Business Info

Financial Assistance for Areas affected by Floods

By Paolo Coniglio, 21.03.2022

Although 2022 has just started, it has already become an extremely challenging year for many Australians.

In addition to the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant impacting the health of both people and businesses, a number of Australian states have also been impacted by natural disasters.

In response to the impact of the latest COVID variant and natural disasters, both Federal and State Governments have announced a number of support measures to help both businesses and communities recover from these tragic events.

This blog article provides an overview of the range of financial assistance available to eligible individuals and businesses impacted by the recent floods in NSW and QLD.

Due to the extensive number of support options offered by both the State and Federal governments, we highly recommend our blog readers to access the relevant information pages, review the more detailed information on the eligibility criteria for each option and assess if their situation fits the application requirements. The links to Government Information pages are included in the relevant sections of this blog article.

Financial Support provided by the Federal Government

Whilst the State Governments have mainly focussed on providing financial support to Businesses impacted by the NSW and QLD floods, the Australian Government has set to provide financial assistance to individuals.

All Financial Support options available are managed by Services Australia.

Disaster Recovery Payment

The Disaster Recovery Payment is a one-off lump sum payment made to individuals living in one of the Disaster Areas.

Eligible individuals must meet all of the following criteria:

  • being 16 years old or older at the time of the floods;
  • being an Australian resident or holding an eligible visa;
  • being able to prove that they were living in one of the affected areas at the time of the floods;

In addition, eligible individuals must also prove that:

  • they have suffered a severe injury caused by the floods; or
  • their immediate family member has died or is missing due to the floods; or
  • their principal place of residence has suffered major damage caused by the floods;

The Disaster payment is $1,000 per Adult (individuals over 16 years old) and an additional $400 for any dependent under 16 years old.

A second payment of the same amount has also been granted to people living in areas heavily affected by the floods.

More information on how to apply for the Disaster Recovery Payment is available on the Services Australia website.

Disaster Recovery Allowance

This is a short-term fortnightly allowance made to individuals who have lost income due to the Feb-Mar 2022 Floods. The Allowance is payable from the date the individual has started losing income as a result of the floods for up to 13 weeks.  The allowance amount is the same as the JobSeeker Payment or Youth Allowance payment, depending on the individual circumstances.

Eligible individuals must meet the following criteria:

  • being 16 years old or older at the time of the floods;
  • being an Australian resident or hold an eligible visa;
  • working or living in an affected area;
  • having lost income as a direct result of the storms and floods;
  • earning less than the average Australian weekly income in the weeks after suffering the income loss.

More information on the Disaster Recovery Allowance is available on the Services Australia website.

​​Temporary Financial Hardship Child Care subsidy

Families with young children affected by either COVID or Natural Disasters may be eligible to apply for additional child care subsidies.

Temporary financial hardship may occur when one or more family members:

  • have lost their job (other than resigned or retired);
  • have suffered a loss of income or a business failure due to circumstances outside of their control, such as serious illness (COVID-19);
  • have been adversely affected by a major disaster event (bushfires or floods);
  • have had their home destroyed or severely damaged.

Families may also be experiencing temporary financial hardship from:

  • the death of a partner or child;
  • loss of child support due to the death of a paying parent;
  • having to leave their home and not being able to return because of an extreme circumstance;
  • being affected by family and domestic violence, and the family member responsible leaves, or is removed from the home.

​Eligible family members may receive up to 100 hours of subsidised care fortnightly for each child for a maximum of 13 weeks per event.

Services Australia will pay the lower of either:

  • 100% of the fee charged where it’s equal to or below the hourly rate cap;
  • up to 120% of the hourly rate cap, where the fee charged is above the hourly rate cap.

Higher subsidies are also available for exceptional circumstances.

More information is available on the Services Australia website.

Australian Floods

Financial Assistance for NSW Business affected by Floods

Extreme weather conditions and floods have affected both communities and businesses across New South Wales. The State Government has made available a number of resources to help both communities and businesses with the recovery effort.

A dedicated line has been organised for emergency help through NSW Emergency Service. The number is 132 500. However, people are encouraged to call 000 when dealing with life-threatening situations.

The NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES) website also provides a range of information, including weather updates, a  list of areas to evacuate, a list of areas where it is safe to return and finally, a range of factsheets about plans and preparation to safely return to areas affected by the floods.

