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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Government acts to help business in disaster areas

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Friday, March 31, 2017

    Government acts to help business in disaster areas

    Disaster assistance has been activated for small businesses affected by Cyclone Debbie in the Whitsunday and Mackay Regional Council areas.

    Minister for Small Business Leeanne Enoch said joint State and Federal Category B assistance to Mackay and Whitsunday areas under the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA), has been activated based on early damage reports.

    “At this stage, there have been widespread impacts to small businesses from Airlie Beach to Collinsville, and from Bowen to Mackay,” Ms Enoch said.

    “This damage includes anything from major structural damage and water inundation to broken windows.

    “Right now safety is our first priority and the immediate focus is on the restoration of services. Once this is done we will stand ready to help small businesses get back on their feet.

    “Small businesses are the backbone of a community and 97% of all Queensland businesses are small businesses.

    “Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday Coast, Bowen and Proserpine has just over 3,000 small businesses and some of these are tourism businesses. So it is important to get these local businesses back in business as soon as we can.

    “The Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games (DTESB) is working closely with other Queensland Government departments as well as industry organisations, business networks, chambers of commerce and regional tourism organisations to put in place the key support packages under the NDRRA assistance as quickly as possible.

    “We will soon be contacting businesses to get a better understanding of how they have been impacted – and this information will be used to seek further NDRRA assistance – such as Category C Small Business Grants.

    “Should these grants become available DTESB will send staff into the impacted area to help small businesses make their applications.

    “In these difficult times we want to make sure there is a friendly face who can also provide practical information on the spot if needed,” she said.

    Category B assistance includes Natural Disaster Assistance (Concessional Loans) for Small Business of up to $250,000 and Essential Working Capital Loans Scheme for Small Business of up to $100,000.

    For the Category B Loan Application forms go to http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/ or telephone 1800 623 946.

    For more information on small business support: www.business.qld.gov.au

    For other information - Australian Government’s Disaster Assist website https://www.disasterassist.gov.au/ and Queensland Government’s Disaster management website: http://www.disaster.qld.gov.au/

    ENDS

    MEDIA 0412 393 909