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1. About the program

1.1 The Northern Rivers Medium Size Business Grant (Program) is co-funded by the Commonwealth and NSW State Government under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements 2018.

1.2 The objective of this Program is to support eligible medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations in significantly impacted Northern Rivers Local Government Areas by the storms and flood disaster events in February and March 2022 (2022 Floods).

1.3 The Program is intended for eligible applicants to help cover costs of clean-up and Reinstatement of their business where they have suffered Direct Damage because of the 2022 Floods. The Program is especially designed to support retention of employees.

1.4 The Program will close on 30 June 2023.

1.5 The maximum grant amount for clean-up and Reinstatement is $200,000 (inclusive of GST) depending on eligibility as set out in these guidelines.

2. Eligible Applicants

2.1 Applicants are eligible to apply if they meet all of the following criteria:

a. fulfil the requirements for either:

  • a medium business (see sections 2.2 and 2.3) or
  • a not-for-profit organisation (see section 2.4);

b. are located in the Defined Area or operate part-time or on some regular basis within the Defined Area;

c. have suffered Direct Damage as a result of the 2022 Floods and provide evidence of that (see sections 2.6, 2.7, 2.8 and 2.9);

d. are responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application;

e. are intending to re-establish the medium business in the Defined Area; and

f. have not received a grant under any of the following grant programs (using the same ABN, if applicable, as used to apply for this Program):

  • $50,000 February and March 2022 storm and flood disaster recovery small business grant;
  • $10,000 Small Business Northern Flood Grant;
  • $75,000 Primary Producer Special Disaster grant for the February 2022 NSW floods.

Businesses

2.2 The requirements for businesses (excluding not-for-profit organisations) are that they:

a. are a medium business. This means that they must have employed a minimum of 21 and less than 200 full-time-equivalent employees as at 22 February 2022. That is, the sum total of all standard hours worked by all employees (whether full-time or part-time) is more than the number of standard hours which would be worked by 20 Full-time Employees and less than 200 employees, as defined by the Australian Bureau of Statistics;

b. hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and held that ABN at 22 February; and

c. are structured as a company, joint venture, partnership or as a trust.

2.3 A business is ineligible if it is:

a. a body corporate under the Strata Schemes Management Act 1997;

b. a farm enterprise;

c. a superannuation fund; or

d. a personal investment vehicle.

Not-for-Profit Organisations

2.4 The requirements for not-for-profit organisations are that they:

a. employed 21 or more and less than 200 full-time-equivalent employees as at 22 February 2022;

b. are either:

i. registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent State regulatory body and were registered as at 22 February;

ii. registered as an incorporated association or co-operative with Fair Trading NSW and were registered on or before 22 February 2022; or

iii. deemed to be a not-for-profit organisation, in accordance with the current Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB) on or before 22 February 2022; and

c. are 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.

Other

2.5 An applicant may also be deemed eligible under hardship circumstances at the discretion of Service NSW and Regional NSW.

Direct Damage

2.6 To be eligible, applicants must provide evidence of Direct Damage of the 2022 Floods at the time of making the application.

2.7 This evidence must include (mandatory):

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

b. photographic evidence of the Direct Damage (Note: see 2.9).

2.8 Evidence may also include (optional):

a. balance sheet equipment schedule; or

b. depreciation tables.

2.9 In circumstances where the Direct 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 further information. Such cases will be determined at Service NSW’s discretion. Failure to comply with a request for additional information may lead to the application being rejected.

3. Eligible Costs

3.1 Funding must be used to help pay costs associated with re-establishment, retention of operations, clean-up and Reinstatement of businesses directly linked with the 2022 Floods.

3.2 These eligible costs 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;

d. employing a person to clean a property, premises or equipment if the cost would not ordinarily have been incurred if the flooding had not occurred;

e. removing and disposing of debris or damaged materials related to flood damage;

f. removing and disposing of spoiled goods and stock due to power outage due to the floods;

g. repairing a building, or repairing or replacing fittings in a building, if the repair or replacement is essential for resuming operations. If the repair or replacement is claimed by a home-based business, funds may only be used for the portion of damage to the building or fixtures that is:

  • owned by the Eligible Applicant, evidenced by a title search, rates notice and/or Certificate of Title; and
  • used predominantly for business activities, evidenced by financial records, photos, video evidence, tax return or a statutory declaration.

h. any of the following:

  • replacing lost or damaged stock if the replacement is essential for immediately resuming operation of the business;
  • replacing or repair of motor vehicles if the vehicle is directly damaged from the 2022 Floods. The vehicle must be registered for business use and must be essential for Reinstatement of the business
  • leasing temporary premises for the purpose of resuming operation of the business.
  • temporarily adopting an online business model.

