Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses.

Introduction

If you're a small business or non-profit organisation, and you've suffered direct damage to your premises or equipment as a result of the NSW 2019–2020 bushfire event (beginning in August 2019), you may be eligible for a bushfire recovery grant.

The bushfire recovery grant of up to $50,000 is to help pay for costs associated with the clean-up and reinstatement of a small business or non-profit organisation’s operations. The costs could include, but are not limited to:

  • payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections 

  • equipment and materials required for cleaning up

  • the removal and disposal of damaged goods and materials 

  • repairing premises and internal fittings

  • hiring equipment and/or replacing stock needed to resume operations.

Grants are not available for (and not necessarily limited to), the following:

  • expenses that are covered under the small business or non-profit organisation's insurance policy
  • loss of income as a result of the bushfires.

Note: The bushfire recovery grant replaces the disaster-recovery grant of up to $15,000 for small business, that was administered by the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA). If you've applied for that grant your application will still be processed.

If you've already received a payment for the RAA grant, the amount you received will be deducted from the maximum amount of $50,000 available under this new grant.

That means that if you received $15,000 from the RAA, the maximum you can apply for in this application is $35,000.

Eligibility

Direct damage’ means a direct and material impact of fire or bushfire-related firefighting activities on business assets or equipment.

You must be a small business owner or non-profit organisation in a defined bushfire-affected area and:

  • have suffered direct damage
  • be primarily responsible for meeting the costs you are claiming
  • be intending to re-establish your small business or non-profit organisation in the defined disaster area
  • have held an ABN (which you currently hold) and engaged in carrying on the small business at the time of the bushfire in the defined disaster area (if you are a small business owner).
  • be registered with the 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 (if you are a non-profit organisation).

You may also be eligible if:

  • Your small business or non-profit organisation is located outside the defined disaster area, but:
    • operates on a part-time or regular basis within the defined disaster area, and
    • equipment and/or a plant owned by your small business was located in the defined disaster area and damaged at the time of the bushfire.

If you operate multiple small businesses, you may apply for grant funding for each eligible separate business up to the maximum amount available.

Applications from businesses that employ 20 or more full time employees but have a turnover of less than $50 million may also be considered on a case by case basis.

Small business and non-profit grants are not available if:

  • you’ve successfully received funding or assistance from any other government source or program or donation for your small business or non-profit organisation and that funding or assistance has met the costs you are claiming in your application.
  • you’re entitled to make a claim under an insurance policy for the expenses listed in your application.
  • you’ve received or are entitled to receive the expenses you are claiming under an insurance policy.
  • you've suffered loss of income as a result of the bushfire.
  • your claim is for repairs to a building that the small business or non-profit organisation lets to a person for residential or commercial purposes, unless you let the property in the course of operating the small business or non-profit organisation. Superannuation funds and personal investment vehicles are not regarded as businesses.

In the above instances, contact a Business Concierge to discuss the options available to you.

Note: If you are a farm enterprise you are not eligible under this grant. In this instance, please visit the Rural Assistance Authority to check your eligibility for the Primary Producer Special Disaster Grant – Bushfires.

If you have received a bushfire recovery grant of up to $50,000, you may also be eligible to apply for the $10,000 small business support grant

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account
  • your proof of identity
  • your valid ABN/ACN number
  • evidence of your non-profit status (if applicable)
  • your insurance details (if applicable)
  • your business banking details for payment.

In addition:

For any amount you're seeking up to $50,000, you'll need:

  • to nominate the grant amount you are claiming
  • evidence of the direct damage (in the form of photos, quotes, tax invoices or receipts), and
  • provide an itemised list of what you are proposing to spend the grant on
    • this should include details (including cost) of items you want replaced or repaired and/or proposed clean-up activities to be undertaken.

Note: If you’re unable to provide evidence of direct damage, you may use other appropriate evidence to prove financial impact.

To ensure your application is processed without delay:

  • When you enter details on how you propose to use the grant, make sure you include:
    • a list outlining each item that you intend to purchase using the funding
    • the known or estimated cost of each item
    • documentation to support each item, such as:
      • an official quotation, invoice or receipt – dated from the date of the active bushfire in your LGA.
  • As an example, your itemised list could look like this: 
    • Clean-up services for café - $5,000 – the quote for the clean-up service (from the cleaning company) is attached.
    • New refrigerator - $3,500 – the invoice for the fridge (from online wholesale supplier) is attached. 
    • Espresso machine - $5,000 – the quote for the machine (from a wholesale supplier) is attached. 
    • Shelving for café storeroom - $5,100 – the quote (from a certified carpenter) is attached.

Note: The total amount that you are requesting from the grant should equal the amounts shown by your proposed expenditure.

Auditing requirements:

You may be audited in the future, so you will need to keep all documentary evidence related to your application, and assistance provided under the scheme, for a minimum of 1 year. As part of an audit, you will be required to provide evidence that you have used grant funds in accordance with the claims made in your application (for example, official receipts). 

Proof of identity

Two proof of identity documents are required. They may include:

  • Australian driver licence
  • Medicare card
  • Australian passport
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian travel visa
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Australian certificate of registration by descent
  • Australian ImmiCard.

How to apply

  1. Gather all your documentation and evidence and have it ready for uploading. You cannot save and resume your application once you have started.
  2. Check the eligibility criteria.
  3. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Select and verify your identity documents.
  6. When your identity is verified,  select 'Continue with application'.
  7. Enter the required information and upload any supporting documents.
  8. Enter your insurance details (if applicable)
  9. Enter your bank details.
  10. Review your application.
  11. Check the Declaration boxes.
  12. You'll be sent a confirmation email.
  13. If additional information to support your claim is required, you'll be notified.
  14. If your application is approved, a payment will be transferred within 5 business days.

If you're not able to apply online, apply in person at one of the following:

  • a Service NSW Centre
  • Mobile Service Centre, or
  • Recovery Centre.

If you'd like assistance call 13 77 88.

More information

Terms and Conditions