Areas affected by a declared natural disaster.


            1. Special Disaster Grants - Bushfires for primary producers

            • Special Disaster Grants of $75,000 are available to Primary Producers affected by the recent NSW bushfires.
            • Click here to apply online for a Special Disaster Grant


            2. Special Disaster Loans - Bushfires for primary producers, small business and not-for-profits

            • Low interest concessional loans of up to $500,000 are available to eligible primary producers, small business and not-for-profits affected by the recent bushfires.
            • Click here to apply online for a Special Disaster Loan


            3. Disaster Recovery Grants - Bushfires for small business and not-for-profit organisations

            Service NSW is taking applications for the recently announced NSW Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Grant of up to $50,000. This is for small businesses (that are not farming enterprises) who have been directly impacted by fires. 

            Note: This new grant replaces the previous $15,000 disaster recovery grant for small business which was administered by the RAA. If you have already applied for the $15,000 grant, your application will be assessed as a priority and you can apply for additional funding (up to a total of $50,000, to cover expenses not already claimed) under the new grant. 

            • Click here to visit the Service NSW website to understand the criteria and access the application form for further information 


            4. Disaster Relief Loans

            Natural disaster assistance low interest rate loans are available to eligible:

            Primary producers are encouraged to report damage following a severe weather event with their Local Land Services (LLS) office or telephone on 1300 795 299.


            5. Transport Assistance - Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy

            A Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy is also made available to primary producers who are affected by a declared natural disaster event.

            A natural disaster assistance transport subsidy is available to eligible farmers who are affected by a declared natural disaster event. This subsidy pays for the cost of transporting:

            • fodder and/or water to an affected property
            • stock to sale or slaughter
            • stock to/from agistment.
            • Click here to apply on line for a Natural Disaster Transport Subsidy

            Additional Assistance can be located at the following links:

            • Click here to be taken to the Emergency Drought Transport RAA website page
            • Click here to be taken to the Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme RAA website page
            • Click here to be taken to the Animal Welfare Transport Subsidy RAA website page
            • Click here to be taken to the Donated Fodder Transport Subsidy RAA website page

            6. Appeal a Decision

            All applicants have the opportunity to request a review of decisions for assistance that they are dissatisfied with. The RAA is committed to providing a clear and independent system for reviewing applications as outlined below:

            • Decision
            • Discussion of refusal
            • Request an appeal
            • Review of an appeal
            • Lodge an appeal
            • Click here for more information

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              Survey - Primary Industries Natural Disaster Damage
              Rural Assistance Authority - Updated 18.01.2020

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              Primary producers affected by bushfires are encouraged to complete the Primary Industries Natural Disaster Damage Survey
              This source of "ground truth" information helps the Government and communities fully understand the scale, severity and regional distribution of the fires on agriculture and target resources and assistance in an area.


              The survey allows you to:

              • Simply provide the number of crops, animals and infrastructure damaged as a result of the bushfires
              • Add photos to the assessment
              • See the severity of damage in your area
              For more information on completing the survey, please visit the following website:
              • Click here to view the NSW Department of Primary Industires (DPI) website 
              • Click here to view the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) website - for more information on the broad range of assistance and support available to NSW Primary Producers
              • Click here to view the Local Land Services (LLS) website - to request assistance with your animals call 1300 795 299

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                Deferrals for activity statement lodgements and payments due for anyone in the identified impacted postcodes
                Australian Taxation Office - Updated 09.01.2020

                The ATO understands large parts of Australia continue to be affected by the devastating bushfires. A number of local government areas have been granted access to the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP).


                The ATO will automatically grant deferrals for activity statement lodgements and payments due for anyone in the identified impacted postcodes

                Full details of these deferrals and a list of impacted postcodes are available on the ATO website – anyone affected by the fires should focus on getting their other affairs in order and not worry about their tax obligations at this time.

                If you have been impacted by these bushfires and need assistance with your tax affairs, you can contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 and the ATO will work with you to get you back on track.