Finally, Service NSW has created a simple tool to help individuals and businesses affected by the floods find support options based on their circumstances.

The tool is available on the Service NSW website.

Financial Assistance – Available Grants and Disaster Relief Assistance

The NSW Government has a wide range of support options available to small businesses and not-for-profit Organisations.

Eligibility Criteria – Natural Disaster Declarations

NSW Businesses should first check the NSW Natural Disaster Declaration in order to identify what type of financial support they may be eligible for.

The Natural Disaster Declaration is a list of NSW Government Local Areas (LGAs) that have been impacted by natural disasters. The list is managed by the NSW Government and it includes the following sections:

  • AGRN*, Disaster Type and Disaster Name;
  • LGAs impacted by the natural disaster;
  • The range of support options provided by the NSW Government.

*An AGRN or Australian Government Reference Number is a code that identifies a natural disaster that impacted a range of Local Government Areas (LGAs).  Different Financial Assistance options are available for different AGRN.

Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Grants

Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Grants – Small Business & Not for Profit Organisations

The NSW Government offers two types of grants to help small businesses that suffered direct damage as a result of the NSW floods. The two Grant types are the same, what changes are the areas affected by the floods. These can either be LGAs affected by the November and December 2021 floods (AGRN 987) or the February and March 2022 floods (AGR 1012).

The Disaster Recovery Grants pay eligible businesses a one-off payment of up to $50,000. The Grant payment must be used to cover costs to repair any damage caused by the NSW floods, and not to cover costs due to loss of income as a result of the disaster. Cost of repairs include, but not limited to, the following:

  • payments to tradespeople to conduct safety inspections or repairs;
  • payments for equipment and materials required to clean up or fix any damage;
  • payments made to remove or dispose of debris or damaged stock, equipment and materials;
  • payments made towards leasing temporary premises;
  • payments made to replace damaged stock or equipment.

Eligibility Criteria

These Grants are available to Small Businesses and Not for Profit Organisations who have held (and currently hold) an ABN and/or have carried out business activities at the time of the floods within a defined disaster area (AGRN 987 for Nov-Dec 2021 floods or ​AGR 1012 for Feb-Mar 2022 floods).

Business Owners who operate multiple small businesses in the relevant disaster area may apply for the grant for each eligible business.

Finally, Sole Traders with no employees are only eligible to apply if they can prove they derive the majority of their income from the business linked to their Sole Trading ABN that has been affected by the floods.

​Evidence Required

These businesses must provide evidence that:

  • they have received direct damage by the floods;
  • they are primarily responsible for meeting the cost to repair such damages;
  • they have not received funding or assistance from other Government sources;
  • they have not received compensation from an insurance policy for one or more of the damages listed in the Grant application;

The following documentation will be considered satisfactory evidence of the above criteria:

  • List of the damages (including photographic evidence) caused by the floods;
  • Photographic evidence, quotes for replacements or repairs, damage assessment reports;
  • Quotes to repair these damages;
  • Tax Invoices for completed work for the entire amount of funding they apply, if they apply for grants over $15,000.

Application Process

Applications can be submitted online via ServiceNSW. An active MyServiceNSW account is required to submit the application including current addresses and valid forms of identification.

More Information and applications on these grants:

Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Grants – Primary Producers

Eligible Businesses that are deemed as Primary Producers may apply for grants up to $50,000 if affected by the Nov-Dec 2021 floods, or up to $75,000 if affected by the Feb-Mar 2022 floods. These Grants are available via the NSW Rural Assistance Authority.

More information on these grants is available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority Website.

Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Grants – Sport and Recreation Clubs
A smaller Grant between $2,000 and $10,000 is also available through the NSW Treasury to Sport and Recreation Clubs as a contribution towards cleaning up, repairing or replacing equipment that has been damaged by the floods.

The Grant is available to small sport and recreation facilities that are unable to recover the cost of the damage through insurance. Assistance is not provided to clubs with sizeable commercial operations or gaming areas.

For Grant assistance, clubs can email NSW Treasury via natural_disasters@treasury.nsw.gov.au.

Disaster Relief Loans

The NSW Government has also provided a range of concessional loans to a number of Businesses affected by the floods. These loans can be used to cover the costs of property damage, equipment replacement or to cover running costs until the Business returns to produce income.

