After a series of extreme weather and rainfall events in South East Queensland, the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) and state government have stepped in offering disaster assistance recovery grants and financial assistance to affected primary producers and small businesses in eligible areas.
Extraordinary Disaster Assistance Recovery Grants
The weather event has been named South East Queensland Severe Storms and Rainfall, 24 December 2023 – 3 January 2024. Grants of up to $50,000 are available for affected small businesses to hire or purchase equipment and materials, clean up, remove debris, replace or repair damaged infrastructure and stock and other costs associated with their recovery process.
Applicants need to show they are an eligible small business, within the defined disaster area and demonstrate they have suffered direct impact from the disaster.
If you are insured, full details and a copy of your insurance policy and/or claim must be provided. QRIDA may be unable to finalise your Disaster Assistance Grant application until the outcome of your insurance claim is determined and claim outcome is provided.
The maximum grant amount is $50,000 and can be accessed through the following:
- Initial application/s up to the total amount of $10,000 is available to support an initial claim. Evidence of the direct damage is required such as photographs and quotations, tax invoices or official receipts.
- Subsequent application/s up to the total amount of $40,000 is available to support subsequent claims for which full evidence of payment is required.
Complete applications are assessed in order of receipt and QRIDA may request further information to help assess an application.
How to apply
If you have the required documentation and are eligible, you can apply for the grant over a number of applications or two separate applications.
- If you have quotes to the value of $10,000, then you can make an initial application for the full $10,000
- If you only have quotes to the value of $9,000 and you’re expecting more quotes to come in later, you can submit an application for the first $9,000 and then submit a second application for the $1,000 when your next round of quotes come in
- This initial amount is to support with cash flow back into the business with either deposits, small payments and more.
- You have now spent the initial $10,000 on deposits and/or minor work and require additional funding to complete the work
- Once you have applied for and received the initial $10,000, you will be required to complete an additional application explaining how you spent the initial $10,000) and provide evidence such as receipts or invoices and proof of the payment of these, to support this next request for funds
- You can apply for subsequent amounts as many times as you need until you reach the total amount.
What can I spend the grant funding on?
Eligible clean-up, reinstatement activities and emergency measures include:
- Equipment and materials to undertake clean-up
- Additional labour costs (above and beyond normal wage expenditure i.e. day-to-day staffing)
- Disposing of damaged goods and stock, including associated costs
- Repairs to buildings (other than housing)
- Reconditioning/ repairing essential plant and equipment
- Purchase or hire/ lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of the business
- Payment for tradespeople to conduct safety inspections
- Essential repairs to premises and internal fittings that is not covered by insurance.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for this grant, you must:
- be a small business owner
- hold an ABN and held that ABN at the time of the eligible disaster
- 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
- have been engaged in carrying on the small business when affected by the eligible disaster
- be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application and
- intend to re-establish the small business in the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster.
An applicant may also be eligible for this grant if both of the following apply:
- the small business is located outside the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster but is operated at least sometimes on a regular basis in the area; and
- plant or equipment of the small business situated in the defined disaster area has been damaged as a result of the eligible disaster.
What documents do I need to provide with my applications?
If you have previously applied for assistance from QRIDA please provide your QRIDA Client ID Number.
Rates Notice / Lease Agreement
- Your small business must be located within a defined disaster area. If you own the property, please attach a copy of your most recent rates notice for the property impacted by the disaster event.
- If you lease the property, please attach a copy of your current lease agreement.
Photographs of damage
- 5 – 10 photographs evidencing direct damage
Evidence of payment
- For grant applications up to $10,000 (i.e. for immediate resumption of business directly following the disaster event):
- Copies of tax invoices or quotes/estimates
For grant applications over $10,000 or subsequent applications up to $40,000:
- Copies of tax invoices AND evidence that these invoices have been paid (e.g. bank statements, electronic bank transfer confirmations or official supplier receipts).
Details of insurance
If insured, full details and a copy of your insurance policy and/or claim must be provided. Please be aware QRIDA is unable to finalise your Disaster Assistance Grant application until the outcome of your insurance claim is determined and formal advice of the claim outcome is provided. If you are eligible to claim under your insurance policy, you must do so and have that claim finalised before lodging an application for grant assistance.
Defined disaster areas
To be eligible for assistance your property must be located in one of the defined disaster areas:
- City of Gold Coast Council
- Logan City Council
- Scenic Rim Regional Council
What other financial assistance is available?
Disaster Assistance Loans
Up to $250,000 for producers and small businesses and $100,000 for not-for-profits to repair or replace damaged assets like plant and equipment, to repair premises, or to replace stock and maintain liquidity.
Essential Working Capital Loans
Up to $100,000 for producers, small businesses and not-for-profits to allow for the continuation of operations, including paying wages, rents or rates, purchasing items such as fuel, fodder and water, or for the transportation of livestock and produce.
Up to $5,000 for primary producers to assist with the movement of stock, feed, machinery, fuel, water and building or fencing materials.
Contact: DAF on 13 25 23 or via DAF’s website.
- City of Gold Coast, Scenic Rim Regional Council and Logan City Council
Queensland Small Business Commissioner
All fees payable for mediation through the Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC) will also be waived for eligible SEQ small business tenants and their landlords.
The waiver is available for parties to a retail shop lease or small business lease located in the Logan, Scenic Rim and Gold Coast local government areas at the time of the SEQ storms in December 2023.
The period of the waiver is for disputes lodged with the QSBC between 25 December 2023 to 13 June 2024. The mediation fee will be reduced from $371 to $0.
Additional information on the types of disputes the Small Business Commissioner can mediate, and other supports offered by the QSBC can be found on the Queensland Small Business Commissioner’s website.
If you require any assistance in preparing your application for these grants, please contact your Arabon accountant for a chat.