Natural Disaster Recovery Grants - FAQ's

We refer to our email last week in regard to QRAA Disaster Assistance – below is some further information on the Natural Disaster Recovery Grant for Small Business including answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.

If you require further assistance, please contact QRAA on:

Phone: Freecall 1800 623 946

Email: contact_us@qraa.qld.gov.au

FAQ's - Small Business

There are three types of exceptional circumstances grants available as follows:

In response to Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated rainfall and flooding, 28 March – 6 April 2017, QRAA is providing assistance under the joint Commonwealth and Queensland Government funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements to eligible small businesses.

Grants under this scheme are available to help eligible applicants clean-up and reinstate their small business, by paying for costs arising out of direct damage caused by the disaster event.

An Exceptional Circumstances Grant up to a maximum of $25,000 is available to assist eligible small businesses as follows:

  • Initial grant amounts to assist you with early cleaning and reinstatement costs - up to a total of $5,000; and
  • Subsequent grant amounts to assist you with additional cleaning and reinstatement costs - up to a total of $25,000 all-up.

Assistance available

To apply for the initial grant up to $5,000, what do I need to provide with my application?

Applicants should provide evidence of the direct damage, such as photographs, estimates, quotations. Tax invoices and official receipts are to be supplied if available. For claims over the amount available under the initial grant, full evidence of payment for clean-up and reinstatement costs will be required.

To apply for the subsequent grant amount, what do I need to provide with my application?

You will need to provide evidence that all amounts claimed to date have been fully paid. This includes the amounts provided under your initial claim (if you didn't provide full evidence of payment for these with your initial claim/s).

Evidence of payment  to be provided is as follows:

  1. tax invoice(s) showing full details of the goods or services provided (to be identifiable as disaster related damage on the invoice); and
  2. evidence of payment for these tax invoices.  Photocopies of bank transfers and/or bank statement(s) together with an official receipt from suppliers or contractors.

The continuation of my business is in doubt because I am unable to pay restoration costs up front. What options do I have to access the assistance?

Applicants can apply for the initial grant amounts, up to a total of $5,000 before incurring clean-up and restoration costs. However, a claim for the subsequent grant requires work to have been both completed and paid for.

I have no photographic evidence of the damage caused to my business. How do I demonstrate my eligibility for the initial $5,000 grant?

Applicants should still apply, providing quotes or tax invoices relevant to Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie and associated rainfall and flooding, 28 March – 6 April 2017.  If further evidence is required, QRAA will make contact to discuss the particular circumstances.

I have a small business, but have only just started trading and the business has not been my major source of income this financial year. Is my small business eligible for assistance?

If applicants can provide evidence they were trading at the time of the disaster event, received direct damage, and that the business will be their major source of income, they may be eligible.

How many times can I claim for assistance?

Applicants can claim for all items of expenditure once works are completed and fully paid for, by completing and submitting just one application form.Multiple applications can be lodged for the initial grant – up to a total of $5,000.You can also lodge multiple applications for the subsequent grant as your clean-up and reinstatement works are progressively completed and paid for – up to a total of $25,000 all-up.

If I have more than one small business, can I submit an application for each of these businesses?

If each business is for example at separate locations and operates autonomously, it may be possible to have separate applications assessed for up to the maximum amount of assistance available for each business.Eligibility to be considered on this basis will be subject to assessment by QRAA.

Eligible costs

My business has suffered a loss of trade as a result of the disaster. Can I apply for assistance to cover loss of income?

No. This assistance is available to help with costs of clean-up and reinstatement caused by direct damage from the disaster event. Loss of income is not eligible under the scheme.If your small business has not experienced direct damage, but has suffered a significant loss of income as a result of an eligible disaster, you may be eligible to apply for a Natural Disaster Assistance (Essential Working Capital) loan of up to $100,000. For information on the Natural Disaster Assistance (Essential Working Capital) loans click here 

http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/current-programs/Disaster-recovery/natural-disaster-assistance-essential-working-capital 

I've used my own equipment to repair damage. Can I claim costs in relation to this?

Applicants are unable to claim assistance for the use of their own equipment, for example dry hire or the cost of their own labour.

Applicants may however claim for any additional labour or fuel, oil and other costs incurred in the use of this equipment. This needs to be detailed in Section 8 of the application.

