“Flood relief available to eligible small businesses”

 As regionally based small businesses and primary produces, we are well aware of the detrimental effects natural disasters can have on a business or farming operation leaving many looking for flood relief support. In fact, many of us have experienced these effects first hand, following the devastating drought period that plagued the region for many years in the early to mid 2000’s.

However of late, regionally situated small businesses and primary producers have experienced hardship, devastation and decreasing business and turnover at the hands of an oppositional natural disaster, and are now going in search of storm and flood relief.

While a great number of local farmers and business owners are querying the availability of flood relief grants to help them get back on their feet, unfortunately no such handouts exist.

What is available however, are Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) low interest loans for primary producers and small businesses, to assist with damage repairs and cash flow in the wake of the floods. There are two types available and we describe them below:


Small business and primary producers

 For business owners and farmers, a flood relief loan of up to $130,000 is currently available to ensure essential working capital is available. These loans aim to cover the operational costs and ensure businesses can run as usual until the next major income is received.

While these are not outright grants, they are loans that come with low variable interest rates, often of around 2.5%, and give the recipient a 2-year interest and repayment free period; allowing them to get back on their feet following the impact of storms and floods.


Transport Subsidy

For primary producers, a loan to cover the cost of moving livestock away from flooded areas is also open now for applications.

Per farm enterprise, per financial year, a subsidy of up to 50% of the total freight cost is available – up to $15,000.

To be eligible for the transport subsidy, the primary producer must have moved livestock within the first 3 months of the area being declared a flood zone, and must ensure applications are complete within 6 months; before March 31, 2017.


How can I apply?

If you are a primary producer or small business owner, you can apply for the RAA flood relief loans easily yourself, and all applications must be completed and submitted by March 31, 2017. Success in the application process will be dependent on your local government area and what loans are available based on perceived flood and storm damage.

If you require assistance during the process, or would like more information contact Catalyst Accountants, or visit the RAA information page http://www.raa.nsw.gov.au/assistance/natural-disaster-relief/loans.

As always we are here to help, so don’t be afraid to ask by calling us on 02 69774333 or dropping into the office at either

90 Loftus St, Temora NSW 2666

29 Brolga Pl, Coleambally NSW 2707

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