Recovery grants available for flooded small businesses

Flood sign

Clean-up and recovery grants of up to $25,000 are now available for small business owners who have been adversely affected by the 2013 Queensland floods.

The Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy Payment (DIRS) will initially apply to small businesses in Bundaberg, North Burnett, Gladstone, Fraser Coast, Gympie and Lockyer Valley while the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments decide whether this subsidy should be activated elsewhere.

Jointly funded by the Federal and State government through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), the Category C assistance has been designed to help mitigate the economic impacts that these floods have had on local businesses and the wider community.

“We need to give our farmers and small businesses real support that will help them back on their feet,” said Queensland Treasurer and Minister for Trade, Tim Nicholls.

While the Queensland State Cabinet has welcomed the administration of the Disaster Income Recovery Subsidy (DIRS), they are pushing for higher flood assistance, saying more support is necessary for small business owners and farmers in hugely affected regions, including those in Scenic Rim who have been left out of Category C funding.

“We welcome the decision by the Prime Minister to agree to Category C support for the Bundaberg, North Burnett, Lockyer, Fraser Coast and Gympie Regional Council areas,” said Queensland Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh.

“But other areas have been severely impacted as well including the Scenic Rim Regional Council area.”

“These areas have been so badly hit, they will need Category D assistance and we’ll be working with local farmers, business owners and councils to look at all cases of damage and hardship.”

Category D assistance would provide small business owners and farmers with the funding and resources to develop recovery plans, and help retain their local workers for work such as clean up and fence repair in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sector.

Small businesses may also be eligible for a low-interest loan of up to $250,000 through the Queensland Rural Adjustment Authority (QRAA).

Loans are being granted to help small business owners bear the cost of repairs or replacements of damaged equipment, restorations of buildings, up to one month’s supply of stock and maintaining liquidity of the business.

More information about disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au or call the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment Assistance Hotline on 180 2266 to speak to an officer.

Claim forms for the Disaster Income Recovery Payment can be downloaded from here.

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