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Berry NSW Chamber of Commerce and Tourism

Help for Bushfire Impacted Businesses

Last updated: Monday 13th January 2020, 12.00pm.

Information to assist businesses recover from the direct and indirect impact of bushfires in the Shoalhaven and South Coast.

If there is anything to be added or updated on this page, please SMS Anthony Colfelt on 0447 674 919.

Information and ongoing updates regarding the NSW Bushfire emergency

Financial Support

Rural Assistance Authority

Rural Assistance Authority offers:

  • Recovery grants of up to $15,000 for impacted small businesses and primary producers.
  • Low interest loans (Natural Disaster Relief Loans) of up to $130,000 for small businesses who have been directly affected by a declared natural disaster (flood, fire, storm damage)

ph: Rural Assistance Authority 1800 678 593 or visit their website

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment and/or Allowance
  • The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-time payment up to $1,000 for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children, for those who have been adversely affected by the bushfires. The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment that is available to eligible Australian citizens whose income has been directly impacted by a declared or widespread disaster. An allowance paid for a maximum of 13 weeks is available to eligible individuals, including employees, sole traders and primary producers, whose income has been directly affected by a declared disaster.
  • The Disaster Recovery Allowance is a short-term payment to help you if a declared disaster directly affects your income (lost trade/disruption). The payment is available in specific local government areas.

ph: 180 22 66 or visit their website

For information on personal hardship and distress assistance The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line ph: 1800 018 444

Credit/Mortgage Hardship Lines

Financial Advice

Department of Fair Trading

Fair Trading can provide information on credit matters to help people re-negotiate repayments with lenders and fund regional based financial counselling and legal services are available for people in financial hardship. Can also provide assistance to regarding fair and ethical practices.

ph: 13 32 20 or www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Bushfire Recovery Fund and National Bushfire Recovery Agency

A new Bushfire Recovery Fund and National Bushfire Recovery Agency has been established with $2 billion to support affected communities – restocking and replenishing, rebuilding roads and telecommunications infrastructure, mental health support, attracting tourists back to the regions and helping restore the local environment and impacted wildlife. Only early details available.

Visit website

Insurance Support

Insurance Council of Australia

Insurance Council of Australia can assist policy holders to determine which insurer they are with and assist with general inquiries about the claims process.

ph: 1300 728 228 or www.insurancecouncil.com.au see also www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/advocacy/quick-guide-making-insurance-claims

Financial Rights Legal Centre

The Financial Rights Legal Centre offer specialist assistance for insurance matters

ph: 1300 663 464 or visit the website.

Tax Assistance

Australian Tax Office

The ATO has:

  • granted exemptions from activity statements lodgements and payments for businesses in bushfire affected postcodes.
  • offered to waive interest charged, set up payment plans with interest free periods and give you more time to pay if your business has been affected

ph: 1800 806 218 or visit the ATO website

Revenue NSW

Revenue NSW can help with payroll tax.

ph: 1300 139 815

Legal Assistance

NSW Business Chamber

The NSW Business Chamber is offering employment law assistance to all bushfire affected employers particularly in relation to employer obligations – so that you know you are doing the right thing by your employees.

ph: Workplace Advice Line 13 29 59

Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre

The Shoalcoast Community Legal Centre can provide legal advice or other information and referrals.

ph: 1800 229 529

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW provide free, practical legal assistance to help people recover and rebuild.

ph: The Law Access NSW Disaster Response Hotline 1800 801 529 or visit the website

NSW Law Society

The NSW Law Society is currently compiling a list of private practitioners and law firms who are in a position to provide pro bono services for areas in which Legal Aid and other services might not be best placed to provide assistance.

Vehicles & Licences

Safe Work

Safe Work NSW Will replace NSW licences at no cost to those affected by natural disasters.

ph: 13 10 50 or visit the website

Service NSW

Service NSW will replace certificates, drivers licences, registrations and other lost documents at no cost to those affected by natural disasters.

ph: 13 77 88 or visit the website

Motor Vehicle Stamp Duty Relief

If your car has been written off as a result of a natural disaster you may be eligible for a stamp duty refund on your replacement vehicle.

ph: 1300 139 814 or visit the website

Small Business Disaster Recovery Advice

Small Business Recovery Toolkit from the NSW Small Business Commission is a range of resources to help small business owners recover from disasters.

See website

Additional support regarding practical or operational matters can also be accessed through the NSW Business Chamber Hotline.

ph: 13 26 96

Dispute Resolution

Solving Problems and Dispute Resolution Service is a confidential and free dispute resolution service which has been set up to help small businesses needing assistance to work through problems with other businesses or government. The NSW Small Business Commission helps parties talk about their problems and work towards a solution through negotiation and communication. They can also assist small businesses with issues in relation to insurance and regulatory concerns.

ph: 1300 795 534 or visit the website

Individual Business Advice

Business Connect is a free mobile advisory service available to small businesses. A trusted local business advisor can meet you at a convenient place and discuss your business needs. Advice is available regarding: managing cash flow, planning the next steps, accessing financial support schemes and connecting to additional support.

ph: 1300 134 359 or register online

Other Sources of Financial Advice and Guidance

  • Financial Counselling Australia – Free independent and confidential support to people in financial difficulty.
    ph: 1800 007 007 or visit the website
  • Financial Rights Legal Centre Advice and advocacy for consumers in financial distress. ph: 1300 663 464 or visit the website
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) ASIC is offering assistance to small businesses that are facing disruption or severe hardship due to the bushfires, including reviewing fees or considering payment options.
  • Utility Payments Hardship Support. Customers experiencing any form of long term or temporary hardship with management of utility accounts are advised to contact their retail provider to discuss payment options as soon as possible. Get help paying energy bills – http://www.resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/?a=295483
  • The Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW, provides a free, fair and independent dispute resolution service for all electricity and gas customers in NSW, and some water customers. Ph. 1800 246 545 or visit the website

Mental Health Support

Free Services Available 24/7

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 000.

Other

NSW Business Chamber is supporting national charity Givit, which matches the needs of impacted families and communities by using donations to purchase necessary items from a local business owner and donating to the individual or family in need. This means that not only do those affected get what they need, but a regional business also gets the benefit of the sale.

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