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NSW Small Business Bushfire Information Session

Due to COVID-19, the NSW Small Business Bushfire Information Session is now available as a webinar. 

In the webinar below, you'll hear from a range of government agencies on the support available to bushfire-affected small businesses. 

DESCRIPTION: A slide with the NSW Government logo, title: Small Business Bushfire Information Session, Webinar. Slide change, title: Introduction. Text: Chris Hanger, Regional NSW. NSW Small Business Bushfire Information Session, NSW Treasury.

CHRIS HANGER: Hi everyone, my name is Chris Hanger. I'm an executive director in the Regional Group of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and I'd like to welcome you today to the New South Wales Small Business and Bushfire Webinar. As you'd be aware, the New South Wales Government is committed to supporting the recovery of communities impacted by bushfires and has already committed $2.6 billion in relief and recovery initiatives. This includes funding for clean-up of destroyed and damaged properties, fast tracking critical infrastructure, mental health support, grants for primary producers and small businesses and concessional loans.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Agenda. Text: Support for small business – Small Business Commission. Support for small business – Service NSW. Business advice – Business Connect. You and your team, Training Services. Audience Q&A.

CHRIS HANGER: I'll now give a quick overview of what we'll cover today. Small Business Commissioner will give you an update of support available to small businesses from across government. Service New South Wales we'll talk about the New South Wales clean-up program, how you can register as well as financial support, grants and loans that are available. The Business Connect Support Service is gonna talk about one-on-one business advice and support and assistance that is available. And Training Services New South Wales is gonna to talk to you about how they can help businesses upskill and reskill while in recovery phases. I'll hand over now to Ben Lees from the Small Business Commission.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Overview. Text: Ben Lees, Small Business Commission.

BEN LEES: Thanks, Chris. So this is Ben Lees from the Small Business Commission. We're the voice of small businesses in New South Wales Government and I've travelled extensively around the bushfire impacted areas hearing about the impacts on people like you. I'm here today to talk about and give you an overview of the support that the New South Wales Government is providing. So I just want to start by the front. I mean, everyone should be seeking support and the way to do that is to get hold of that Bushfire Customer Care Team.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Available support. In the middle is a red circle with text: Bushfire Customer Care. Call 13 77 88. 7am to 7pm, 7 days. service.nsw.gov.au. Around the circle are six subheadings: Financial Assistance, Business Advice, Promoting Local Businesses and Dispute Resolution on a blue background, and Mental Health & Wellbeing and You and your team on a green background. Each subheading has bullet points below it. Text: Financial Assistance: Grants & Loans, Deferring costs. Business Advice: Cashflow, Recovery Plan, Getting customers. Promoting Local Businesses: Buy Local, Visit Local, Procure Local. Mental Health & Wellbeing: Advice and pathways to care. You and your team: Your obligations & support, Training opportunities, Individual support. Dispute Resolution: Advocacy, Mediation.

BEN LEES: All their information is there in the middle, they're open seven to seven, they can arrange a time that suits you. Now, many of you will have gone through a very, very hard time with these bushfires and I don't want to underplay that. It's been a very, very tough summer, and continues to be a tough time for small businesses. It's incredibly important you seek the support that you need for your own mental health. Your business is important, but you can't put a price on your health, please do seek that support and talk through the problems that you've had. Again, there might be local charities, there might be a local church, if you're not sure where to reach out, it's through your GP or again, you can contact the Bushfire Customer Care Team. Their information, there in the middle, is where you go for all of this support. Again, you might be worried about your team, you might be worried about the support that they can get. Again, they can go to the Bushfire Customer Care Team to find out what they can do. Again, today we're going to be talking a little bit more about the training that they can be provided so that they can upskill in case the work just isn't there going forwards.

