Bushfire assistance for small and family business
All levels of government are working to support small and family businesses survive and recover from the bushfires. The delivery of funding packages is by the state governments.
It is also important that you seek advice as soon as you as possible. We urge all small business owners, directly and indirectly, affected by the bushfires to ACT EARLY – seek advice from your small business advisor, the financial counselling services, your accountant or bookkeeper.
Want to get back to business?
This Open for Business Checklist includes important steps to take to get your business back up and running.
What do you need to pack if you need to evacuate your business?
Preparation is key. This Grab and Go Checklist includes a list of suggested items to keep in a secure location which will help you during and after an emergency.
How can you best support your staff?
If you need to temporarily close, you may be able to stand down staff in some circumstances. Detailed information can be found on the Fair Work Ombudsman website.
Need to lodge an insurance claim?
If you know your insurer, work directly with them. If you have lost your records call the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA). ICA is working closely with state governments and emergency services and is operating a 24-hour hotline – 1800 734 621 – to help fire victims with general information about claims and recovery.
Problems with your insurer or repairer?
What support is available for farmers?
The National Farmers' Federation’s FarmHub is a one-stop shop for details on assistance with fodder, water, transport, everyday living expenses, health and more. Bushfire assistance contacts and resources are regularly updated.
Need financial counselling?
The Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line is a free, independent service that can advice on grants, debts, renegotiating repayment arrangements and more. You can call the Support Line on 1800 413 828.
Is your next BAS due?
If your business is in one of the impacted areas, the ATO has automatically granted deferrals for business activity statement (BAS) lodgement and payments. A list of postcodes and deferral dates can be found on the ATO website. There is also a contact number if your postcode is not listed.
Are you eligible for a government allowance/payment?
Mobile Service Centres and Teams from the Department of Human Services are providing emergency support in bushfire affected areas, providing people with access to Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support services. To find the mobile centre or team nearest to you, visit the Human Services website.
How can you maintain the wellbeing of you and your family?
We understand this time can be extremely stressful. Beyond Blue’s bushfires and mental health web page contains practical advice about dealing with the emotional impact of bushfire, information about the signs and symptoms of emotional distress, tips for supporting children and young people, and links to useful resources.
Where else can you find relevant business information?
Information on what the federal government is doing to help individuals, businesses, communities and local governments recover from the bushfires, including disaster recovery payments, can be found on the DisasterAssist website.
What about the wellbeing of your business?
Many small business owners directly or indirectly impacted by the bushfires will be eager to get back on their feet, so keeping on top of the business basics and maintaining mental wellbeing is paramount. The ASBFEO's My Business Health portal provides links and resources to help support small business owners experiencing mental health issues as a result of day-to-day concerns about their business.
Further business specific information, containing additional links and resources, is available from the business.gov.au website.