Disaster Relief Loan – Small Businesses

  • Loan Amount > up to $130,000;
  • Loan Term > Up to 12 years;
  • Interest Rate > Free for the first 2 years | 0.80% after the first 2 years;
  • Repayments > No obligations to make repayments for the first 2 years, then a choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > applicable registration fees, land title search costs and mortgage duty;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > None;

Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

Disaster Relief Loan – Not for Profit Organisations

  • Loan Amount > up to $25,000;
  • Loan Term > Up to 5 years;
  • Interest Rate > 0.80%;
  • Repayments > A choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > applicable registration fees, land title search costs and mortgage duty;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > None;

Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

Disaster Relief Loan – Primary Producers

  • Loan Amount > up to $130,000;
  • Loan Term > Up to 12 years;
  • Interest Rate > Free for the first 2 years | 0.80% after the first 2 years;
  • Repayments > No obligations to make repayments for the first 2 years, then a choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > applicable registration fees, land title search costs and mortgage duty;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > None;

Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

Disaster Relief Loan – Sporting and Recreation Clubs

  • Loan Amount > up to $10,000;
  • Loan Term > Up to 5 years;
  • Interest Rate > 0.80%;
  • Repayments > A choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > applicable registration fees, land title search costs and mortgage duty;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > None;

Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

Additional Financial Assistance in NSW

The NSW Government also offers a range of smaller initiatives to provide further support to both Businesses and Individuals affected by the floods.

Transport Subsidy for NSW Farmers

The NSW Rural Assistance Authority has provided an additional subsidy for eligible Farmers affected by the floods. This subsidy is available to pay for the cost of transporting:

  • fodder and/or water to an affected property;
  • stock to sale or slaughter;
  • stock to/from agistment.

​Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the NSW Rural Assistance Authority website.

​​NSW Stamp Duty Relief for Motor Vehicle replacements

Private and commercial vehicle owners who are comprehensively insured and had to write off their vehicles due to damages caused by the floods are able to apply to have the cost of Stamp Duty waived for the first 12 months.

More information is available on the NSW Revenue website or by contacting 1300 139 814.

Replacement of rural portable water contaminated by Fire Fighters efforts

Support is provided where water intended for human consumption has been taken by a firefighting agency and needs to be replaced or contaminated by fire-retardant chemicals.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Be an occupant of a residential property where firefighters needed to take water intended for human consumption for their firefighting efforts;
  • Be an occupant of a residential property where fire retardant chemicals have been dropped or sprayed over the property by a firefighting agency, and whose potable water systems are at risk of contamination.

Eligible applicants can apply by contacting Service NSW on 13 77 88.

NSW Clean-Up Assistance

Clean-up assistance, including the removal of damaged furniture and equipment, debris and green waste, is available to both households and businesses affected by the floods.

Residents can also take flood-affected appliances and furniture to their local landfills at no additional cost.

More information on Clean-up assistance is available on the Service NSW website.

Australian Floods

Financial Assistance for QLD Businesses affected by Floods

The Queensland Government has launched Financial Assistance programs for both small businesses and communities.

A Small Business Disaster Hub website is also available to provide QLD based businesses and communities with essential information on how to respond and recover from a Natural Disaster.

Disaster Relief Grants

​The QLD Government will pay eligible Businesses impacted by a natural disaster that took place between October 2021 and February/March 2022 relief grants of up to $75,000 (depending on the affected area and type of business) to help them recover from the damage.

The Grant Payment varies based on the Business Type (Small Businesses, Not for Profit Organisations or Primary Producers) and the location where the natural disaster occurred.

These grants are administered by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).

The payment of the Relief Grant must be used to cover costs to repair any damage caused by the QLD floods, and not to cover costs due to loss of income as a result of the disaster. Cost of repairs include, but not limited to, the following:

  • payments to tradespeople to conduct safety inspections or repairs;
  • payments for equipment and materials required to clean up or fix any damage;
  • payments made to remove or dispose of debris or damaged stock, equipment and materials;
  • payments made towards leasing temporary premises;
  • payments made to replace damaged stock or equipment.

QRIDA also encourages all businesses to complete a Business Impact Survey to help them gain a better understanding of the damages caused by the flood and plan additional assistance, if required.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Relief Grant, the applicant must:

  • be a small business;
  • hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the eligible disaster;
  • be located in the defined disaster area of the eligible disaster;
  • have suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster;
  • be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application;
  • intend to re-establish their business activities in the defined disaster area.

