Regional NSW Update: NSW Government

Feb 7, 2020

Welcome to the first edition of the South East newsletter for the new year and the beginning of a new decade.

It has been a challenging start for Southern NSW and this cannot be understated. So many of us call this beautiful region home and it has been a devastating time for our communities and heartbreaking to watch. Work is well underway in assisting our communities recover and we are committed to working with you to rebuild our region into a vibrant and thriving place to live, work and play. Regional NSW is assisting in leading the recovery efforts across NSW, bringing key groups together to ensure a coordinated and collaborative approach is undertaken to support bushfire impacted communities.

We know many businesses have been both directly and indirectly impacted by the bushfires in what is our traditional peak season, as such this first newsletter has a strong bushfire recovery focus of information to support businesses and families.  We stand with you and please reach out as needed, there is assistance available, we are here to help.   

Small Business Bushfire Information Sessions

Small businesses affected by the bushfires in regional NSW are invited to attend these information sessions brought to you as part of the NSW Government Bushfire Regional Roadshow.

Small business will hear from a number of government agencies on support available and have the opportunity to discuss individual circumstances one-on-one.

Cost: Free – Time: 6.00pm – 8.00 pm

Batemans Bay: Monday, 10 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event.bbay.eventbrite.com.au

Narooma: Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event-narooma.eventbrite.com.au

Bega: Wednesday, 12 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event-bega.eventbrite.com.au

Eden: Thursday, 13 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event-eden.eventbrite.com.au

Mogo: Tuesday, 18 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event-mogo.eventbrite.com.au

Bermagui: Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Book here: bushfire-event-mogo.eventbrite.com.au

Topics covered will include:

  • Small Business Bushfire Recovery Grant
  • Disaster assistance
  • Volunteer Firefighter Payment
  • NSW Bushfire Clean Up
  • Upskilling your business
  • Part qualification funding
  • Business Connect

For further information about this event, please contact: (02) 9934 0805, or email smallbusiness@treasury.nsw.gov.au

Government Bushfire Recovery Work Prioritises Local Businesses

NSW Government agencies undertaking rebuild and recovery work in bushfire-affected communities will put local businesses first in an effort to stimulate local economies. 

 The NSW Government has launched a new business portal and a concierge service to help local and regional businesses gain access to government agency procurement opportunities in fire-affected areas. See Tenders NSW.   
 
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope has issued a direction to all government agencies to source work from local
businesses as part of the bushfire recovery process.

 “This is about ensuring we provide local businesses with opportunities to access government procurement activities and give them first preference to provide the services required to rebuild their communities,” Mr Tudehope said.

“Many of these local businesses can offer services needed in the recovery phase. For example, a local business could repair a local school damaged by bushfires,” he said.

The portal on the Tenders NSW website will allow Government agencies and councils across the state to upload details of available work so the whole supply chain is aware of upcoming opportunities.

Appointed contractor, Laing O’Rourke, will work with Public Works Advisory NSW to ensure local suppliers and subcontractors are engaged where possible for the clean-up

Service NSW one-stop shop Customer Care Specialists for bushfire affected communities

Bushfire affected families and businesses can now access available assistance being offered by local councils, the State Government and Federal Government, through the NSW Government’s new Bushfire Customer Care program.

The one-stop shop service, administered by Service NSW, will connect affected people with a Customer Care specialist, who can check their eligibility for assistance and help them access it.
The Customer Care specialists will operate like case managers and connect bushfire affected customers with services and support information including:
  • accommodation advice;
  • relevant charitable services;
  • mental health and wellbeing services;
  • support for businesses;
  • clean-up services;
  • financial assistance;
  • insurance and legal support;
  • replacing lost ID; and
  • Volunteer RFS and SES payments.
To connect with a Customer Care specialist, call Service NSW between 7am and 7pm on 13 77 88. The Contact Centre hours have been extended to include weekends while communities recover.
Information about the Customer Care service is also available in Service NSW Centres, NSW Recovery Centres and Mobile Service Centres in affected regions.

Small Business Commissioner – Small Business Impact Survey

The NSW Small Business Commissioner is seeking to hear from small business owners in bush fire affected areas regarding the impact of the recent fires on their business. 

 Information provided will be shared with government agencies and other organisations and be instrumental in determining the level of recovery support provided.

If you run a small business in the South East region, please share your thoughts via the survey.

To take the Small Business impact survey, click here.

Update on Australian Government support for bushfire affected regions

Help is now available for more people who lost income as a direct result of the bushfires thanks to changes to the Disaster Recovery Allowance. 

Changes include income being assessed individually, meaning members of a couple can both receive the payment, and an increase to the income cut-off to the equivalent of the full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings.

Anyone who received Disaster Recovery Allowance between 1 July 2019 and 18 January 2020 will have their claim automatically reassessed.

The Services Australia disaster hotline (180 22 66) continues to deliver immediate disaster payments to impacted people and is the fastest way to claim assistance.

For more information on support available go to servicesaustralia.gov.au/disaster

Australian Government Tourism Recovery Package

The Federal Government has announced an initial $76 million tourism recovery package as part of the National Bushfire Recovery Fund to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies by helping get tourists travelling across Australia again. This includes the new Holiday Here This Year campaign asking Australians to plan, book and take a domestic holiday and share their experiences with friends and online. 

 

A tourism industry ‘toolkit’ which contains information on what this campaign is all about, along with some logos for use in your own marketing, is available here.

The Federal funding will also allow Tourism Australia to coordinate the following programs:

  • Temporarily re-enter the domestic marketing space, coordinating a national campaign in partnership with the states and territories ($20 million);
  • International recovery campaign funding boost ($25 million);
  • Increase our international media hosting activities- $9.5 million; and
  • Increase support for the Australian Tourism Exchange ($6.5 million)

Plus the funding will support:

  • A regional tourism events initiative to support regional events and activities ($10 million)
  • Additional funding for the international diplomatic network to reassure our international partners that Australia is open for business.($5 million)

For more information, visit www.tourism.australia.com

Have your say – NSW Small Business Strategy 2020

Have your say by Wednesday, 4 March 2020

NSW Treasury is seeking feedback on issues that affect small businesses to inform a refresh of the NSW Small Business Strategy.  

The NSW Small Business Strategy 2020 Discussion Paper outlines five themes on issues that affect the small business community including:

  • a strong economy for small business to thrive in
  • making it easier to contract with government  
  • making it easier to do business  
  • building small business capability  
  • building resilient, connected and prepared small businesses.
 

Within the Discussion Paper, NSW Treasury is also seeking feedback on the review of the Small Business Commissioner Act 2013 which establishes the objectives, functions and powers of the NSW Small Business Commissioner.

To submit your feedback you can either upload or complete your submission on the consultation website

For more Information, contact the NSW Small Business Strategy Team on (02) 9228 4455.

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