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1. About the program

1.1 Made by agreement between the Commonwealth and relevant State Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements, the objective of this assistance measure is to support Small Businesses, including Not-for-Profit Organisations, that were directly impacted by the storm and flood disaster events, commencing 4 August 2022 (AGRN 1030) and 14 September 2022 (AGRN 1034) and located in LGAs within Defined Disaster Areas agreed between the Commonwealth and states.

1.2 The August and September Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant (Aug/Sep 2022 Flood Grant) is intended to assist Small Business owners with the costs of clean-up and Reinstatement of their business, where they have suffered Direct Damage as a result of the Eligible Disaster.

1.3 Applications will remain open until 30 June 2023, unless extended by announcement. 

2. Available funding

2.1 The maximum grant amount for clean-up and Reinstatement is $50,000.

2.2 Subject to clause 6:

  • (i) Funds of up to $25,000 will be given to eligible approved applicants on provision of a list of the storm or flood-related damage with photographic evidence, and    
  • (ii) Funds between $25,000 to $50,000 will require Evidence of Payment at the time of application.  

2.3 Should an initial application be less than the maximum grant amount, further applications may be submitted if additional expenditure is required, up to a total of $50,000. 

2.4 Small Businesses may be eligible, notwithstanding any previous application(s) under any previous flood support program administered by Service NSW. For the avoidance of doubt, damage caused by any other disaster other than the Eligible Disaster cannot be claimed under this program. 

3. How funding may be used

3.1 Funding may be used to help pay costs associated with clean up and Reinstatement of the Small Business in relation to the Eligible Disaster. This may include:

a. engagement of tradespersons to conduct a safety inspection of damage to a property, premises, or equipment, 

b. purchasing, hiring or leasing equipment or materials to clean the damaged property, premises, or equipment, 

c. purchasing, hiring or leasing equipment or materials to reinstate damaged materials or equipment that are essential for immediately resuming operation of the business, 

d. employing a person to clean the property, premises or equipment where: 

  • d.1. the cost would not ordinarily have been incurred in the absence of the Eligible Disaster, or 
  • d.2. the cost exceeds the costs of employing a person to clean the property, premises or equipment that would ordinarily have been incurred in the absence of the Eligible Disaster, as evidenced by a comparison of employee payroll and roster information before and after the Eligible Disaster. 

e. removing and disposing of debris or damaged materials, 

f. removing and disposing of spoiled goods and stock due to power outage, 

g. repairing a building, or repairing or replacing fittings in a building, if the repair or replacement is essential for resuming operation of the business. A Home-based Business may only claim for repair or replacement to the portion of the building or fixture that is: 

  • g.1. owned by the Small Business, evidenced by a title search and/or Certificate of Title, and
  • g.2. used predominantly for business activities, evidenced by financial records, photos, video evidence or a statutory declaration. 

h. replacing or repairing damaged stock or equipment that was directly damaged by the Eligible Disaster and is essential for immediately resuming business operations. The eligible claim amount is the market value of the damaged stock or equipment at the time of the Eligible Disaster  

i. replacing or repairing a motor vehicle that was directly damaged by the Eligible Disaster and is essential to immediately resume operating the Small Business.  

  • i.1. A Small Business may only claim for the repair and replacement of a motor vehicle where the vehicle is registered for business use.
  • i.2. The eligible claim amount is the market value of the motor vehicle at the time of the Eligible Disaster.  

j. leasing temporary premises within the Defined Disaster Area (in accordance with clauses 4.1.1(f), 4.1.2(f) and 4.1.3(f)), for the purpose of resuming operation of the Small Business, up to a maximum of 12 months from the date of the Eligible Disaster. For the avoidance of doubt, the Small Business may remain in the temporary premise after 12 months where: 

  • j1.1. the Primary Premise is unable to be repaired using reasonable endeavours, and/or  
  • j.1.2. the location of the temporary premise is more flood resilient compared to the Primary Premise location, and/or  
  • j.1.3. the costs to move back to the Primary Premise are unreasonable. 

However, funds may not be used to pay for leasing costs after the initial 12-month period.

  • j.2. Home-based business cannot claim the costs for leasing a temporary business premises, as this expense is typically not paid by the business. 

3.2 An applicant is not eligible for assistance under the scheme:

a. repairs to a building that the applicant leases for residential or commercial purposes unless the applicant lets the property in the course of operating a business, evidenced by a Private Ruling issued by the ATO or an accountant’s letter, 

b. if the Small Business is entitled to receive or has received an amount under a policy of insurance for the relevant costs claimed; or for any expenses that are claimable under any insurance policy,  

c. the Small Business owner has successfully received funding or assistance from any other government source or program or donation in relation to the business, for the Eligible Disaster where that funding or assistance has met the relevant costs claimed, or 

d. for loss of income as a result of the Eligible Disaster. 

