In those areas most affected by bushfires, small businesses typically form the backbone of local economy. And they’ve been doing it tough. That’s why Mortgage Choice brokers are playing a role helping small businesses get back on their feet.
New relief measures
Small businesses impacted by the bushfires can claim a range of relief measures recently announced by the Federal Government. These include:
Immediate tax-free cash grants of up to $50,000
Grants are available for eligible small businesses that have sustained damage as a result of the fires.
The grant is not just available to businesses that have experienced direct fire damage. It can also be claimed by those that have, for example, lost stock through power outages. This gives small businesses an opportunity to claim expenses that may not be covered by their insurance.
Concessional loans of up to $500,000
Concessional loans are available to small businesses that have suffered either significant asset or revenue loss.
No repayments are due on these loans for the first two years, and no interest charges apply during that time. After the first two years, an interest rate equal to half the 10-year Commonwealth government bond rate – about 0.6%, will apply, with repayment terms of up to 10 years.
New Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line.
The support line provides a single point of contact for businesses to learn about the various relief measures that are available. While the specialist line is being established, businesses can call 13 28 46 for information.
Tax relief for small businesses
The Tax Office has also come on board to help small businesses in bushfire-impacted postcodes manage their cash flow.
Eligible businesses will have until 28 May 2020 to lodge and pay their BAS and income tax returns. Impacted businesses that normally pay their PAYG instalments quarterly are now able to vary these instalments to $0 for the December 2019 quarter and claim a refund for any instalments made in the September 2019 quarter.
How Mortgage Choice brokers can help
All these measures are welcome. But there are additional steps small businesses can take to fast-track the recovery process. And it’s an area where Mortgage Choice brokers are eager to help.
Many small businesses rely on commercial finance to smooth out their cash flow, provide working capital, or to fund plant and equipment purchases.
It’s important for any bushfire-impacted business to speak to their Mortgage Choice broker to find out if their current lender is offering any relief measures on business finance, and to discover the different financing options available to get back on track.
As Mortgage Choice brokers are small business owners themselves, they have a clear understanding of the pressures and challenges involved.
By partnering with their broker, small business owners can focus on getting their daily activities back to normal, while their broker works behind the scenes liaising with lenders and tracking down appropriate funding strategies where necessary. It’s another valuable step fire-affected businesses can take to regroup, recover and rebuild.