The other key problem I hear around the country is problems with the business that just can't be distinctly nailed down into one category, and that might be problems with the landlord. It might be problems with someone owing you money. You might owe someone money, you might need some support. The Small Business Commission can help. We have mediators who can provide free advice and support. Again the way to get to us is to go to that Bushfire Customer Care Team. They'll put you through to us, we'll be able to give you some free mediation and try to get a negotiated solution for you. Now the New South Wales Government has done extensive work trying to keep money local in local areas affected by bushfires. You might have seen things like the Bring an Empty Esky solution, which is on social media. If you go to the Buy Regional website, just Google it, you'll see ways that you can try to sell some of your materials and goods online to people who really genuinely want to help you who are in cities and in the areas who weren't affected by bushfires. The other thing that's going on is the bushfire clean-up that's already started, you probably might have seen some of the clean-up work happening in your area where a contractor has been appointed. So there's a head contractor and they are looking for local contractors. If you think that your business can play absolutely any part in the local clean-up, then I really encourage you to register with the head contractor and again, you can find all the information online.

Now, business advice, every business now is going through an unprecedented time of change. Every single one of you needs to think about what your business looks like going forwards, you're probably going to need advice. I hear cash flow is the major issue out there. You need to have a recovery plan and the way you can get this now for free is through the Business Connect Service. And those advisors are there for free, the New South Wales Government is paying them to go out and help bushfire businesses. Please do, no matter what stage your business is in, please do give them a call and see how they can help you.

Now, the other thing that everyone is asking about is grants, loans and other financial support the New South Wales Government can give. Now, there are a whole range of grants, loans and support, I'd really encourage you to reach out and talk to Service New South Wales and figure out which one applies to you. But I would say don't hold off. These things and many of these financial grants and products are due to start closing towards the middle of the year, the end of June. So if you are at all thinking about taking a loan, if you're at all thinking about getting a grant, I'd say get on it, give them a call and claim it. So now I'm going to hand over to the next presenter to talk more about the role of Service New South Wales and the costs, loans and other products that you can get.

CHRIS HANGER: Thanks very much for that, Ben. I'd now like to introduce David Morrant from Service New South Wales.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Overview. Text: David Morrant, Service NSW.

DAVID MORRANT: Well, thanks, Chris, for that introduction, and thanks, Ben, for that great overview of the support that's available. My name's David Morrant. I'm from Service NSW, and I'm here to give you a bit more detail overview of the services and support that's available from New South Wales Government, from Service NSW, but also from other government agencies.

DESCRIPTION: A slide appears onscreen beside David’s video feed. Slide title: Bushfire Customer Care. Text: Online one-stop-shop; local, state and federal government. 13 77 88. service.nsw.gov.au. Business Concierges can assist: replace licences, permits and certificates; apply for bushfire recovery grants; find out about low-interest loans, and assist with applications; connect you with free local business advisors; fill out forms, reduce your paperwork and understand any jargon.

DAVID MORRANT: As Ben mentioned, the Bushfire Customer Care program has been stood up by Service NSW to help support affected small businesses. What that means is we've stood up a dedicated concierge service to help small businesses through all aspects of dealing with the bushfires. What it is, it's a one-stop shop. It is acting as a front door to government support services at the local, the state and the federal level. It's available – you can contact the Customer Care program by phone on 13 77 88, and you can also register for a call back through our website, at service.nsw.gov.au. What will happen is that you will get a dedicated Business Concierge who will get to understand you and your personal and your business situation, and they'll be able to provide advice and support and link you to all the services that are available through government. So specific things that they can help you with are helping or supporting you through replacing licenses and permits and certificates that may have been lost in the bushfires. They can help you apply for bushfire recovery grants, and I'll be going into more detail about those grants shortly. They can help you find out about the low-interest loans that exist, and they can assist you with applications. They can connect you with free local business advisors for the Business Connect program. That program is available through Business Connect, and you'll hear more about that later in the webinar. They can also help you more generally just fill out forms, reduce your paperwork and understand any jargon. Now, that service is available from 7am to 7pm five days a week, Monday to Friday, and if you register for a call, they will call you back, or you can call us directly on 13 77 88.

