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  • 10 Jan 2020 4:35 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    Visit www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

    Supporting bushfire affected small business

    Good afternoon,

    Our thoughts are with the thousands impacted by the bushfire disaster. 

    Please see below our most common questions that we are receiving in our contact centre and some responses to support bushfire affected businesses. Could you please direct this email to your Contact Centre Manager to brief their agents.

    1. What can I do if my business premise is damaged?
    • Small business operators who own the damaged premises should contact the Insurance Council of Australia for help with questions about their bushfire and business continuity insurance and link them to their insurer. They don’t need to worry finding insurance documents, they will locate them. Call: 1800 734 621
    • Tenant and landlords with retail or commercial lease for the damaged premise concerned about repairs, rent and ability to trade should contact the NSW Small Business Commission Lease experts on 1300 795 534 or https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/contact.
    • Home-based business with a residential lease for the damaged premise should make their real estate agent or landlord aware of the damage and call the NSW Fair Trading to discuss the matter further on 13 32 20.

      NOTE: There are grants up to $15,000 for clean-up and to cover the costs of relocation to, and lease of, temporary premises when immediate re-opening of the damaged premise is not possible. Apply here.

      Loss of Income is not currently eligible under this scheme.

    1. Where can I get legal advice?
    • Legal Aid NSW is currently providing free, practical legal assistance to help bush fire affected communities recover and rebuild. Call 1800 801 529 or go to www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au.
    1. How do I access financial assistance?
    • Disaster Recovery Payment is for anyone whose livelihood is affected by bushfires.  The one-off, non-means tested payment of $1000 is for eligible adults and $400 for eligible children in Australia or overseas. Apply here.
    • NSW Rural Assistance Authority Disaster recovery grant of up to $15,000, and low-interest loans of up to $130,000, are available to primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profit organisations in LGAs affected by the NSW bushfires. Apply here.

    We have also developed a news article that is full of practical advice and information for small businesses. All this is on one page listing support services available to small businesses, including financial assistance options.


    If you have used any information from this page to update your stakeholders please consider linking to this article as this page is updated regularly. It is important to ensure our stakeholders are receiving the most up to date information on support available.

    We look forward to working with you.

    Free Call:  1300 795 534

    Web Contact: https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/contact

    Small Business Commission team

  • 19 Dec 2019 12:52 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    Building small business resilience

    The NSW Small Business Commission has launched Get back to business - a guide to recovering from disaster. The resources are hosted on our website in an article on 'Building small business resilience.' Their availability is quite timely given the challenging and difficult circumstances many communities and small businesses are experiencing across NSW.

    Disasters such as bushfires, floods, cyber-attacks or severe storms can devastate small businesses. But when disaster hits small businesses, what should they do? The process of recovery can seem overwhelming, particularly when you don’t have a plan.

    Planning and preparing in business is simply good business. Preparing and being ready if a disaster hits could be the difference between a business being out of action for a few days or never reopening. That’s why we've developed a range of resources to help small business owners both prepare and recover from disasters.

    Get back to business - a guide to recovering from disaster is a step-by-step guide for business owners dealing with a disaster. It outlines how small businesses can recover and even bounce back better than ever. The guide provides information on the five phases of disaster recovery – from the moment disaster hits to the days, weeks and months ahead. There are action checklists on how business owners can work through each phase of recovery. There are also several case studies highlighting lessons learned by other small businesses who have been faced with disaster.

    The Insurance claims for small business guide also helps small business owners in the recovery phase, guiding them through the often complicated insurance claims process and providing advice if they encounter issues with providers.

    These resources complement the NSW Government’s Get Ready Business - five step guide to preparing for disasters (2018), which helps business owners prepare for disaster in five simple steps.

    Access and get the resources now:

    For further details and assistance please do not hesitate to get in touch:

    By phone: 1300 795 534, or

    By email: sbf.councils@smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

    From all of us at the NSW Small Business Commission we wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a safe festive season.

    Yours sincerely

    The Small Business Friendly Councils Team

    NSW Small Business Commission

    Visit www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au

  • 19 Dec 2019 11:25 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The Buy Regional campaign is being expanded to include experiences/tourism operations to support businesses impacted by bush fires. Registrations close on 20 December 2019!

