More Assistance Needed for Struggling Businesses in Wake of Fires
The National Bushfire Recovery Agency yesterday (Thursday, February 2) announced it would provide more funding for fire-affected Local Government Areas (LGAs) so councils could deal with issues such as rebuilding damaged or destroyed assets, and host activities that brought communities together.
The NSW Government has also announced additional funding for fire-affected councils to host events that support local businesses.
While Ms Templeman said the funding was welcome, more needed to be done to provide struggling local businesses with direct financial support, and to encourage tourism to the regions.
“There is no doubt our councils need additional funding to tackle the big infrastructure issues following these natural disasters, and we have all been in agreement about that,” Ms Templeman said.
“But unfortunately businesses are not asking for workshops, they are asking for grant assistance to help sustain them through these really tough times.
“Today, another small business in Katoomba told me they are not eligible for business grants because they didn’t burn down. But their business has been directly affected by the fires, as has nearly every Mountains and Hawkesbury small business that in any way relies on tourism.
“Most need financial assistance to pay the bills and keep their staff.
“Local residents rely on our small businesses for jobs, and many people’s hours have been cut down dramatically because of the drop in tourism as a result of these natural disasters. I urge the Federal Government to consider more financial support for our local businesses to help keep our region working.”
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