The important thing to know is I would encourage any business who's been affected by the bushfires that would like to hear about all the support that's available out there through government to please register with us. Our Business Concierges are armed with all the information, and they can help put you in touch and connect you to everything that's available for you. So I would strongly encourage anyone to register their interest with us. The other important fact is that if there's anything new that government announces that is there to support businesses, if you're registered with us, it's easy for us to find you and connect you to those services straight away. We will always advertise and promote, through social media and communication channels and electronic mail, the services and the new announcements that exist. However, if you are registered with us, it does make it easier for us to get in touch with you.

Now, what else I'd like to talk about, before I touch on the financial support that's available through the grants and loans, I just want to touch on the cleanup, the Bushfire Disaster Cleanup service that the NSW Government has put out. Now, for those of you out there, you may already see work commencing in the cleanup space. For those of you that aren't registered but have equipment, structures, dangerous trees that have been damaged because of the fires, I'd encourage you to register for that service. It's a free service, it's a free cleanup, and it can help you substantially to all the costs of moving on. Now, again, to register for that, you can either contact our Business Concierge and they can help you register, or you can go to our website, follow the links for our bushfire support, and there's a Register Now button there for you. Laing O'Rourke is the principal contractor who is responsible for that work, and they'll be working with subcontractors in your area to do that cleanup. Now, that work is happening now. The process is you'll register, you'll get a contact from Laing O'Rourke who'll come out and do a site inspection and a safety inspection, and then schedule you in for those works. The sort of things that they can cover you for is hazardous materials, removal of materials destroyed by the bushfire, removal of damaged driveways that could impact the safety of the cleanup, and, with the consent of the building owners, concrete slabs that exist.

The other thing I'd encourage is that if you are a small business and you do operate in the space that can support the cleanup service, Laing O'Rourke, on their website, they have a registration service. So if you're a small business and you'd like to subcontract in and support Laing O'Rourke with that cleanup service, you are able to register your interest on their website, and then they will contact you and see where there is opportunity for you to participate in that work. In the awarding of that contract to Laing O'Rourke, the New South Wales Government made the stipulation that they should use, where possible, local contractors to do that work. Now, that gives a great opportunity for people in local areas to participate in that work, no matter how big or small you are. I'd strongly encourage you to go to the Laing O'Rourke website and have a look at their cleanup service, and then there's a specific section there that says you can supply your register of interest there to participate in that work. Again, you can contact our Business Concierge at any time, and they have that information and can send it to you. So if you don't remember, if you forget, you need help, please contact us and we can put you in touch with that.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What financial assistance is available? Text: For Small Businesses and Not Profit Organisations affected by bushfires in disaster declared LGAs to re-establish or continue their businesses or operations. A table shows three grant types and their eligibility requirements. The first: Small Business Assistance Grant, up to $10,000. A $10,000 grant to assist significantly-impacted small businesses in selected Local Government Areas (LGAs) to maintain their business. To be eligible, businesses must have experienced a 40 per cent drop in revenue over a three-month period. The second: Disaster Recovery Grant, up to $50,000. For businesses with direct bushfire damage. To help pay for clean-up, removal and disposal expenses, repair bills, safety inspections, hiring of equipment or replacing stock. The third: Special Disaster Grant, up to $75,000. For primary producers i.e. eligible farmers, fishers and foresters. To help pay for their immediate needs such as fodder and water, sheds, fencing and agricultural equipment.