Evidence Required

These businesses must provide evidence that:

  • they either reside in the disaster area or conduct business activities in the area of the eligible disaster;
  • they have suffered direct damage by the relevant disaster;
  • they are primarily responsible for meeting the cost to repair such damages;
  • they have not received funding or assistance from other Government sources;
  • they have not received compensation from an insurance policy for one or more of the damages listed in the Grant application;

​The following documentation will be considered satisfactory evidence of the above criteria:

  • ​Rates Notice or Lease Agreements
  • List of the damages (including photographic evidence) caused by the floods;
  • Quotes to repair these damages;
  • Tax Invoices for completed work for the entire amount of funding they apply, if they apply for grants over a certain amount.

South East Queensland Rainfall and Flooding (February 2022)

Small Businesses & Not for Profit

Eligible Businesses and Not for Profit Organisations based in South East Queensland and impacted by the floods in February 2022 can apply for Disaster Relief Grants for up to $50,000.

Application Process

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 is required such as photographs, quotations, tax invoices or official receipts.
  • A subsequent amount of up to $35,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

More information on this Grant is available on the QRIDA website.

Primary Producers

Primary Producers based in South East Queensland and impacted by the floods in February 2022 can apply for Disaster Relief Grants for up to $75,000.

Application Process

The maximum grant amount is $75,000 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 is required such as photographs, quotations, tax invoices or official receipts.
  • A subsequent amount of up to $60,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

​More information on this Grant is available on the QRIDA website.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Seth Flooding (January 2022)

Small Businesses, Not for Profit & Primary Producers

Eligible Businesses (including Small Businesses, Not for Profit Organisations and Primary Producers) based in the areas impacted by Cyclone Seth in January 2022 can apply for Disaster Relief Grants for up to $50,000.

​Application Process

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

  • An initial amount of up to $10,000 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 $40,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

​​More information on this Grant is available on the QRIDA website

Central, Southern and Western Queensland Rainfall and Flooding (November and December 2021)

Small Businesses

Eligible Small Businesses based in the Goodwindi Regional Council and affected by the floods in November and December 2021 can apply for Disaster Relief Grants for up to $25,000.

​Application Process

The maximum grant amount is $25,000 and is available through two applications:

  • An initial amount of up to $5,000 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 $20,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

​More information on this Grant is available on the QRIDA website

Primary Producers

Primary Producers based in the Goodwindi Regional Council and affected by the floods in November and December 2021 can apply for Disaster Relief Grants for up to $50,000.

Application Process

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

  • An initial amount of up to $10,000 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 $40,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.

​​More information on this Grant is available on the QRIDA website.

Disaster Relief Loans

The QLD Government has also provided a range of concessional loans to a number of Businesses affected by natural disasters.

Disaster Assistance Loan (Working Capital) 

These loans have been designed to help Small Businesses, Not for Profit Organisations and Primary Producers to provide Financial Support based on defined disaster areas with essential working capital expenses. The Loan can be used to cover the following costs:

  • wages and salaries;
  • creditor payments;
  • rent or rates;
  • stock purchasing.

Loan Details

  • Loan Amount > up to $100,000;
  • Loan Term > Up to 10 years;
  • Interest Rate > 0.80% | First 2 years interest-only payments are accepted;
  • Repayments > a choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > no establishment fees;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > No account maintenance fees or early payout fees;

Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the QRIDA website.

Disaster Assistance Loan (Operations)

These loans have been designed to help Small Businesses, Not for Profit Organisations and Primary Producers to provide Financial Support based on defined disaster areas to re-establish their normal operations. The Loan can be used to cover the following costs:

  • repairing or replacing damaged plant and equipment;
  • repairing or replacing farm buildings;
  • purchasing livestock to replace those lost in the disaster event;
  • re-planting, restoring or re-establishing areas affected by the disaster event;
  • sustenance;
  • essential property operations;
  • paying rent and rates.

Loan Details

  • Loan Amount > up to $250,000 (Small Businesses & Primary Producers) and up to $100,000 for Not for Profit Organisations;
  • Loan Term > up to 10 years;
  • Interest Rate > 0.45% or 0.80% (depending on the impacted area) | First 2 years interest-only payments are accepted;
  • Repayments > a choice of monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly repayments;
  • Loan Establishment Fees & Charges > no establishment fees;
  • Ongoing Fees & Charges > No account maintenance fees or early payout fees;

​Eligibility Guidelines and Application forms are available on the QRIDA website.

