Flood-affected small businesses in north Queensland can now claim half of the $50,000 Special Disaster Assistance Recovery Grant upfront to support their immediate recovery.
Funding is available through the jointly funded Commonwealth-Queensland Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).
Minister for Emergency Management and North Queensland Recovery Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments were committed to ensuring small businesses recover following the floods earlier this year.
"This change will allow impacted small businesses to access up to $25,000 of the Category C recovery grant upfront, upon presentation of evidence of damage and likely expenditure," Minister Reynolds said.
"The relaxation of the grant criteria will give small businesses quick access to funds in order to bring their businesses back on line, especially while insurance claims are progressed."
Queensland Minister for Employment and Small Business Shannon Fentiman said the boost to the upfront payment would urgently help small businesses carry out repairs and recommence trading.
"The feedback we received was that the initial grant capped at $10,000 was hampering recovery efforts, so this has been increased to $25,000," Minister Fentiman said.
"Cash flow is the lifeblood of small business and business owners need to be able to quickly and easily access the available disaster assistance to support their recovery from this event."
In early February, the Small Business Recovery Centre opened in Townsville to offer immediate support and enable small businesses to access services from across all three levels of government.
To date, the centre has been contacted more than 1,100 times by small businesses looking for advice on insurance, loss of income, leasing and legal issues as they look to recover and grow their operations.
This includes information about the DRFA Category B loans and Category C grants that have been made available to small businesses in the declared areas.
This financial assistance is managed by the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA).
Small business owners impacted by flooding can call the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority (QRIDA) on 1800 623 946 for assistance and information on the grants and concessional loans that are available.
For more information, visit www.qrida.qld.gov.au or drop into the Small Business Recovery Centre at 143 Walker Street, Townsville.