    Businesses need to complete information as noted below to be listed on Buy Regional. The criteria for publishing in the listing is simply that your business has to be registered in the NSW and be in a regional area. You can now add events and accommodation to the ‘Experiences’ section.

    Businesses can register by sending the following information to BuyRegional@dpc.nsw.gov.au

    Please provide the following information in your email to be listed on Buy Regional:

    • We need a good photo – a high res, landscape pic if possible – that really shows off your business and what you offer.
    • If your products fit into a couple of categories, please send a pic for each category.
    • Is your business registered in NSW?
    • What is your ABN?
    • Business owner name?
    • Business address?
    • Online store address
    • Business summary (160 characters) – describe your business like it’s someone describing it – the website descriptions are in the third person:
    • Which category best suits your products?
    • Choose from Food, Wine, Fashion, Art and design, For kids, Hampers, Wellbeing, Experiences

    More information online at: https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/regional-nsw/buy-regional-this-christmas/

  • 24 Nov 2019 10:34 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    NSW Government has allocated $25 million to help with bushfire clean-up costs

    Recently Wauchope Chamber became aware of assistance for fire impacted people through our State Member Melinda Pavey MP's Office. Please see information below:

    The NSW Government has allocated $25 million to help with bushfire clean-up costs, in addition to other assistance measures.

    Assistance for cleaning up

    The clean-up funding will help pay for removing hazardous materials - including the removal of asbestos-contaminated material released as a result of the bushfires, concrete slabs, all dangerous debris and trees. Those wishing to make an application under the program are encouraged to contact the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on ‪1800 018 444 for more information.

    The NSW Government will also waive waste levy fees for residents disposing of bushfire-generated waste. Building materials, garniture and any other bushfire generated waste is included; the waiver will apply at nominated facilities and will save significant sums of money for households. The exemption of waste levy fees applies ‪until 29 February 2020 on debris and waste created by these bushfires.

    Assistance for fire-damaged fencing:

    - BlazeAid - is setting up operations in our region. For more information, please visit the BlazeAid website and follow the links to contact a Camp Co-ordinator: https://blazeaid.com.au/how-to-get-fencing-help/

    - NPWS – The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) offers assistance under certain conditions to repair or replace fences bordering national parks in accordance with the NPWS boundary fencing policy.

    NPWS is offering to purchase and supply an agreed quantity of fencing materials to reconstruct

    boundary fences. For further detail visit the NPWS website: https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/parks-reserves-and-protected-areas/fire/park-recovery-and-rehabilitation/assistance-for-fire-damaged-fences

    Disaster Relief

    Call the Disaster Welfare Assistance Line on 1800 018 444 (Mon–Fri 8.30am-4.30pm) for more information.

    Animal Welfare

    Local Land Services is assisting with emergency fodder, stock water and assessment of animals impacted by the fire. Landholders are encouraged to call the Agriculture and Animal Hotline to request assistance: 1800 814 647

    Disaster Recovery Payment and Allowance

    The Australian Government has activated these programs for people severely affected by the NSW Bush Fires. Call: 180 2266 or visit www.humanservices.gov.au


    Melinda Pavey MP

    Member for Oxley

    Original information issued by Melinda Pavey MP, Member of Oxley

  • 15 Nov 2019 10:20 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    Outstanding tourism businesses from across New South Wales were honoured tonight as the winners of the 30th anniversary edition of the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards were announced at the Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney with 490 industry representatives in attendance.

    Managed by the Tourism Industry Division of the NSW Business Chamber, the state’s peak business organisation, and supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW the NSW Tourism Awards recognise those businesses who exemplify quality tourism. These businesses provide leadership in innovation, marketing and in the delivery of quality products and services. These are businesses who advance and promote the NSW and Australian tourism industry through consistent customer service and quality experiences to all.

    Speaking at the Awards, Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres highlighted the importance of tourism and events to the State’s economy and congratulated the winners.

