Further support for bushfire affected primary producers and small businesses

More time and wider eligibility has been given to primary producers impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires to apply for the $75,000 Special Disaster Grant. Small businesses have also been given more time to request support, with timeframes extended for small business bushfire recovery grants and loans.

Hawkesbury City Council is encouraging bushfire-impacted primary producers and small businesses to reach out and contact the Rural Assistance Authority via www.raa.nsw.gov.au to see if they are eligible rather than self-assess.

The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert welcomed the changes and the decision to extend the application timeframes to 15 December 2020.

“The time extension recognises that, while these grants have been made available, many primary producers have experienced drought, bushfires and now COVID-19, and so farmers and small businesses need more time to make a claim,” Mayor Calvert said.

“This decision highlights the understanding by Federal and State agencies that the recovery journey is different for everyone and some may not have progressed on their journey as far as others.

“The $75,000 Special Disaster Grant has been critical in keeping farmers on the land and supporting local regional economies, which is why it’s important every eligible farmer makes the most it, so please contact a support officer at the Rural Assistance Authority or contact Hawkesbury City Council.”

The Rural Assistance Authority can be contacted on 1800 678 593 or email rural.assist@raa.nsw.gov.au or see the website at www.raa.nsw.gov.au or contact at Council’s Customer Service on 4560 4444.

The primary producers grant provides support to farmers and other primary production businesses in fire affected areas with the costs of such services as safety inspections, veterinary fees, waste disposal, and purchases or repairs to property or equipment damaged in the fires.

Key eligibility changes include:

  • Removal of the off-farm income threshold where an applicant’s income from primary

production is less than 50 per cent of their total income

  • Allowing extra time for applicants to reach the 50 per cent income threshold in

recognition of long lead times required by some sectors to reach full production.

  • Applicants are no longer required to be registered for GST but must still hold an

ABN

  • Businesses earning more than 50 per cent of their income from a combination of

primary production and goods made directly from that produce will now be eligible

for assistance.

Special Disaster Grant – Bushfire

  • Bushfire working capital loan
  • $50,000 for essential expenses e.g. wages, rent, goods or services, fodder for livestock or transporting produce
  • Available to primary producers, small businesses and not for profits that were directly impacted by the bushfires.
  • $500,000 for larger investments e.g. replacing or repairing damaged infrastructure
  • Available to primary producers, small businesses and not for profits that were directly impacted by the bushfires.
  • Bushfire Recovery Loan

Small Business

Service NSW is taking applications for the recently announced NSW Small Business and Non-Profit Organisation Grant of up to $50,000. 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.

Applications for small business assistance in the form of $10,000 and $50,000 grants and concessional loans of up to $500,000 can now be made up to 15 December 2020. Please visit the Service NSW website https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-bushfire-recovery-grant-directly-impacted-small-businesses for details.

Further details and application forms are available at www.raa.nsw.gov.au or call the Rural Assistance Authority on 1800 678 593.

Applicants who were previously unsuccessful and may now be eligible due to the changed eligibility criteria will not need to reapply – agencies administering the grants will contact these applicants.

Bushfire Recovery

For more information about Bushfire Recovery in the Hawkesbury, please visit

www.yourhawkesbury-yoursay.com.au/bushfire-recovery This bushfire recovery site includes information on grants, relevant links and contact details to make it easier for the community to access all the latest information.

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