Visit our storms and floods page for information on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

1. About the program

1.1 The objective of this assistance measure made by agreement between the Commonwealth and relevant State Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements is to support small businesses and not-for-profit organisations directly impacted by the NSW Storms and Floods from 19 February 2021 onwards (AGRN 954) and from 10 March 2021 onwards (AGRN 960) in defined disaster areas agreed between the Commonwealth and states.

1.2 The Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant is intended for small business owners to help pay for costs of clean-up and reinstatement of small businesses that have suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster.

1.3 The Flood Disaster Recovery Small Business Grant application period is effective for six months upon announcement of the grants. Extensions of the program may be considered following submission to the Commonwealth.

2. Available funding

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

a. Funds of up to $15,000 will be provided to eligible, approved applicants, without the need to provide evidence of payment at the point of application. Such funds can be provided on the basis of quotes or estimates. Evidence of payment will be required in relation to that first $15,000, if the applicant seeks funding from above $15,000 to $50,000.

b. Funds of between $15,000 to $50,000 will require evidence of payment at the time of application.

c. Should an initial application be less than the maximum grant amount, further applications may be submitted if additional expenditure is required to complete clean-up and reinstatement activities. The maximum value of funds that may be given to each small business or not-for-profit organisation, across all applications is $50,000.

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. This may include:

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

b. purchasing, hiring or leasing equipment or materials to clean a property, premises, or equipment;

c. purchasing, hiring or leasing equipment or materials that are essential for immediately resuming operation of the small business;

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

  • the cost would not ordinarily have been incurred in the absence of the eligible disaster; or
  • 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;

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 small business. If the repair or replacement is for small businesses that is home based, applicants are only permitted to claim the costs for damage to the premises which is directly attributable to the business, not other household damage;

h. any of the following:

  • replacing lost or damaged stock if the replacement is essential for immediately resuming operation of the small business;
  • leasing temporary premises for the purpose of resuming operation of the small business.

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

a. for repairs to a building that the applicant lets to a person for residential or commercial purposes, unless the applicant lets the property in the course of operating a business (superannuation funds and personal investment vehicles are not regarded as businesses); or

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

c. for any expenses that are claimable under the small business owner insurance policy; or

d. 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 same costs claimed; or

e. for loss of income as a result of the eligible disaster.

4. Eligibility criteria

4.1 Small business and not-for-profit organisation eligibility criteria

4.1.1 To be eligible for the grant, the small business applicant must:

a. be a sole trader or a business employing fewer than 20 employees;

b. hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the eligible disaster;

c. own a small business located in the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster that has suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster;

d. have been engaged in carrying on 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 same area.

4.1.2 In the instance of a small business being a sole trader who has no employees, the sole trader must:

a. derive a majority of their income from the business; or 

b. satisfy the administrating agency that: 

  • immediately before the eligible disaster, the sole trader derived a majority of income from the business; and 
  • the majority of income from the business and the sole trader’s income would have come from the small business again if not for the eligible disaster.

4.1.3 To be eligible for the grant, the not-for-profit applicant must:

a. be a not-for-profit organisation;

b. be registered with Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent State regulatory body and have held that registration at the time of the eligible disaster;

c. be located in the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster and that has suffered direct damage as a result of the eligible disaster;

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

e. be intending to re-establish the not-for-profit organisation in the same area.

4.2 An applicant may also be eligible for a grant if:

a. The small business is located outside the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster but operates part-time or on some regular basis within the defined disaster area and that business’ plant and/or equipment were damaged.

b. the not-for-profit organisation is located outside the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster but operates part-time or on some regular basis within the defined disaster area and that not-for-profit organisation's plant and/or equipment were damaged.

5. Eligible separate business, business location and meeting small 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. the staffing arrangement of the separate business;

b. whether the separate business has its own plant, equipment or stock;

c. the accounting and insurance arrangements of the separate business;

d. whether the separate business operates under their own trading name;

e. the commercial viability and autonomy of each business.

