Bushfire-hit small businesses to have easier access to funds

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The Federal Government has vowed to improve fund accessibility to small businesses affected by the recent bushfire crisis.

This comes in the wake of recent pronouncements by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that funding has not been reaching affected small businesses as much as had been hoped.

Currently, there are about $50,000 grants and $500,000 low-interest loans that have yet to be awarded to the affected businesses. In addition, only five of 104 loan applications have been approved thus far.

“We are repackaging that small business program for bushfire assistance,” Prime Minister Morrison said in an interview. “It hasn’t been getting to the places, and we understand the problem, and (coordinator) Andrew Colvin is working on that and has been working on that for the past week.

The comments were made after calls have been made by various sectors for the federal government to do more in the relief and recovery efforts for those affected by the recent bushfires.

Morrison added, “When we’re in a position to relaunch that program we will, but we get what the problem is, it is not going the way we hoped it would.”

It has been reported that a number of small businesses have also found it difficult to avail of promised grants and loans.

In light of these figures, calls were made for the government to consider extending eligibility and access to wage assistance programs for small businesses significantly directly and indirectly affected by the bushfire crisis.