There are two categories of loans. Applicants may apply for a loan under both categories up to $500,000 in total.

 

  • Bushfire Working Capital loan of up to $50,000; and

  • Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000.

Is your business still viable?

Can your business recover?

You may need to work out whether your business is still viable. You can do this by:

Government concessional loans of up to $500,000 are available to eligible small businesses (including primary producers) and non-profit organisations. 

Government concessional loans

Am I eligible for a concessional loan?


  • Your business must employ fewer than 20 full-time equivalent staff.

  • If you are a sole trader, more than 50 per cent of your income must come from the business.

  • Businesses with 20 or more employees but with a turnover of less than $50 million will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • Your small business should be in a designated eligible bushfire-affected area. You can search on this map to see whether your area has been designated an eligible area.

  • Your business must be re-established/continuing to operate in the same location or the same local government area as it was before the bushfires.




What do you need to prove to get a loan?


  • that your business will be viable with the assistance
  • your business has the capacity to repay the loan
  • an urgent and genuine need for financial assistance
  • that you have used all your liquid assets and normal credit sources
  • that you have claimed on relevant insurance policies, and
  • you are unable to repair/replace damaged assets from your own resources




What loans are available?


There are two categories of loans.

  • Bushfire Working Capital loan of up to $50,000; and
  • Bushfire Recovery Loan of up to $500,000.

Applicants may apply for a loan under both categories up to $500,000 in total.




What is the Bushfire Working Capital Loan for?


The loan is to provide short-term cash support (working capital expenses) for businesses that have suffered a significant drop in income because of, for example, road closures, loss in trade due to evacuations and lower visitor numbers.

The loan can be used to:

  1. pay business-related bills including wages, rent and rates
  2. pay for goods or services, including for example fuel,
  3. buy fodder or water for livestock or produce
  4. transport livestock or produce




What is the Bushfire Recovery Loan for?


  • To restore and replace to the latest building codes and standards business assets that were significantly damaged by bushfire.

Asset replacement includes:

  1. repairing or replacing damaged plant and equipment, buildings and fences
  2. replacing lost stock and maintain liquidity of the business
  3. replanting, restoring, or re-establishing areas affected by the disaster

To provide working capital to pay essential expenses while the business returns to usual trading levels. Expenses include:

  1. paying business-related bills, including wages, rent and rates
  2. paying for goods or services, including for example fuel
  3. buying fodder or water for livestock or produce
  4. transporting livestock or produce




What are the conditions of the Bushfire Working Capital Loan?


  • The term is up to five years
  • No repayments are required for up to two years
  • No administration fees or charges will accrue on the loan
  • No interest will be charged in the first two-year period
  • The interest rate after two years will be 50 per cent of the 10-year Commonwealth bond rate taken as an average from 1 April to 30 June of the previous financial year. (Note: For the 2019-20 financial year the interest rate was 0.82%).




What are the conditions of the Bushfire Recovery Loan?


  • The term is up to 10 years
  • No repayments are required for up to two years
  • No administration fees or charges will accrue on the loan
  • No interest will be charged in the first two-year period
  • The interest rate after two years will be 50 per cent of the 10-year Commonwealth bond rate taken as an average from 1 April to 30 June of the previous financial year. (Note: For the 2019-20 financial year the interest rate was 0.82%).




How do you apply for a loan?


ACT: To register an expression of interest, go to ACT Business Recovery. Information regarding eligibility and the application process is being finalised.

NSW: Apply online through the Rural Assistance Authority. The NSW guidelines are available here.

Queensland: For more information and to lodge an expression of interest in a loan visit the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority.

Victoria: To apply online visit Rural Finance or call Rural Finance on 1800 260 425. The Victorian guidelines are available here.

South Australia: To apply online visit the Business SA website. The SA guidelines are available here.




Before you apply


Consider the following issues before you apply for a concessional loan:

  • Get advice. The concessional loans are low cost but it is important to get advice on whether the loan is structured in the best way for your small business

  • Check you have you obtained all the required information so you are ready to apply

  • The term of the loan needs to be tailored to what you need. A five-year term may not be long enough. You may need a longer term.

  • Make sure the loan structure is tailored to your loan purpose

  • Can you afford to repay the loan?

  • Do you need a loan at all? Consider other options.





1800 413 828