                • Click here to be taken to the ATO website.
                • ATO contact number is 1800 806 218
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                  Business Connect - Small Business Bus
                  NSW Government - Updated 8.02.2020

                  Business Connect is a free mobile advisory service which is available to small businesses. 
                  • A local advisor can meet you at a convenient place and discuss your business needs. 
                  • Advice is offered about managing cash flow, planning the next steps, accessing financial support schemes and connecting to additional support.
                  • Business Connect can be contacted on 1300 134 359
                  • Click here for more information on the Business Connect website.
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                  Legal Aid NSW - Law Society of NSW
                  Updated 09.01.2020

                  For those impacted by the bushfires, Legal Aid NSW is currently providing free, practical legal assistance to help these people recover and rebuild. 
                  • The LawAccess NSW Disaster Response Hotline is 1800 801 529 or go to www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
                  • Click here to access further information on New Free Legal Service for Bushfire Victims by the President of the Law Society, Richard Harvey
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                  Dispute Resolution Service
                  Small Business Commissioner - Updated 07.01.2020

                  A confidential and free dispute resolution service that has been set up to help small businesses needing assistance to work through problems with other businesses or government.

                  • The Dispute Resolution Service can be contacted on 1300 795 534  
                  • Click here for more information on the Dispute Resolution Service
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                  NSW Bushfire Clean Up - NSW residences & businesses
                  Service NSW Registration - Updated 10.02.2020


                  Clean Up Assistance


                  The NSW Government and the Commonwealth are covering the full cost of cleaning up eligible NSW properties that have been destroyed by bushfires since 1 July 2019.

                  Both insured and uninsured properties used for residential, small business or primary production purposes are eligible for the clean-up program.

                  Trained and licensed contractors will determine the safety requirements and the eligibility of properties.

                  The clean-up may include:

                  • removal of known hazardous materials, including asbestos
                  • removal of materials destroyed by bushfire, and hazardous trees
                  • with the consent of the building owners, removal of concrete slab foundations.

                  The program focuses on safety hazards and issues that could impede people rebuilding their homes. For example:

                  • the clean-up costs of outbuildings that are uninhabitable or unusable that are located within the vicinity of a primary residence or business operation are covered
                  • the clean-up costs of septic tanks are not covered unless they present a safety issue.

                  Public Works Advisory (PWA) has appointed Laing O’Rourke Australia to lead the clean-up. They'll be engaging qualified local contractors and local suppliers where possible, to maximise local knowledge and expertise, and assist the economic recovery of the communities.

                  With safety being the number one priority, testing will be initially carried out on all properties to ensure communities are not exposed to contamination, and workers are not exposed to any hazardous materials.

                  Register online as soon as possible, or call Service NSW on 13 77 88.

                  • Click here to register for help with your clean-up (Service NSW) and additional information on the clean up

                  Fences

                  • If your land borders national park or nature reserves and you've had fences damaged or destroyed in the fires, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is offering assistance to replace/repair.
                  • Click here for more information on fire-damaged fences assistance

                  Owners of business/commercial premises (Updated 10.02.2020)

                  Clean-up costs for all large and corporate businesses will be met by the owners or their insurers. Insurers can choose to opt in to the clean-up program and reimburse Government for services.


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                  Insurance Council of Australia - Updated 07.01.2020

                  • The Insurance Council of Australia can be contacted with any questions, complaints or concerns about insurance on 1800 734 621.
                  • Click here for more information on The Insurance Council of Australia.
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                  Regional NSW Website - Updated 07.01.2020

                  • Information, advice and assistance is available for people managing a business, including business tools to analyse profitability and prepare for export. 
                  • The office of Regional NSW can be contacted on 02 6760 2670  
                  • Click here to visit the Regional NSW Website. #buyregional
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                  Emergency Grants - Australian Bushfires 2019/2020
                  Red Cross - Updated 05.02.2020

                  Grants are available if you’ve lost your home in a bushfire since July 2019. 
                  • If you’ve lost your home in a bushfire since July 2019, you can apply for an emergency grant.
                  • Emergency grants are open across Australia to people whose primary place of residence has been destroyed or rendered uninhabitable as the result of bushfires from 1 July 2019 to 28 February 2020.
                  • Your primary place of residence is the place you reside in on a permanent basis, whether as an owner/occupier or a tenant.
                  • Grants will be open until 30 April 2020.

                  EMERGENCY GRANTS - A $20,000 payment to support people whose primary place of residence was destroyed.
                  If you have received a previous payment there is no need to re-apply. The Red Cross will contact you directly.

                  How to apply - Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:
                  • Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
                  • Proof of residence, such as a recent utility bill
                  • Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.

                  INJURY GRANTS - A $7,500 payment for people who have spent two days or more in hospital as a result of physical injuries or mental health issues as a direct result of bushfires from July 2019.

                  How to apply - Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

                  • Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
                  • Proof of injury, such as hospital discharge summary
                  • Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.

