NSW and Qld floods: The support available to small businesses affected by heavy rainfall

NSW-floods

Source: Unsplash/Jonathan Ford

Small businesses affected by heavy rain across New South Wales and parts of Queensland now have access to support from the government and banks.

The support follows major flood warnings that have been in place in northern and central western NSW as well as in southern parts of Queensland.

While the major banks and the tax office have unveiled assistance for small businesses affected by the flooding, the government has also expanded access to its Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements.

Here’s the support available to flood affected businesses.

Government support

The federal government has declared 38 local government areas natural disaster zones as a result of the flooding.

The most recent additions are the LGAs of Bourke, Coonamble, Dubbo, Glen Innes Severn, Kyogle, Lithgow, Liverpool Plains, Lockhart, Muswellbrook, Narromine, Orange, Parkes, Singleton, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Tamworth, Walgett and Warren.

People who live in these areas may be eligible to access support through the jointly funded Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

The DRFA offers assistance to people whose homes or belongings have been damaged. It also allows small businesses to receive concessional interest rate loans and primary producers to access support.

Bank support

Commonwealth Bank

The Commonwealth Bank extended its emergency assistance to flood-affected areas across NSW and Queensland.

The bank is encouraging customers to contact its customer service team to request customised payment arrangements for home and business loans, credit cards or personal loans.

Other support on offer includes fee and charges waivers, temporary overdrafts, emergency increases to credit limits and changes to term deposit conditions.

Business customers can also request to have fees waived temporarily for EFTPOS terminals, as well as support with merchant terminal rental fees if terminals are damaged.

Westpac

Westpac is allowing its customers to defer home and business loan repayments for up to three months.

The bank is also offering repayment deferrals on credit cards, and easier access to loans, if customers need to buy goods damaged by flooding.

Businesses with existing loans can request loan restructuring without incurring the usual bank establishment fees and they can also receive terminal access fee waivers for up to three months.

ANZ

A range of financial support measures are available for ANZ customers, including short-term payment relief on home loans, credit cards, personal loans and some business loans.

ANZ customers can also request fee waivers when restructuring business loans or accessing term deposits early.

NAB

NAB has announced credit card and personal loan relief, including fee waivers on restructuring business facilities.

The bank is also offering c​​​oncessional loans to customers who want to restructure existing facilities to fund repairs and restocking in their business.

The Australian Taxation Office

The ATO is encouraging small businesses to call the tax office and request extra time to pay debts though a customised payment plan.

Businesses can also request to change their GST reporting cycle to and vary their PAYG instalments.

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