3.3 Funding must not be spent on the following ineligible costs:

a. repairs to a building not associated with the operation of the business;

b. costs already covered by insurance; Note: An Eligible Applicant may claim for any gap between costs covered by insurance and actual costs incurred;

c. costs which are already covered by funding or assistance which the applicant has received from any other government source or program or donation in relation to the 2022 Floods; or

d. for loss of income as a result of the 2022 Floods.

4. Application Process

4.1 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 deadline.

4.2 Applicants will need to agree to Service NSW’s Terms and Conditions.

4.3 By submitting an application, applicants provide authorisation for Service NSW to contact their insurance company and provide details including insurer and policy number, to confirm or verify entitlements or the outcome of any claims made in relation to the 2022 Floods.

4.4 Applicants should seek advice from their legal, business or financial advisers about the tax implications of this financial assistance if they are successful.

4.5 Applications will be determined at the sole discretion of Service NSW. Applicants may be requested to produce further evidence reasonably specified by Service NSW.

5. Claims for Costs

5.1 The maximum grant amount for clean-up and Reinstatement is $200,000 inclusive of GST claimable as set out below.

5.2 Eligible Applicants may apply for up to $25,000 based on quotes or estimates for eligible costs but are not required to submit Evidence of Payment (see definition below) at the point of application.

5.3 Where applicants seek additional funding, they must provide Evidence of Payment for all funds claimed, including the first $25,000.

5.4 Applications for funds of between $25,000 to $200,000 must include Evidence of Payment.

5.5 Should an initial application be less than the maximum grant amount, Eligible Applicants may submit claims for costs as required, up to a total of $200,000.

6. Assessment

6.1 Service NSW will assess complete applications in order of receipt. Incomplete applications will not enter the assessment queue until all required information is provided.

6.2 Service NSW will assess applications against the eligibility criteria (eligible applicants and eligible costs). Service NSW may also take into account any further information in its discretion.

6.3 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.

6.4 Service NSW and/or its agents may request further information or evidence to help assess an application. Failure to comply with a request for further information or evidence may lead to rejection of an application.

6.5 There will be a consideration process in place for exceptional ‘hardship’ circumstances for applicants where major impact and need are demonstrated. This process will be at the discretion of Service NSW and the Department of Regional NSW.

6.6 The Department of Regional NSW may conduct site visits to assess the applicant’s eligibility and conduct compliance activities. For example, the Department may assess the extent of the 2022 Floods related damage.

7. Compliance

7.1 By submitting an application, applicants consent to Service NSW or its agents conducting an audit of all tax invoices, official receipts, bank statements, quotations or other similar records to verify the amounts paid under this Program have been used in accordance with these guidelines and the Terms and Conditions.

7.2 Applicants must keep records relating to their applications and any grant they receive for 7 years after they have spent those funds.

7.3 Applicants must declare the information provided in their application is true and correct. Penalties may apply for false or misleading information. Where false or misleading information is provided, applicants may be referred to law enforcement.

7.4 Payments under this program will be repayable on demand if any application information is found to be false or misleading, or the grant is not used in accordance with the terms of funding set out in these guidelines.

7.5 Applicants must agree that information and evidence submitted as part of the application may be verified by government agencies such as Service NSW, Department of Customer Service, Revenue NSW and others.

8. Updates

8.1 These guidelines are correct at the time of publishing.

8.2 Department of Regional NSW/Service NSW reserves the right to amend these guidelines at any time as they deem appropriate in their sole discretion.

9. Definitions

2022 Floods has the meaning given in clause 1.2.

Defined Area means the following seven most impacted Local Government Areas (LGAs): Ballina, Byron, Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley and the Tweed Shire under AGRN #1012.

Direct Damage means a direct and material impact of the 2022 Floods on business assets or equipment.

Eligible Applicant has the meaning given in section 2.

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 Direct Damage;

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; or

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

Farm enterprise is a business 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 Employee means an individual who ordinarily works for at least 35 hours each week for the business. Contractors are not full-time employees.

Personal investment vehicle means a product used by investors to gain positive returns. Examples include hedge funds, private real estate investment trusts and venture capital limited partnerships.

Program has the meaning given in section 1.1.

Reinstatement means the carrying out of activities that are necessary to help businesses continue or resume production at a similar level as before the 2022 Floods.

Last updated: 10 October 2022