                  PRIMARY RESIDENCE REPAIR GRANT - A $5,000 payment for home owners whose homes have been structurally damaged and require repair to make them safe to live in.

                  How to apply - Before you start your application, please have a photo or scan of the following documents ready:

                  • Evidence of your identity, such as a drivers licence or passport
                  • Proof of home ownership, such as rates notice, loan document or title
                  • Details for a financial transfer, such as a bank statement or internet banking screenshot clearly showing your name, bank name, BSB and account details. Handwritten notes or photos of bank cards cannot be accepted.
                  • Click here to be taken to the Red Cross Emergency Grants - Australian Bushfires website
                  • Click here to be taken to Red Cross Emergencey Grants - Questions & Answers
                  • Click here to start your application

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                  Managing Livestock after Bushfire
                  RSPCA - 05.02.2020

                  Following a bushfire, there are a number of actions you need to take to ensure your livestock are kept healthy.The Local Land Services Information Sheet Local Land Services Information Sheet (External link) will help you manage livestock after a fire.Sometimes, despite the best plans and preparation, horses, livestock and other animals are caught up in bushfires. You can learn more about how to help livestock that have been burnt by a fire here:
                  • Click here to find out more information about assisting livestock that have been burnt by fire.

                  Bushfire Assistance Request

                  Let the RSPCA know how they can help. Please fill out this form if you have been affected by the bushfires in NSW over the past six months and need help providing for your animals. There may be occasions where we cannot provide all requested forms of support listed on the form. We will do everything we can to assist you during this tough time, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. There is a long road to recovery ahead for everyone impacted by these fires and we are committed to assisting the community now and in the coming months.

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                  Beware of bushfire related scams
                  Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) 
                  Updated 10.01.2019

                  The ACCC is warning the community, including small businesses, to be careful when making donations to support bushfire charities and fund raising initiatives.Scammers are targeting people by pretending to represent legitimate or well-known charities or fund raising organisations, or by setting up their own fake fund raising pages on social media and fund raising platforms.You can report scams to Scamwatch using our web form. You can also report bushfire related scams by calling our dedicated hotline on 1300 795 995.The following tips can help protect you against scammers:
                  • Do not donate via fund raising pages on platforms that do not verify the legitimacy of the fundraiser or that do not guarantee your money will be returned if the page is determined to be fraudulent.
                  • Be careful about crowdfunding requests as these may be fake and also come from scammers. Check the terms and conditions of fund raising platforms and ensure you are dealing with official organisations. If you are unsure make your donation to an established charity instead.
                  • If you are donating to an established charity or not-for-profit organisation, ensure it is registered by searching the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) charity register and check that you are on its official website.
                  The ACNC also provides information and tips for charities who want to support disaster relief. If you are a registered charity you can find some useful information on the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's website about offers of assistance and donations.You can find more information on bushfires and scams on the Scamwatch website.Small Business team
                  Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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                  National Debt Help Line
                  Rural Financial Counselling Service - Updated 18.01.2020

                  1800 007 007Is a free phone in service that assists anyone in a rural area who is facing financial hardship.Can assist businesses that have suffered a down-turn or decrease in business due to drought or bush-fires.
                  • The service offers over the phone advice and referral and also co-ordinates on-ground financial counsellors (face-to-face sessions).
                  • They do not hand out cash.
                  • They do not provide legal advice.
                  Not the initial point of contact for crisis assistance – i.e. Disaster Assistance Centre or Red Cross are the first point of call for crisis payments.NB: Businesses do not need to explain or justify their need for support, or tell their story over and over again: they just need to say ; “I am a business that has been affected by the bushfires. What hardship mechanisms can you put in place for me”
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                  Small business rebate - Safework NSW

                  We offer rebates to small businesses and sole traders in NSW who buy and install equipment that makes their workplace safer.

                  The rebate gives up to $500 back to small business owners. Before you apply, you need to:

                  1. check the terms and conditions to make sure you are eligible
                  2. attend a free eligible event or arrange a free advisory visit from a SafeWork NSW officer
                  3. buy and install eligible safety items to address a safety problem in your workplace.

                  Click here for more information on Safework NSW Small Business Rebate


                  If you would like to speak with the Economic Development Office at Shoalhaven City Council please contact 
                  02 4429 3388. We are here to assist you with your enquiry.
                  • Click here to be taken to Shoalhaven City Council Bushfire Recovery Page

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