Additional Financial Assistance in QLD

The QLD Government also offers a range of smaller initiatives to provide further support to both Businesses and Individuals affected by natural disasters.

Essential Services Safety and Reconnection Grant

Individuals who are unable to claim insurance can apply for this grant to reconnect essential services that were damaged by a disaster.

Essential Services reconnection include:

  • Electricity (including solar power or generators if this is the sole source of power);
  • Gas, water and hot water;
  • Sewerage.

There are 2 parts to this grant:

  • Inspection >  up to $200 towards a safety inspection for each essential service needing reconnection (electricity, gas, water, and sewerage or septic system)
  • Repair > up to $4200 towards repair work needed to reconnect these essential services (i.e. electrical rewiring).

Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions for this grant are available on the QLD Government website.

Structural Assistance Grant

​Individuals who are unable to claim insurance can apply for this grant to receive support towards the cost of repairs of their primary residence.

The Grant is a one-off lump sum payment of up to $10,995 for eligible single adults or up to $14,685 for eligible couples or families.

​Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions for this grant are available on the QLD Government website.

Essentials Household Contents Grant

​​Individuals who are unable to claim insurance can apply for this grant to receive support towards the cost of repairing or replacing content lost or damaged during a disaster.

​The Grant is a one-off lump sum payment of up to $1,765 for single adults or up to $5,300 for couples or families.

​​Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions for this grant are available on the QLD Government website.

Essentials Services Hardship Assistance Grant

This Grant is available for eligible individuals who have lost one or more essentials services for more than 5 days due to a disaster.

The Grant payment is up to $150 per eligible individual or up to $750 for eligible families of 5 or more.

​Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions for this grant are available on the QLD Government website.

Emergency Hardship Assistance

This Grant is available to support people directly impacted by a disaster who are unable to meet their immediate essential needs for food, clothing, medical supplies or temporary accommodation.

If deemed eligible, applicants may receive $180 per person up to $900 for a family of 5 or more. The grant is initially available to claim for 7 days following the activation of the grant in the area.

​​Eligibility Criteria and Terms & Conditions for this grant are available on the QLD Government website.

State Land Rent Relief

Businesses who rent land or properties from the QLD Government and have rent due in March have been given an automatic payment deferral until 1st December 2022.

More information is available on the QLD Government website.

Tax and Royalty Relief

Businesses and individuals impacted by a Natural Disaster in QLD can receive a range of extensions and interest-free payment plans to cover the cost of State Taxes, Loyalties, Rates and even fines and penalties.

More information is available on the QLD Treasury website.

Australian Floods

The Australian floods have had a significant impact on both communities and businesses in a number of areas of both NSW and QLD. Thousands of homes and businesses were damaged by floodwaters and millions of people have lost their homes, family members or pets.

Although both the States and Federal Governments have provided an extensive range of both financial and non-financial resources to the communities impacted by these tragedies, the recovery of these damages will be long term and could never be fully covered by the Government Financial Support.

A number of charitable organisations have also launched appeals to Australians to offer additional financial assistance by making donations, including:

As well as the major charity organisations, there are also a large number of smaller Not for Profits within our local communities mainly managed by volunteers. These associations that normally help either children or animals in need, may have suffered damage caused by the floods that could be irreparable even after receiving the Government’s Assistance.

As these smaller organisations are already charities and Deductible Gift Recipients (DGR) donations can also be made straight to them to help them recover. A number of these associations are reaching out on social media for help.

All donations made to a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) over $2.00 in Australia are fully tax-deductible.

To all our Clients who are currently seeking financial assistance after having suffered damage by any of the natural disasters in NSW and QLD. Although we are unable to apply for the available Grants or Loans on your behalf, we are more than happy to assist you with the application process.

Please feel free to contact us by emailing support@evolutionclouds.com.au with any questions on the Grants or Loans you wish to apply for and we will do our best to support you and provide you with the financial information required for you to lodge your applications.

Our hearts go to all Australians who have lost family members, animals, or homes during the floods.

Disclaimer

This blog and attached resources are of general nature designed for informational and educational purposes only. They should not be construed as professional financial advice for your individual business. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor.

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