DAVID MORRANT: Now what I'd like to start to move on to is the range of financial assistance that is available for you. And I'm going to start with a $10,000 Small Business Assistance Grant. So this is a grant that is designed for small businesses who have experienced a significant decline in revenue as a result of the fires, and you are located within a specified Local Government Area, which I understand there are now 30 Local Government Areas that are eligible for this. When it was initially announced, it was only, from memory, 17. There's been an additional 13 announced, to bring it up to a total of 30 Local Government Areas that are now eligible for that $10,000 grant. It's a simple process. It's quick, it's relatively easy. The government is trying to make it as simple as possible so that it is easy for you to access. The grant, you go to our website, you search for – you can search for the bushfire support grant or you can follow the links, and there's an Apply Now button. And you can apply. You have to answer a series of questions, not a lot, and once you've hit that submit button, your grant will be assessed, and if eligible, you will be awarded the funds within approximately three to five business days. The sort of things that the money can be used for is meeting standard business costs, including utilities, salaries and rent. You can use it to seek financial advice to support the recovery of your business. You can use the funds to adjust the business to be viable in a changed local context, you know, pivot the business into a new area. If you are a cafe and you hadn't traditionally focused on takeaway, you could use the money to focus on that, or to pivot the business and set it up to be able to look at the opportunities there. You can use it to extend the business reach through marketing or communications, and you can use it to make the business more resilient to future disasters. Now, that is available. As I said, it's a quick and easy application. It's on our site. Eligibility: be a small business owner, hold an ABN, engaged in carrying out a small business at the time, and suffered a decline of revenue of 40% in a three-month period compared to a similar period in the previous year. There's more detail on our website, including the list of the LGAs that is available, but it is quite a broad list now. Again, you can contact our concierge if you need to find out any more information about that, and they'd be more than willing to help you. They'll be willing to help you understand the eligibility and willing to help you understand how to apply to make it easier for you.

So, the next thing I'll be talking about is our Disaster Recovery Grant of up to $50,000. So, the $50,000 grant is – it's basically intended for small businesses or not-for-profits that have suffered direct damage to your premises or equipment as a result of the bushfire events. So whereas the $10,000 grant is as a result of a decline in income for your small business, this is a grant for those businesses that have suffered direct damage. The grant is up to $50,000. You can apply for as little or as much within that $50,000 range that you require. And it can help to pay for costs associated with the cleanup and reinstatement of a small business or not profit organisations. What you can use the funding on can include – it's not limited to the following, but it can include – payment for tradespeople, replacing equipment and materials, the removal and disposal of damaged goods and materials, repairing premises and internal fittings, hiring equipment, or replacing stock needed to resume operations. What's important to know for this grant is that it can't be – this grant cannot be used for loss of income. That's what the $10,000 grant can be used for. And it can't be used for things that are covered by your insurance policy, if you had one at the time. So that is a $50,000 grant. Again, eligibility: suffered direct damage, you must be primarily responsible for the costs that you're claiming, you'd be intending to re-establish the business in the designed area, have held an ABN at the time. Yep, they're the key eligibility criteria. You might also be eligible if your business is located outside of the defined disaster area, but was operating part or full time within a defined disaster area. If you operate multiple businesses, you might be eligible for grant funding for each eligible separate business. So they're the key points. Again, all the information on the eligibility on our website. It's a relatively simple application. You have to provide some documentation and supports to that. Essentially, you'll have to provide, you know, the amount that you're claiming, evidence of the damage, and that can be photos, quotes, tax invoices, receipts, and an itemised list of what you require. And if you can provide that sort of information, attach it into your application, and then off you go. Again, our Business Concierge is there to help you understand the eligibility. They help you to understand what the evidence you might require, and then help you with the application process. I strongly encourage you to get in touch with us if you're going to apply for that grant.