6. Evidence of direct damage

6.1 For an initial claim, applicants must provide evidence of the direct damage associated with the eligible disaster at the time of making the application. This must include:

a. a list of the direct flood-related damage;

b. photographic evidence of the direct flood-related damage; and

c. information that demonstrates the financial impact of the damage (such as quotations, damage assessments or receipts).

6.2 In circumstances where the direct 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 financial impact. The appropriateness of this information will be considered, and Service NSW may request the applicant provide further information to inform itself on an applicant's eligibility.

6.3 For a subsequent claim, applicants must provide full evidence of payment at the time of making the application. This must include evidence of any amounts claimed under the initial claim if this has not already been provided.

7. Application and assessment

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

7.2 Applicants will need to include quotes, estimates or invoices at that point, where available. Applicants are not required to complete all expenditure before applying for a grant. However, invoices for completed work will be required prior to payment of any grant amount over $15,000 (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.

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 the application form.

8. Important Information

8.1 These guidelines are correct at the time of publishing.

8.2 Resilience NSW/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.

8.3 The guidelines that apply to your application will be the guidelines that are current at the time your application is received by Service NSW.

9. Definitions

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

Defined disaster area means the following 63 Local Government Areas:

  • Armidale
  • Ballina
  • Bathurst
  • Bega Valley
  • Bellingen
  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Brewarinna
  • Byron
  • Cabonne
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Canterbury Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cessnock City Council
  • Clarence Valley
  • Cobar
  • Coffs Harbour City
  • Cumberland
  • Dungog Shire
  • Eurobodalla
  • Fairfield
  • Gilgandra
  • Glen Innes Severn
  • Gunnedah
  • Gwydir
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hornsby
  • Inner West
  • Inverell
  • Kempsey
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Kyogle
  • Lachlan
  • Lake Macquarie City
  • Lismore
  • Lithgow
  • Liverpool
  • Liverpool Plains
  • Maitland City
  • Mid-Coast
  • Moree Plains
  • Nambucca Valley
  • Narrabri
  • Newcastle City
  • Northern Beaches
  • Oberon
  • Parramatta
  • Penrith
  • Port Macquarie-Hastings
  • Port Stephens
  • Queanbeyan-Palerang
  • Richmond Valley
  • Shoalhaven
  • Singleton
  • Sutherland
  • Tenterfield
  • The Hills
  • Tweed
  • Walcha
  • Walgett
  • Wingecarribee
  • Wollondilly

Note: The impacted LGAs are subject to change. Guidelines will be updated to recognise additional LGAs as they are defined. Refer to the NSW Government natural disaster declarations for the latest information.

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's Disaster Assist website).

Eligible disaster means the NSW Storms and Floods from 19 February 2021 onwards (AGRN 954) and 10 March 2021 onwards (AGRN 960).

Eligible separate business means a separate small business owned by the same small business owner that would be a commercially viable and autonomous business if the other separate businesses operated by the eligible entity ceased to operate.

Direct damage means a direct and material impact of floods, or flood mitigation activities on business assets or equipment in accordance with criteria set out by Service NSW as part of the application.

Evidence of payment means any of the following:

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

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

Not-for-profit organisation means an incorporated charity or not-for-profit entity which is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent state regulatory body.

Public company means a public company within the meaning of the Corporations Act.

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, other than a farm enterprise that:

  • holds an Australian Business Number (ABN); and
  • is not a public company, charitable business (charitable business means a business that does not operate to make a profit) or body corporate under the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997; and
  • employs fewer than 20 full-time 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; or
  • if operated by a sole trader and the business has no employees other than the sole owner, the applicant must derive the majority of their income from the business unless they can satisfy the administrating agency that the sole trader, immediately before an eligible disaster, derived that majority of income from the business and that the majority of income from the business and that the majority of the sole trader’s income would have come from the small business again, were it not for the eligible disaster

Small business owner is a sole trader, partnership, private company or trust that carries on a small business.