The Prime Minister’s announcement of a specific package for bushfire impacted small businesses will provide some good news to local business owners and their employees, according to the State’s peak business organization, the NSW Business Chamber.

The package includes an extension of the already introduced grants of up to $50,000 for fire impacted business premises, concessional loans of up to a half a million dollars, access to financial advice, the establishment of local economic plans and tax relief.

“I commend the Prime Minister and the Minister for Small Business, Michaelia Cash, for this suite of measures, that I know will provide some comfort to small business owners during these uncertain times,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.

“Last week I travelled to Canberra with a number of Local Chamber of Commerce representatives to put our concerns directly to the Prime Minister and it’s great to see some immediate results,” Mr Cartwright said.

“Apart from the financial support, it’s good to see the commitment of the Government to work with local business organisations on developing localised recovery plans, as it’s the Local Chambers of Commerce that have the knowledge and experience to help their communities get back on their feet.

“There’s no doubt the economic recovery of these towns will be driven by how quickly the business community can re-open its doors and provide employment and certainty for its residents.

“One of the other initiatives involves providing financial advice to small business owners, who will need help in working out what’s best for their business going forward.

“Small business owners, by their very nature, are optimistic and many battle each day just to open their doors and employ their fellow Australians, so they feel it harder than most when a disaster like this hits their community, and their concerns are often more about being able to pay their staff and honour existing commitments.

“This package from the Government comes on the back of a $75 million Tourism specific program announced over the weekend which aims to re-vitalise tourist destinations that have been hit hard through cancellations and a lack of forward bookings.

“The NSW Business Chamber will continue to work with all tiers of Government to ensure the best possible outcomes for communities who’ve suffered as a result of the horrific fires,” Mr Cartwright said.

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