So the next grant I'll be touching on is the Special Disaster Recovery Grant. Now, this is up to $75,000, and this grant is targeted at primary producers. Now, this grant, I must make it clear, is managed by the NSW Rural Assistance Authority and not by Service NSW, but I'll be talking to it because it does form part of the package of grants and loans that are available from NSW Government. So this grant, to apply for it, you have to go to the Rural Assistance Authority's website at raa.nsw.gov.au, and you'll see that they've got links at the start on their homepage to take you directly to this Special Disaster Grant of $75,000. In summary, it's a grant, similar to the $50,000, it's for primary producers, and it's for capital expenditure to help you recover, for things like fodder, water, sheds, fencing, those sorts of things that relate to the running of that primary production business. That funding, that grant is available now. As I said, it's through the RAA website. It is for primary producers, so you have to demonstrate that you did make more than 50% of your income from the primary production in a recent timeframe. I'd encourage you, if you want to know more about that, you can contact us and we can talk you through it, but you'll also see on the RAA's website, on the Rural Assistance Authority's website, they have a contact number that you can contact them on to talk more about it. You do apply directly through them, through that website, and it's a similar process. It's relatively easy, and it's there, and that 75,000 is directed to primary producers.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: What financial assistance is available? Text: For Small Businesses and Not Profit Organisations affected by bushfires in disaster declared LGAs to re-establish or continue their businesses or operations. A table shows two loan types and their eligibility requirements. The first: Bushfire Working Capital Loan, unsecured up to $50,000. For those who have suffered damage to assets or property, or significant loss of income. To help pay for essential expenses (including staff) and business related bills (rent, lease and rates). The second: Bushfire Recovery Loan, secured up to $500,000. For those who have suffered damage to assets or property, or significant loss of income. To help pay for capital expenditure and/or working capital.

DAVID MORRANT: Now, the next financial assistance I'll be talking to is a $50,000 loan, a special disaster loan of $50,000. This, again, is through the Rural Assistance Authority website. You go there to apply for this loan. This is for those businesses who have suffered direct damage to assets or property or a significant loss of income. And this is a loan that is unsecured up to $50,000, and it can be used to help pay for essential expenses, including staff, business-related bills such as your rents, your lease, your rates, so it's really to help you with cash flow. So it's a loan, and I do understand it is a loan and you do have to repay that loan, but the terms of the loan, the interest rate is below 1%. It's a five-year term, no repayments in the first two years, and then it's a repayment period in the final three years, and the interest rate in the final three years is below 1%. I think it's 0.82%. So that's a $50,000 loan. It's unsecured up to $50,000 for cash flow issues to help you support your business to get it back into the place it was. Again, through the Rural Assistance Authority. I'd encourage you to go through their website and have a look. But again, you can contact us and we can give you information about that. We can help you understand it, and we can send you information on that grant at any time.

Now, the next and the final piece of information I'll be talking about, financial support, is a Bushfire Recovery Loan. Now, this is a more significant loan, so it's up to $500,000, and it will require security, and generally that security is in the form of a mortgage. And this loan is directed for those businesses that have suffered damage to assets, property or a significant loss of income, and it's really designed to help pay for capital expenditure or working capital, so it's really designed for those significant expenditures that you're going to have on your business. So if you had to replace significant infrastructure then you need to get access to a loan to do that, this loan is there for you. It is secured, and the term for this loan is 10 years. No repayments in the first two years, and then an eight-year repayment timeframe after that. And again, under 1% interest rates for that loan. And that loan, yeah, it's available now. I'd encourage anyone who's considering accessing either the $50,000 unsecured loan or the $500,000 secured loan, I'd strongly encourage you to get some independent financial advice, to make sure that your situation, you're able to service that, those loans. The other thing I would say is that those loans may be closing soon. I don't have the closing dates in front of me now, but for those of you that are interested, please don't delay and get access to those. Again, you can call us if you need to, to talk about that, and we can help you about where to find information on those.

