Grants to restore connectivity to bushfire-affected small businesses

Telco Optus has launched a program to provide assistance to small businesses that have been affected by the recent bushfires. The Green Shoots grants program will help fund restoration of connectivity to phone networks and the internet.

“Optus recognises the immense scale of the recent bushfires and the many hurdles for the communities affected by the disaster,” Optus Chief Executive, Allen Lew, said. “With the Green Shoots grants we are committed to working alongside small businesses hardest hit and helping them on the road to recovery.

“Regional Australia boasts unique opportunities for businesses, and it is critical that these are harnessed to drive the success of our national economy,” Lew added.

Lew emphasised that throughout the bushfires, Optus had worked tirelessly to maintain and restore services, collaborating with local governments and agencies, and supplementing services with satellite and mobile small cells in places where sites were damaged by fires.

The Green Shoots program will be available during 2020 for businesses in Optus serviceable areas and will comprise up to 2000 grants including the following benefits:

  • $100 per month recurring credit for 24 months on an Optus Small Business account.
  • A tablet or equivalent (memory/colour/size specifications at Optus’ discretion).
  • Extension of Optus’ staff volunteer program that will tap its staff to support the affected small businesses and help them get back on their feet

CEO Designate, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin, said that Optus is committed to supporting the affected small business as a way to bolster a “much-needed sense of hope.”

“We understand that rebuilding communities will be a long and daunting process, which is why we are acting now to do what we can to support these small businesses in getting back online and reconnecting with their communities,” Rosmarin said. “We encourage small businesses affected by the bushfires to apply for the program so together we can ensure these businesses thrive again and safeguard local jobs.”

The grants program is open until 31 March 2020, though an extension may be possible.

Details regarding eligibility, selection criteria as well as how to apply for the grant can be found at www.optus.com.au/bushfiresupport.

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