Bellingen Shire Council Mayor, Cr Dominic King, has welcomed the NSW and Commonwealth Governments’ announcement that our Shire’s small businesses are now eligible for the $10,000 Bushfire Grants Scheme.
Cr King said our Shire was originally one of thirteen councils that did not qualify for the grants scheme, which provides much needed support to Local Government Areas that have suffered hardship as a result of the recent bushfires.
“Our Shire has experienced an approximate 70% downturn in trade since the bushfires so it was crucial that we qualified for the grants scheme and that our efforts to respond to and recover from the recent drought, fires, floods and the current pandemic crisis were financially supported”.
“That’s why Council has been actively advocating on behalf of our Shire for the NSW and Commonwealth Governments’ to come to the table with economic stimulus and financial assistance solutions because our community and local businesses have been doing it tough for quite some time now”.
Cr King said Council has been lobbying the NSW Deputy Premier, the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and the Members for Cowper and Oxley to address the immediate and longer-term financial sustainability challenges faced by local businesses.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to deliver a local response that will contribute towards easing the immediate financial burden on our local businesses, but it’s also crucial that we secure ongoing financial assistance to ensure our shared vison for a sustainable future is realised.”
“We need NSW and Commonwealth Government financial support so we can forward plan for the social and economic impacts our Shire will face in the months and years ahead due to the financial pressures from the recent bushfires and the additional costs associated with the current pandemic crisis.”
To find out more about the small business bushfire support grants scheme, simply click on the following link: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-bushfire-support-grant#eligibility