What is the ACT Special Disaster Loans – Bushfires?
The ACT Special Disaster Loans – Bushfires is a program to help primary producers, small businesses and not-for-profits who have suffered significant damage to their assets and/or a significant loss of income as a direct result of the 2019-2020 bushfire events.
The objective of these loans provided under agreements between the Commonwealth and relevant state and territory governments, is to support small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations directly affected by the 2019-2020 bushfire disaster events (eligible disaster events commencing August 2019).
The Emergency Bushfire Response for Small Business, Primary Production Enterprises and Non-profit Organisations Concessional Loans are intended for entities which have suffered significant damage to their assets and/or a significant loss of income as a direct result of the eligible disaster. The loans are intended to be used for the purposes of restoring and/or replacing damaged assets and/or to meet working capital expenses.
Concessional loans of up to $500,000 are available and:
- the amount available is based on an assessment of the applicant’s financial position, including any amount recoverable under an insurance policy; and
- cannot be more than the amount reasonably required.
Concessional loans are provided to re-establish the normal operations of the business. The ACT Special Disaster Loans – Bushfires are intended to be used for the purposes of restoring and/or replacing damaged assets and/or for working capital expenses that cannot be met due to a loss of income.
Asset replacement: Costs of restoring and/or replacing damaged small business, primary producer or nonprofit organisation assets in accordance with current codes and standards. This includes costs such as:
- repairing or replacing damaged plant and equipment;
- repairing or replacing buildings;
- supplying stock to replace lost stock and maintain liquidity of the business;
- purchasing livestock to replace those that have been lost in a disaster; or
- replanting, restoring, or re-establishing areas that were affected by the disaster (associated with a primary production enterprise).
Working capital: Essential expenses while the business returns to its normal level of trading, such as:
- paying bills;
- paying salaries or wages;
- paying rent and rates;
- paying for goods or services, including for example fuel, essential to carry-on the business;
- buying fodder or water for livestock or produce (associated with a primary production enterprise); or
- transporting livestock or produce (associated with a primary production enterprise).
To be eligible for a loan the applicant must:
- be a small business owner, primary production enterprise or a non-profit organisation;
- hold an Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN at the time of the eligible disaster, or in the case of a non-profit organisation be an incorporated charity or non-profit entity which is registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits
Commission (ACNC) or an equivalent State regulatory body at the time of the eligible disaster;
- own a small business, primary producer enterprise or be a non-profit organisation located in the ACT (the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster);
- have been engaged in carrying on the business, farming activity or be a non-profit organisation when affected by the eligible disaster;
- be primarily responsible for meeting the costs claimed in the application;
- be intending to re-establish or continue carrying on the business or non-profit organisation or conducting the farming activity within the same Local Government Area;
- have suffered:
- significant damage to assets as a direct result of the eligible disaster; or
- significant loss of income as a direct result of the eligible disaster (such as a loss in trade due to evacuation, road closures and reduced visitor numbers);
- demonstrate that the business, primary production enterprise or non-profit organisation has reasonable prospects of long-term viability with the assistance provided;
- use the funds for the approved purpose only;
- demonstrate that the business, primary production enterprise or non-profit organisation has the capacity to repay the loan;
- provide adequate security and loans should generally be secured by:
- a mortgage of land and other assets satisfactory to the ACT Government; or
- any other security considered necessary, for example – a Specific Security Agreement over plant and machinery or a General Securities Agreement;
- demonstrate the business, primary production enterprise or non-profit organisation has not received another concessional loan for loss or damage that was related to the eligible disaster or where a concessional loan has been received it is replaced with a loan under this offering; and
- demonstrate excessive risks were not taken in carrying on the small business, non-profit organisation or primary production enterprise.
You may also be eligible for a loan if both of the following apply:
- the small business, primary production enterprise or non-profit organisation is located outside the defined disaster area for the eligible disaster but is operated at least sometimes on a regular basis in the area; and
- plant or equipment of the small business owner, primary producer or non-profit organisation is situated in the defined disaster area and has been damaged as a result of the eligible disaster
Applications from businesses that employ 20 or more full time employees but have a turnover of less than $50 million may also be considered following submission to the National Bushfire Recovery Agency via the ACT Government.
Applications close 31 December 2020.