Federal Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has claimed victory in his bid to make local bushfire-affected businesses eligible for the $10,000 grants being administered by the National Bushfire Recovery Agency.
“I went into bat for New England businesses on this issue over many weeks and I am extremely pleased that the Federal and State Governments have now added the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Tenterfield, Walcha, Glen Innes Severn and Armidale to the eligibility list”, Mr Joyce said.
These Council areas were left off the initial list of 17 LGAs.
Mr Joyce said many New England businesses that rely on tourism lost much of their peak summer season income due to the bushfires and then also lost Easter trade due to COVID-19.
“Local tourist parks, coffee shops and a host of other business all suffered hardship because of the bushfires. To be eligible, businesses must have experienced a 40 percent drop in revenue over a three-month period, compared to last year, because of the bushfires,” Mr Joyce said.
“Despite the extent of the Coronavirus crisis, I haven’t forgotten those impacted by the bushfires in New England. The expansion of the grants to more LGAs will see more money in the pockets of those who need it most.”
Grants of up to $50,000 are also available for eligible small businesses DIRECTLY impacted by the bushfires. Businesses that have received financial assistance via other grants may still be eligible for the $10,000 grants.
To apply for the grants visit the Service NSW website: service.nsw.gov.au which will be updated shortly.