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19 March 2020

Bushfire Financial Support call centre opens for small business

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says small businesses impacted by bushfires can now call a hotline for financial support.

The federal government-established Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line 1800 413 828 (website: www.smallbusinessbushfire.org.au) is now taking calls, with trained financial counsellors ready to provide much-needed assistance to small business operators.

“Small businesses in bushfire affected areas can now access free financial counselling and critical information on the assistance and funding programs available to them,” Ms Carnell says.

“If they haven’t made contact with their trusted financial adviser already, I would encourage small business owners to make the most of these free services that are now available.

“The Small Business Bushfire Financial Support Line is a dedicated, single contact point for small businesses. It’s a good starting point for those who may be feeling overwhelmed as they begin the process of getting back on their feet.

“While the support line will be helpful in providing important basic information, small businesses really need a tailored financial recovery plan to survive and thrive.

“That customised strategy should ideally come from a trusted advisor that has existing knowledge of the small business and the environment it operates in.

“A tailored recovery plan should be the top priority - especially for any small business in receipt of the recently announced new $10,000 grant - to help them stay afloat in the next six to 12 months.

“In time, we hope this financial support hotline will be extended to all Australian small businesses as so many are facing extraordinary challenges right now.”