So, in summary, what I've spoken about is our Customer Care program, and that for me is the glue of bringing all this together. There is a lot that government is doing. There's been a lot that I've spoken about tonight, and our Customer Care program is there for you to help really understand your situation and connect you to all the support and services that you need. So please contact us if you need anything to support you through with the bushfire, and we'll help put you in touch with the right area. I then spoke about the cleanup service. If you haven't registered and you have damaged infrastructure that you'd like to be removed for free, the NSW Government is paying for that, so get onto that. If you're a small business and you want to register to participate in the cleanup and take advantage of the opportunity that that is in your area, please register your interest with Laing O'Rourke, or contact us and we can help put you in touch. And then there was the five grants and loans I spoke about, and that's the $10,000 grant for loss of income, the $50,000 grant for damage to assets and property, the $75,000 grant for primary producers suffering damage, loss to their property and livestock, etc, and then there was the working capital loan of $50,000 unsecured, and the bushfire recovery loan of up to 500,000, which is there to be secured. Now, I'd encourage you all to take access to this. The NSW Government wants to help you and wants to get you access to these things to get you up and running again as quickly as possible. Thank you very much.

CHRIS HANGER: Thanks very much for that, David. I'd now like to welcome Gary Wheatstone from Business Connect.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Overview. Text: Gary Wheatstone, Business Connect.

GARY WHEATSTONE: Thanks, Chris, for that introduction. Hello, my name is Gary Wheatstone and I am a business advisor and coordinator of NORTEC Business Connect Advisory Program.

DESCRIPTION: A slide showing the homepage of the Business Connect website. Overlaid are contact details: phone, 1300 134 359; email, connect@treasury.nsw.gov.au; website, business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au.

GARY WHEATSTONE: The Business Connect Program is a New South Wales government program providing one-on-one business advisory in New South Wales small businesses. NORTEC is the provider for the north-eastern corner of the state, covering from Port Macquarie and Liverpool Plains LGAs in the South, to Moree and Tweed Heads in the North. Other providers cover different regions in the entire state. So every town and region has a Business Connect provider that can provide support for small business owners. The Business Connect program also offers upskilling workshops and seminars. With the current crises that small businesses are faced with, we are able to offer all services free of charge. Further, the limit on the number of hours of support that can be provided has been removed. In other words, you can have access to an independent and skilled business advisor, free of charge for as long as you need it.

Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, all of these services have unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, have been converted to online and remote services, rather than face-to-face as we were previously able to provide. However, this new delivery model does not lessen the level of expertise and support that is available to all small business owners in New South Wales. Within the provider network are over 60 advisors with a broad range of qualifications and industry experience. Each advisor must have owned or currently still own their own small business as well as have gained tertiary qualifications in a business-related field. Most have decades of experience across numerous industries. There is a list of all advisors on the Business Connect website with biographies attached. This means that business owners can choose whatever advisor they feel would be the best fit for their business. That said, most owners choose someone from their local team as they prefer the level of local knowledge and the network of local contacts that can be provided by those advisors. One important service that advisors provide is to connect the business owners with local professionals such as accountants, solicitors, and other industry specialists and also local businesses that they can work collaboratively with.

The Business Connect advisor can provide you with an objective point of view based on your individual situation. All conversations are strictly confidential. We can provide you with impartial suggestions or advice as we are not emotionally invested in your business as you are. Our vested interest is to see small businesses survive and thrive. We are able to assist with issues such as cash flow, marketing, business planning, leasing, staffing, and when to seek independent specialist advice outside of the advisor network. We work with other state and federal government agencies. They can also provide support, advice and advocacy, advocacy for small businesses such as the Office of the Small Business Commissioner, Rural Financial Counsellors and Rural Assistance Authority, to name a few. Over the past few years the Business Connect network of advisors has provided emergency support across a number of disasters in New South Wales, including flood, drought, bushfires, and now the latest, COVID-19. It goes without saying, it has been a tough going for the entire country and business owners over recent times. We are aware that some business owners are trying to navigate their way through several crises at once, including both personal and business. This can have an enormous effect financially, physically and emotionally. We're here to help you navigate the confusion around the constant stream of ever-changing information. We aim to simplify the process of navigating through the many grants, loans and other supports that are currently being provided, along with the new ones that are announced on an almost daily basis. You can get in contact with your local advisor by calling 1300 134 359 or at business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au and that information is on the screen in front of you. In closing, I urge all businesses to connect with an advisor. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot to gain. Thank you.