    “Tourism is vital to our State’s economy, so to be recognised at the NSW Tourism Awards is a truly outstanding achievement. I thank all of the winners for their unwavering commitment to offering our domestic and international visitors Australia’s most remarkable experiences.

    “Beyond our spectacular natural scenery and iconic capital city, the highlight for many visitors to NSW is the individuals who front these award-winning experiences, who exude contagious passion and excitement and ensure every trip to our State is simply unforgettable,” Mr Ayres said.

    Seventy-five award winners were announced in a range of categories including Major Tourist Attractions, Festivals and Events, Destination Marketing and Accommodation. With 124 finalists in 2019, each winner was selected by an independent judging panel for their exceptional contribution to the NSW Tourism Industry.

    Moonshadow – TQC Cruises, Nelson Bay was inducted into the prestigious NSW Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, for taking out top honours in the Major Tour and/or Transport Operators category for the third year in a row whilst Janette Hyde, President of the Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association was awarded the Dean Gorddard Award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual to NSW.  NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager Kellon Beard, said “It is great to see Janette getting recognition for her years of outstanding work for the community.”

    Gold Medal winners in categories 1 to 25 go on to represent NSW at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, to be held in Canberra in March 2020.

    NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cartwright, said “This group of winners and finalists should be incredibly proud of this recognition. Award entrants continue to showcase a diverse array of talent, passion and innovative drive that allows our state’s tourism industry to thrive. Good luck to all winners continuing on to the QANTAS Australian Tourism Awards in March.”


    Kellon Beard
    Regional Manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber

  • 30 Sep 2019 12:48 PM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    In his recent speech to the Armidale Business Chamber, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor, Philip Lowe, said that “we will all be better off if business have the confidence to expand, invest, innovate and hire people”.

    Few would disagree with that statement.  The problem facing the Governor though – and policy makers more generally – is that business confidence isn’t just reliant on lower rates.  A number of factors are important - like international headwinds and geopolitics, weak household disposable incomes and of course the drought.  All of these weigh on confidence and create uncertainty about the future.

    That’s why it would be naïve to assume that further interest rate cuts will restore business confidence, boost economic growth or lift employment.  Recent interest rate reductions certainly don’t appear to have had an impact on income levels, investment or confidence.

    What we need more than just interest rate reductions, is structural reform.  Structural reform, such as lower taxes, water security, equitable water policies, greater short-term infrastructure projects and affordable, reliable energy are far more important.

    It is these kind of reforms that the NSW Business Chamber believes will support the economy during, not only these turbulent times, but also longer term by increasing the capacity of the economy, creating more jobs and delivering stronger regional communities.

    There is no doubt improvements to transport, energy and communication networks are critical enablers of economic activity.  Governor Lowe identified the delivery of new infrastructure in our cities and regions as one of the timeliest and effective measures to sustain economic activity, and promote business confidence.

    So the pressure is on the State Government to deliver infrastructure that will improve transport, provide reliable energy.  They must also fulfil their election promise to spend snowy hydro and leasing asset proceeds in regional communities.

    Their Federal counterparts need to step up and undertake a thorough review of how we manage water in this country before our currently framed water plans irreparably damage our regional communities.

    The real risk is that without reform, businesses will continue to delay making significant investments.  At the end of the day, this is not a great thing for job creation anywhere in NSW.

    Kellon Beard

    Regional Manager, Mid North Coast, NSW Business Chamber

  • 01 Aug 2019 7:18 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    If you own or operate a business in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region then Port Macquarie Hastings Council would like to hear from you.

    Business confidence drives business growth and investment, supports employment opportunities and attracts people to our region. Help Council plan for a vibrant economy by letting us know what’s important to you and your business, and how confident you are feeling about the future.

    This quick, 5-minute survey provides businesses with an opportunity to connect with Council, to have a say and to be part of the collective local business voice.

    The survey is open until 31 August and outcomes will be shared in October 2019. If you haven’t already completed the survey, online or by telephone, please follow the link below and make your opinion count!

    The survey is anonymous, does not ask for specific financial information and is conducted for research purposes only in compliance with the Privacy Act 1988.


