Support for small businesses, primary producers & not-for-profits impacted by SEQ storms

The Australian and Queensland Governments have announced further assistance for Queenslanders impacted by the SEQ storms on Christmas night.

The Australian and Queensland Governments have announced further assistance for Queenslanders impacted by the SEQ storms on Christmas night.

Disaster Assistance and Essential Working Capital Loans are now available for affected small businesses, primary producers and not-for-profits in City of Gold Coast, Scenic Rim Regional Council and Logan City Council to assist with the repair and recovery of essential equipment, and for loss of income.

Freight subsidies are also being made available to primary producers to alleviate the costs of moving stock and operating materials.

Assistance is being provided through the joint Commonwealth-state Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

This assistance is in addition to the personal hardship grants and other assistance previously announced for the three hard-hit local government areas.

To further measure the impacts of the SEQ weather event on small businesses, a new SEQ Natural Disaster Business Survey has been launched on the Business Queensland website (www.business.qld.gov.au).

All fees payable for mediation through the Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC) will also be waived for eligible SEQ small business tenants and their landlords, commencing 25 December 2023.

The waiver is available for parties to a retail shop lease or small business lease located in the Logan, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast local government areas, at the time of the SEQ storms in December 2023.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

“To get impacted South East Queenslanders back on their feet, we are providing support as quickly as the need is identified,” Minister Watt said.

“This assistance will help eligible small businesses, primary producers and community organisations across the region recover and return to operations.

“The Commonwealth and State Government have already acted swiftly to provide personal hardship payments and other support mechanisms to impacted residents right across Logan, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast.”

Quotes attributable to minister responsible for Queensland Reconstruction Authority Nikki Boyd:

“For disaster affected small businesses and community organisations, getting reconnected and back to work is a big step to ensuring recovery across the region - this is why DRFA support is so important.

“Our primary producers have also been impacted by these severe storms and the Commonwealth and State Governments make sure they have the support they need.

“I urge anyone eligible for disaster loans or other activated assistance measures to apply now, with the Queensland Community Recovery Hotline (1800 173 349) available around the clock for questions on eligibility and how to apply or online at www.qrida.qld.gov.au.”

Quotes attributable to Small Business Minister Lance McCallum:

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities and this support will help them rebuild, recover and get back on track.

“Today we are also releasing a new Natural Disaster Business Survey to help quantify and detail the impacts of this severe weather event on small businesses.

“Insights from this survey will be invaluable to help prepare for future events and determine if additional support might be required, and I encourage as many affected small businesses as possible to complete it.

“The Queensland Small Business Commissioner is also waiving mediation fees for impacted small businesses – a saving of $371 for access to mediation and help to resolve any leasing disputes quickly and affordably.

“Recovery can be a long, hard road but I want our local small businesses to know that the Miles Government has their back.”

Further information and applications:

Disaster Assistance Loans

Up to $250,000 for producers and small businesses and $100,000 for not-for-profits to repair or replace damaged assets like plant and equipment, to repair premises, or to replace stock and maintain liquidity.

Contact: QRIDA on 1800 623 946 or via www.qrida.qld.gov.au

Essential Working Capital Loans

Up to $100,000 for producers, small businesses and not-for-profits to allow for the continuation of operations, including paying wages, rents or rates, purchasing items such as fuel, fodder and water, or for the transportation of livestock and produce.

Contact: QRIDA on 1800 623 946 or via www.qrida.qld.gov.au

Freight subsidies

Up to $5,000 for primary producers to assist with the movement of stock, feed, machinery, fuel, water, and building or fencing materials.

Contact: DAF on 13 25 23 or via www.daf.qld.gov.au

LGA eligibility

City of Gold Coast, Scenic Rim Regional Council and Logan City Council

Queensland Small Business Commissioner

The Small Business Commissioner Dominique Lamb has exercised the power to waive mediation fees for a class of parties under section 6(3) of the Small Business Commissioner Regulation 2022.

The period of the waiver is for disputes lodged with the QSBC between 25 December 2023 to 13 June 2024.

The mediation fee will be reduced from $371 to $0.

Additional information on the types of disputes the Small Business Commissioner can mediate, and other supports offered by the QSBC can be found at https://qsbc.qld.gov.au/get-help/

More on disaster assistance can be found at www.disasterassist.gov.au or www.qld.gov.au/disasterhelp.

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