CHRIS HANGER: That was great, Gary. I'd now like to introduce Angela Parker from Training Services New South Wales.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: You and your team. Text: Angela Parker, Training Services NSW.

ANGELA PARKER: Thanks, Chris. Hi, I'm Angela Parker from Training Services New South Wales. Most of you have never heard of us probably but we come under the Department of Education. I'm here to talk to you about what upskilling we can offer you and also what support we can give you with your apprentices and trainees.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: You and your team. Text: We can support with skills. A bulleted list: Helping businesses upskill or reskill while in recovery; Support for businesses with apprentices and trainees; Help finding the right training; Call Training Services NSW on 13 28 11.

ANGELA PARKER: We have two main functions. I'll tell you who we are. As I said, we're from the Department of Education. Our first main function is we are the regulator for all apprenticeships and traineeships in New South Wales. Our second function is to fund and manage government subsidised training and Vocational Education and Training (VET) in New South Wales. So if you ever see that logo of VET on someone's t-shirt, chances are it could be from our department. We're not vets, we can't help you with your dogs or cats, as we often get requested, but we can help you with training. So if you wanted to upskill to be a veterinary nurse, that's something we can help you with. So now I'm going to talk to you about a couple of different categories starting with helping businesses to upskill and reskill while in recovery. This is where we can offer skill-sets to your employers to maybe upskill or reskill. This could be that you want to diversify your business from what you're currently doing. So for example, you could be a beekeeper. We've actually had that as a real scenario and the bees virtually disappeared. He contacted us to see what else he could do to diversify his business. We came up with truck driving, would be really helpful for him, and also weed control for his farm. So he's currently in training now in those two qualifications. So that's something that helps him to maybe not have to outsource that work anymore. It's something that he can do himself and maybe grow a business from that. The other thing we can help with is displaced workers. So this is where they can no longer operate that business. Some of the very popular courses there have been in forklift tickets.

Once again with truck driving, that's been another really popular one, demolition skill-sets, and that's part of the bushfire recovery down the South Coast as well. Community services, we'll always need jobs in community services, especially aged care, IT, and another one where we can assist is micro-business. So that's how you learn how to promote your business and maybe diversify to more online or how to advertise your business more effectively. If you have an apprentice or trainee, what we really suggest you do there is have a chat to us first, cause there are different things we can do there to maybe put that apprenticeship on hold. It's called a suspension. So we really urge you there to talk to us on a one-on-one basis for that one. It's much easier because each scenario is very different and we think that personal conversation will help you more than just going straight to a cancellation, we definitely are going down the path of suspensions. What else we can help you with is what we're finding is that a lot of people are walking away from their business. They say, "I don't wanna do this anymore. Maybe it's time to go somewhere different. But I've run this business for 30 years. So I don't have a resume, or I don't think I have the qualifications to be able to move somewhere else". We're actually offering courses in career planning and skills development. That's where we will help you to write your resume, we'll put you in contact with someone, I'm sorry, to write your resume, and then also look at all the skills that you can actually bring to another employer. You know, you under underestimate the abilities that you do have. And then they might also identify a skill-set that can help you to move on to a new career. So our phone number's there, the 13 28 11 number, ring that, say that you've listened to this fire talk by Angela Parker, and you're more than welcome to ask for me personally, and I can help you with skill sets and how we can assist you to have more training. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you.

DESCRIPTION: Slide title: Next Steps. Text: Contact the Business Concierge service for more information: Service NSW Business Concierge. Call: 13 77 88. Visit: mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge.

Business online workshops and webinars

Visit Business Connect events for a range of free business online workshops and webinars funded by the NSW Government, such as:

  • developing a customised recovery strategy
  • managing your cashflow
  • rethinking your business model
  • building your online presence to reach new customers.