  • 31 Jul 2019 7:27 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, said a new employer hotline established by the NSW Statutory Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) will provide important support for businesses across NSW in resolving workers compensation enquiries.

    “The Chamber provided 18 recommendations to the NSW Government to improve the operation of workers compensation. The establishment of a ‘business hotline’ was one of these recommendations,” said Kellon Beard, Regional Manager Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.

    Employers can now phone 13 10 50 and receive assistance to help them resolve issues and queries. The Chamber has tested the ‘business hot line’ and was put instantly in contact with a representative of SIRA who was available to resolve queries.

    “In December of 2018 the Chamber called on the NSW Government to commission a review of the NSW Workers Compensation system to address serious concerns raised by businesses across NSW.

    “The Government announced a review would be undertaken on 16 May 2019 and independent reviewer Ms Janet Dore has been meeting with businesses and business groups across NSW to hear their experiences and to get their views,” said Mr Beard.

    “The establishment of a business hotline by SIRA is an important step to help improve the operation of workers compensation in NSW. We look forward to reviewing Ms Dore’s recommendations and to providing additional support to ensure improvements in the operation and sustainability of workers compensation in NSW,” said Mr Beard.

  • 17 Jul 2019 7:43 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, is highlighting the importance of the tourism industry to regional economies following the release of results of the National Visitor Survey today.

    “This is a fantastic result, and it confirms that tourism is a key industry for current and future jobs growth for this region and NSW,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.

    “In terms of visitor numbers, the North Coast is breaking records - and the fact that the North Coast was the 3rd most popular tourist destination in the country, is something we can be proud of.

    “Nearly 6 million overnight visitors came to the North Coast over the year to March 2019, up more than 8% from the previous year.

    “That’s extraordinary growth and a contribution of about $3½ billion to our region. That’s a lot of jobs and a lot of business for our restaurants, cafes, hotels and tourism operators.

    “As for day trippers, we saw about 7 million of those over the last year, which again, confirms the attractiveness of the North Coast as a premier tourist destination.

    “Today’s numbers are a timely reminder as to why it is so important for the government to reboot Restart and ensure regional NSW gets the funds it was promised for infrastructure investment. This investment is critical to supporting regional economies and the continued growth of the tourism industry in this region.

    “The visitor economy is thriving, but it’s a competitive space. Without continued investment, it won’t be possible to maintain the attractiveness of our region for tourists. NSW is an attractive destination for visitors, and today’s figures show that North Coast is an attractive place. Let’s keep it that way,” Mr Beard said.

  • 15 Jul 2019 7:07 AM | Lisa McPherson (Administrator)

    To coincide with World Youth Skills Day, the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber has released its comprehensive 2019 Workforce Skills Survey which will collect information on the skills needs of NSW businesses.

    “Globally, the United Nations estimates the youth unemployment rate is almost three times higher than the rest of the population,” said NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard said.

    World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for businesses to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development and to implement measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment,” Mr Beard said.

    “It’s an auspicious day to release the NSW Business Chamber’s 2019 Workforce Skills Survey.

    “The Chamber is committed to ensuring our next generation of workers develops the skills they need to meet the needs of employers or to become employers themselves. It is vital for the future of our economy that young people connect with work, and businesses are able to source skills locally. 

    “Quite clearly, if education and training isn’t equipping young people for the workplace, then it is failing in one of its primary objectives.

    “Ensuring the workforce of the future has skills that will be in demand in years to come is a win for young people, the economy, our communities and business.

    “Our survey provides an opportunity for businesses to tell us about their skill challenges, their experiences engaging with the training system and importantly the challenges and benefits of developing young people in the workplace.

    “Results from this survey will help us develop recommendations for the future delivery of training in NSW and how to improve the provision of information to students, parents and employers on the pathways to a rewarding career,”

    “We encourage all businesses to complete the 2019 Workforce Skills Survey to help us continue to work with governments in addressing the workforce issues experienced by business,” Mr Beard said.

    The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019workforce and all businesses are encouraged to submit their feedback.

    The survey will run until 29 July.


Po Box 270, WAUCHOPE NSW 2446  |  wauchopechamber@gmail.com  |  www.visitwauchope.com.au

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