4. Eligibility criteria

4.1 Eligibility criteria for Small Businesses, other than Not-for Profit organisations and sole traders 

To be eligible, the Small Businesses, other than Not-for Profit organisations and sole traders, must:   

a. employ exactly or fewer than 20 full time employees (or full-time equivalent employees);  

b. hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the Eligible Disaster;  

c. be located in the Defined Disaster Area at the time of the Eligible Disaster and suffered direct damage as a result of the Eligible Disaster; 

d. have been engaged in operating the Small Business in a Defined Disaster Area when affected by the Eligible Disaster; and  

e. be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application; and 

f. be intending to re-establish the Small Business in the Defined Disaster Area for the Eligible Disaster. 

4.2 Eligibility criteria for Not-for Profit Organisations (NFP) 

To be eligible, the NFP must, at the time of the Eligible Disaster:  

a. be a legitimate NFP, 

b. be registered with: 

  • i.  the Australian Charities and Non-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent State regulatory body, 
  • ii. Fair Trading NSW as an incorporated association or co-operative, or 
  • iii. be deemed a Not-for-Profit Organisation, in accordance with the current Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB).

c. be an entity whose principal objective is not the generation of profit. A not-for-profit entity can be a single entity or a group of entities comprising the parent entity and each of the entities that it controls, 

d. have suffered direct damage as a result of the Eligible Disaster, 

e. be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application, and 

f. intend to re-establish the NFP in the Defined Disaster Area. 

4.3 Eligibility criteria for Sole Traders 

To be eligible for the grant, a sole trader must: 

a. derive the majority of their income from the Small Business, unless the applicant can satisfy the Administrating Agency that: 

  • i. they derived the majority of their income from the Small Business immediately before the Eligible Disaster, and 
  • ii. would have continued to derive the majority of their income from the Small Business had the Eligible Disaster not occurred, 

b. have held an active Australian Business Number (ABN) at the time of the Eligible Disaster and still holds an active ABN, 

c. own or operate a Small Business located in the Defined Disaster Area, and that suffered direct damage as a result of the Eligible Disaster, 

d. be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application, and 

e. intend to re-establish the Small Business in the Defined Disaster Area.

4.4 Subject to all above eligibility, an applicant may also be eligible for a grant if the Small Business is located outside the Defined Disaster Area but operates part-time or regularly within the Defined Disaster Area, and that business suffered Direct Damage as a result of the Eligible Disaster.

4.5 The following businesses are not eligible, per this Program’s definition of Small Business: 

  • a. Public companies
  • b. A Charitable business 
  • c. A body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997 
  • d. Farm Enterprise 
  • e. Superannuation Fund 

5. Eligible Separate Business criteria

5.1 Applicants who operate more than one small business under a single ABN may apply for assistance for each Eligible Separate Business up to the maximum amount of assistance available for the relevant defined disaster area. 

5.2 When determining an application for Eligible Separate Businesses, the following may be considered (but is not limited to):  

a. staffing arrangements;

b. whether the Eligible Separate Business has its own plant, equipment or stock;

c. accounting and insurance arrangements;

d. whether the Eligible Separate Business operates under their own trading name;

e. the commercial viability and autonomy of each business. 

6. Evidence of direct damage

6.1 Subject to clause 6.2:

a. applications with an initial claim of up to $25,000 must be supported by evidence of the direct damage caused by the Eligible Disaster at the time of making the application. This must include:

  • (i) a list of the direct storm and flood-related damage; and
  • (ii) photographic evidence of the direct storm and flood-related damage.

b. where the total of all claims under this program exceeds $25,000, claims must be supported by: 

  • (i) the items in clauses 6.1a., if not provided already; and
  • (ii) Evidence of Payment for all amounts claimed, including in relation to any previous claims. 

6.2 Where an applicant has claimed under a Previous Business Program, Service NSW will assess the current application against previous claims and may request evidence to distinguish the current claim from previous claims. Such evidence may include: 

a. Evidence of Payment for all amounts claimed under this and/or a Previous Business Program;

b. further photographic evidence of damage for claims under this and/or a Previous Business Program; and/or 

c. any other evidence to verify any fact, matter or thing, pertaining to this program and/or a Previous Business Program.

6.3 In circumstances where the direct storm and flood-related damage is unable to be photographed or other information (such as receipts) is not available, the applicant may provide other appropriate evidence to prove direct damage. Service NSW will consider the appropriateness of this information and may request the applicant provide alternative documents and further information to establish eligibility.  

7. Application and assessment

7.1 Applicants are requested to refer to Service NSW website and complete an online application accompanied by the documentation stated on the application form before the application closing deadline. 

7.2 Applicants will need to produce quotes, estimates or invoices where available in accordance with clause 6. Applicants are not required to complete all expenditure before applying for a grant. However, Evidence of Payment for completed work will be required prior to payment of any grant amount over $25,000 or as applicable under clause 6 (and up to the maximum of $50,000). 

