After the bushfires

Your Association has been lobbying the government to make sure businesses impacted by the bushfires get help.

small businesses support bushfires
Photo:   Thuansak Srilao 123RF

Since January, R&CA has been working hard to lobby the Federal Government to provide better support for small businesses affected by the bushfire crisis, and to get on the front foot to proactively dispel the perception that holidaying in Australia is not possible due to the damage. 

R&CA was pleased to support the Morrison Government’s assistance package which is now available for small businesses affected by the bushfire crisis. This package supports eligible small business and non-profit organisations  with top-up grants of up to $50,000 and interest free loans for businesses of up to $500,000. These grants will be vitally important to help restaurants, cafes and caterers in bushfire affected areas rebuild.

The grants are for small businesses that have suffered direct damage. Businesses that have suffered direct or indirect damage from the fires may be eligible for the concessional loans. 

The costs could include, but are not limited to:

  • payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections; 
  • hiring equipment and/or replacing stock needed to resume operations;
  • equipment and materials required for cleaning up;
  • the removal and disposal of damaged goods and materials; 
  • repairing premises and internal fittings.

The Government defines direct bushfire damage as damage to business assets or equipment that are damaged by fire or firefighting activities. The grant must be primarily responsible for meeting the costs you’re claiming for and you must be intending to re-establish your business in the same community or region.

If you operate more than one business, you can register for each eligible business up to a combined total of $50,000.

As the grants and loans are administered at a state level, affected businesses can get more information from their relevant state government agency. The Federal Government has warned that not all states have full details available yet, but they will be coming soon.

If you’re based in South Australia, go to the Business South Australia site.

If you’re based in Victoria, go to this page at Business Victoria.

If you’re based in Queensland, go to the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority.

If you’re based in New South Wales, go to Services NSW.

The government has set up a National Bushfire Recovery Agency for administering the $2 billion National Bushfire Recovery Fund—click on the link for more info.

Tourism support

The Government has also announced an initial $76 million tourism recovery package to help get more tourism dollars into Australia from both international and domestic sources.  

Finally, R&CA has also announced that all restaurant, cafe and catering businesses who have been directly impacted by the bushfires will have FREE access to R&CA’s Industrial Relations Hotline and our General Advice Hotline until April 13 2020 to assist them in their rebuilding and recovery efforts.

Any business which may be able to take advantage of this offer can call our National Contact Number on 1300 722 878 or email