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Keep up to date with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner News and other information relating to small business.
SA Business Bushfire Recovery Grants
Further information on the grants can be found here
The 2019/2020 bushfire season has had a devastating effect on people and businesses in South Australia. A Small Business Bushfire Recovery Package is available to help small businesses in bushfire affected communities get back up on their feet. The package includes support for small businesses to recover and rebuild, address cash flow pressures, and access financial counselling and tax support.
The Government is establishing a hotline to provide information on the assistance that is available and access to specialist small business financial counselling services. Contact information for the hotline will be published at www.business.gov.au.
Businesses in bushfire-impacted postcodes are eligible for tax support and assistance through the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Further information is available by calling the ATO Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or at www.ato.gov.au.
If you employ people, this can be a challenging time for you and the people who work for you. Everybody’s circumstances are different, but personalised help is available. Call the National Business Hotline on 1300 142 820 for advice and support specific to your business. If part of your workforce includes an apprentice or trainee, you can contact 8429 3242 for advice about continuing to meet learning and training requirements and obligations as their employer. If you have a sponsored skilled migrant and can no longer offer employment, please contact Immigration SA on 8303 2420.
For more information about eligibility criteria, read the Grant Guidelines.
To fast-track the assessment of an application and claims, applicants are encouraged to apply online at www.business.sa.gov.au/bushfires
You can also lodge completed application forms including required documentation with the Department for Innovation and Skills by the following methods:
Post: GPO Box 320, Adelaide SA 5001
If you have difficulty understanding or completing the application form, please contact the Department for Innovation and Skills on (08) 8429 3242.
Click here for more details.
Bushfire Recovery Hotline 1800 302 787
PIRSA Bushfire Hotline
1800 255 556
SA business support
To find information about recovering from current fires click here.
Support for Farmers, Growers and Small Business Owners affected by Bushfires
Our office is ready to assist with any enquiries related to business impacts and the bushfires on 1800 072 722. For the latest government financial assistance information please go to business.sa.gov.au
We are saddened that many South Australians have been impacted by the recent bushfires and our condolences go out to those who have lost family members or have been injured. We also thank our CFS and other volunteers who have worked tirelessly to protect all of us.
A number of small business owners, farmers and growers, particularly in the Adelaide Hills and on Kangaroo Island have lost their businesses and it will take many years to recover. Many farmers have lost their livestock and feed as well as machinery. People affected by the fire and who need assistance should call the Rural Recovery Hotline on 1800 302 787 in the first instance.
We work closely with Rural Business Support (RBS), who delivers the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) that will be able to help eligible growers to develop and implement plans to recover including:
- Understanding the business financial position
- Helping to develop and implement plans to return to ‘normal’ operations
- Preparing cash flow forecasts to meet financial obligations
- Assistance with preparing for discussions with banks, lenders and insurance companies
- Assistance with securing income support, regional investment corporation loans and government grants
- Referrals to other credible providers of assistance
Any grower, farmer or small business owner affected by the bushfires who are feeling concerned about their financial situation can call 1800 836 211 to discuss their position with a rural financial counsellor and receive support with moving forward.
RBS has also appointed rural financial counsellor Paul Erkelenz to lead the response to the Adelaide Hills fire and Russell Trainor for the Kangaroo Island fires. Paul and Russell will be available to attend any community engagement events focussed on primary industries or small rural business recovery.
- Paul Erkelenz (0437 321 107) – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Russell Trainor (0418 850 251) – email@example.com
Primary Industries and Regions SA has a 24 hour hotline to assist with agricultural impacts or urgent animal issues that cannot be dealt with through normal veterinary or community services resulting from the bushfires and other emergencies. The Agriculture and Animal Services Hotline is 1800 255 556.
It is important to know that there are a range of health support services to help those affected by the bushfires through this stressful and uncertain time and further details can be found here.
Consultation on proposed amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2009
The State Government is seeking feedback on a draft Bill, the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment (Review Recommendations) Amendment Bill 2020 (2020 Bill).
Following a national review of Security of Payment laws initiated by the Federal Government, the final report on the national Review of Security of Payment Laws (the Murray Review), conducted by Mr John Murray AM, was released in May 2018.
The Murray Review made 86 recommendations and, following consultation, the State Government has approved the public release of draft amendments.
Consultation on the draft 2020 Bill is being conducted by the Attorney-General’s Department. This consultation commenced on 20th December 2019. Feedback on the draft 2020 Bill can be made via email to LLPSubmissions@sa.gov.au by no later than Monday 17th February 2020.
The 2020 Bill is available here
Retail and Commercial Leasing Act Amendment Bill 2019
A series of amendments to the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 completed their passage through the South Australian Parliament on Thursday 12th December 2019.
It is important to note that the amendments will not come into effect until formal proclamation planned for early 2020.
The amendments aim to build on the existing protective measures for lessees under the Act and include:
- Allowing leases to move in and out of the Act;
- Clarifying the application of GST;
- Establishing a formal process through the Valuer-General to review the rent threshold which currently stands at $400,000;
- Providing an option of a landlord to register a new lease which is above the current $400,000 threshold so that the lease will not be captured by the Act should the threshold increase;
- Requiring increased requirements for disclosure of information by landlords to tenants; Increasing penalties for breaches of the Act (broadly in line with CPI between 1995 and 2015) and introducing two new penalties;
- Increasing the value of a bond from up to four weeks rent to up to three months’ rent; Amending the definition of a public company, and also providing protection to charity groups which may use a public company structure but are registered with the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission;
- Excluding overseas companies from coverage of the Act if they are registered on an international stock exchange:
A number of technical amendments are also included in the Bill.
These proposed amendments align with the Government’s agenda for small business as they will assist in making South Australia a more attractive place to invest and grow business.
A copy of the Retail and Commercial Leases (Miscellaneous) Amendment Bill 2019 as passed by Parliament can be found here.
New guidelines to reduce impact on small business from roadworks
State and Local Governments will be expected to follow a new blueprint on managing roadworks impacts on small businesses according to Small Business Commissioner John Chapman.
The new document “Open for to Business – Making Roadworks Work” was released at a forum of Small Business Friendly Councils convened by the Small Business Commissioner today.
“Both levels of Government will have no excuses for not adopting the principles laid out in this document,” Mr Chapman said.
“In my role, the issue of roadworks affecting small businesses has been one of the most difficult to deal with as Governments seem to think it is okay to rip up and close roads with little consideration of the impact on small businesses” Mr Chapman said.