7.3 Complete applications will be assessed in order of receipt. Incomplete applications will not enter the assessment queue until all required information is provided. 

7.4 Applications will be assessed against the eligibility criteria and Service NSW may request further information to help assess an application, including conducting site visits by NSW Reconstruction Authority or Service NSW to discuss damages claimed by the applicant and assess eligibility. 

7.5 Service NSW reserves the right to refuse an application where eligibility criteria are not met, or where the applicant does not or cannot provide sufficient information to determine if eligibility criteria have been met.  

7.6 Applications submitted may be subject to audit by Service NSW or its agents in order to determine compliance with scheme guidelines. 

7.7 Applicants must retain all tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements, quotations or other similar records for assistance received under the scheme until one year after the closing day for applications for the eligible disaster. 

7.8 Applicants must consent to Service NSW conducting an audit of quotations, tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements or other similar records to verify the amounts paid under the program have been used in accordance with the terms and conditions. Penalties may apply for false or misleading information. 

7.9 Applicants must provide authorisation for Service NSW to contact their insurance company to confirm or verify entitlements or the outcome of any claims made in relation to the eligible disaster. 

7.10 Before applying for financial assistance under this program, applicants should seek advice from their legal, business or financial advisers about the tax implications of this financial assistance. 

7.11 By applying to receive a grant, an applicant agrees to be bound by the Terms and Conditions which will be made available to the applicant as part of application. 

Important Information

  1. These guidelines are correct at the time of publishing.
  2. NSW Reconstruction Authority / Service NSW reserves the right to amend, alter or change these guidelines at any time, and it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they check the relevant website prior to application.  
  3. The guidelines that apply to your application will be the guidelines that are current at the time your application is received by Service NSW.

8. Definitions

Administrating Agency means the responsible agency/department/body for assessing and administrating the small business grant applications. 

Defined Disaster Area means the Local Government Areas under AGRN 1030 and 1034.

Note: The impacted LGAs are subject to change. Refer to Natural disaster declarations – NSW Government for the latest information.

Direct Damage means a direct and material impact of storms and floods on business assets or equipment.

Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements means the funding arrangements as agreed between the Commonwealth and the State for providing financial assistance to communities affected by an eligible disaster (available on the Australian Government Disaster Assist Website).

Eligible Disaster means NSW Severe Weather and Flooding from 4 August 2022 (AGRN 1030) and 14 September 2022 (AGRN 1034).

Eligible Separate Business means a Small Business that shares an ABN with one or more eligible Small Businesses, that would be commercially viable and autonomous if separated from each eligible Small Business under the same ABN. 

Evidence of Payment means any of the following:

a. an invoice including the name, address and ABN (if applicable) of the entity that issued the invoice and a description of each item to which the invoice relates and is clearly identifiable as being related to approved expenditure for the applicant and can be related to damage from the eligible disaster. 

b. a receipt including the name and address and ABN (if applicable) of the entity that issued the receipt and a description of each item to which the receipt relates. 

c. a copy of the applicant’s bank transfer and/or bank statement. 

Farm Enterprise means a business that primarily carries on the activity of producing crops, livestock, forestry for the commercial production of products for consumers, or any activity listed in Division A of the Australian New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC) 1292.0 (Revision 2.0) published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Full-time Employment means an individual who ordinarily works for at least 35 hours each week for the small business.

Home-based Business means a Small Business that operates from residential premises. For the purpose of this Grant, the Small Business must be the registered proprietor of the property.

Not-for-Profit Organisation means an entity whose principal objective is not the generation of profit. A not-for-profit entity can be a single entity or a group of entities comprising the parent entity and each of the entities that it controls.

Previous Business Program means:

a. the October 2021 to January 2022 Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant, 

b. the February and March 2022 Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant, 

c. the June and July 2022 Storm and Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant, 

d. the Northern Rivers Medium Size Business Grant, and  

e. any other relevant disaster/flood program.

Primary Premise means the premise the Small Business was operating from at the time of the Defined Disaster. 

Public Company has the meaning given to it in the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

Reinstatement means the carrying out of activities that are necessary to help the Small Business continue or resume production at a similar level as before the Eligible Disaster.

Small Business is a business that:

a. holds an active Australian Business Number (ABN); and

b. is structured as a company, joint venture. Partnership, trust or as a sole trader;

c. employs exactly or fewer than 20 full time equivalent employees. That is, the sum total of all standard hours worked by all employees (whether full-time or part-time) is less than the number of standard hours which would be worked by 20 full-time employees, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics; and

d. for the purpose of this Grant, may be a Not-For-Profit Organisation.

A Small Business does not include the following:

a. Public company

b. a Charitable business as defined by the Charities Act 2013 (Cth) 

c. A body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997

d. Farm Enterprise

e. Superannuation Fund

f. Personal investment vehicle.

Last updated: 11 January 2023