Enough mud and mess: Make it easier to apply for business flood recovery grant

ABOVE: Terrie Costello and two friends clean up after floods in Woodburn. Photo: Susanna Freymark

Susanna Freymark

Terrie Costello is muddy. She grips a crowbar.

In her flooded Woodburn shop with two other muddy friends she is ripping up a wet floor.

The three women are laughing.

They’re buggered, but they keep lifting the lino floor with their crowbars, not even stopping for a photo. The surface breaks into pieces as its lifted and is carted outside and thrown on a rubbish heap. It’s messy, smelly work.

Piling up the insides of the shop on the street.

At the end of the street of shopfronts, Governor General David Hurley is quietly doing a meet and greet with other shop owners.

There is no press pack with him. He makes his way closer to the three muddy women.

Terrie said the army stopped and helped them for half an hour but then had to leave.

Terrie is the landlord. She wants to get the place cleaned up and operational so the shop tenant can restart her craft business again.

It is her first tenant since she bought the shop three years ago.

Terrie wants the business owner to get the $50,000 business flood grant.

The problem is, the business owner is “too stressed” to apply, she said.

“I can’t access the grant as I’m the landlord. It can only be applied for by the business.”

Terrie rang the business owner urging her to apply for the $50,000 storm and flood disaster recovery small business grant to restart her business.

All the shops in Woodburn were severely flooded.

State MP Janelle Saffin expressed frustration about the criteria for meeting eligibility for the grant.

She posted on her Facebook page:

“How bloody hard it is for small businesses to access Service NSW flood grants. They want quotes and invoices can you believe. I am talking to the Premier soon and will make it clear our small businesses need a team out and about to look, see and take details. One look says it all.”

Details of the business grant are here.

To be considered you must be a small business owner in a defined disaster area and have suffered direct damage – ‘direct damage’ means a direct and material impact of flooding on business assets or equipment.

Business owners must intend to re-establish their small business within the same area.

Sole traders with no employees are eligible if they can show that they get most of their income from their small business.

Some businesses outside defined disaster areas, such as those in Kyogle, can apply with extra criteria set for those applications.

The application asks for quotes for items to be replaced.

For those who are unable to apply online, call 13 77 88.

If you have applied for a business flood recovery grant, get in touch and let us know how it went. Email indynr.com@gmail.com or call 0431 406 054.

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