Fuel, machinery and operator costs incurred as a result of the eligible disaster can be detailed using the "Fuel, Machinery & Operator Costs (http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/current-programs/Disaster-recovery/fuel-calculator)" calculator available to assist you in calculating your eligible claim amount associated with these costs.

Can I use the assistance to purchase items not owned at the time of the disaster to undertake repair work?

The assistance is only available for the purchase or hire or lease costs for equipment essential to the immediate resumption of small business activities.

If applicants consider an item is essential for the immediate resumption of their operation, they should provide full details of this to QRAA for consideration.

Replacing essential stock is an eligible cost for small businesses. What qualifies as essential stock?

Essential stock are items required for the immediate use in, or by the business. If in doubt, applicants should detail these items in their application for assessment by QRAA.

A family member has their own contracting business.  Can I use them to repair our damage?

You are able to use relatives to repair your damage so long as transactions are retained at arms length and conducted in the same way as with any other contractor.

Any contractors used must have an ABN and provide a tax invoice and official receipt for work completed.

My house and household goods need repair or replacing. Can the assistance cover these costs?

No. The assistance does not cover repairing houses or repairing or replacing household goods.

For information on household assistance, please contact the Department of Communities on 1800 173 349 or visit www.communities.qld.gov.au 

I operate a home based small business and do not employ anyone. Can I claim for repairs to my home to re-establish work spaces, amenities and equipment?

Yes. However, applicants will need to provide satisfactory evidence of damage to this work area and that the business generates the majority of their income.

To resume my disaster affected operation I will need to operate from an alternate location. Can I claim for the lease or rent of temporary premises?

Yes. However applicants will need provide satisfactory evidence of damage to their premises and of costs associated with leasing or renting the temporary premises.

I am a contractor and have suffered direct damage to my business from the disaster. I need to engage a subcontractor to complete work which would otherwise have been undertaken by my contracting business. Can I claim some or all of these expenses?

No. However the assistance may be used to cover any costs of clean-up and reinstatement.

I earn income from rental properties. Can I claim for assistance to make repairs to my properties?

No.  Not unless you rent the properties in the course of operating a business. Applicants who lease properties as a business and earn the majority of their income from this business may be eligible to apply as a small business.

Superannuation funds and personal investment vehicles are not regarded as a business and therefore are not eligible for assistance under the scheme.

I lease a small business premises which suffered structural damage and I have also lost my own stock and chattels. Can I claim for assistance?

Yes. You can claim for the loss of stock and chattels that you own, however depending on your lease agreement, the landlord and not you, may be responsible for the structural repairs. In this case you would not be eligible to claim for the cost of these repairs.

I have not sustained direct damage, but have lost stock due to a power outage caused by the disaster. Can I claim for the loss of this stock?

Small businesses may be eligible for assistance under these circumstances for the loss of perishable items only, however this would depend on any insurance claim.

General eligibility

Can I apply for assistance if I have insurance to cover disaster damage?

Yes. However you will not be eligible for assistance under the scheme if you receive, or are entitled to receive an insurance amount to cover clean-up and reinstatement costs.

Irrespective of the insurance cover held or the status of an outstanding insurance claim, QRAA still encourages Recovery Grant applications to be made.

QRAA may be unable to finalise your Recovery Grant application until the outcome of your insurance claim is determined. A copy of your insurance policy may also be requested.

Applications for a subsequent claim will need to provide written advice from their insurance provider on the result of their claim.

Is GST included in any payment received?

No.  The GST component on your invoice(s) should be claimed once you complete your  Business Activity Statement (BAS).  You will receive a 'payment advice' and approval letter from us if your application is successful.  Please retain as a record for taxation purposes.

Can the assistance be subject to later audit?

Yes. QRAA may conduct an audit to verify the assistance has been used in accordance with the claim. Applicants must retain all evidence of expenditure associated with their claim until 12 months after the closing date for the scheme.

Penalties apply for providing false or misleading information in applications under the Rural and Regional Adjustment Act 1994 or the Criminal Code.

How do I apply?

Applications can be made:

  • By posting your completed application form and supporting documentation to QRAA.
  • By emailing your scanned completed application form and supporting documentation to QRAA at contact_us@qraa.qld.gov.au (mailto:contact_us@qraa.qld.gov.au). Your total email message size should be under 8MB.  If your email size exceed this you can send your documentation in across multiple emails. If you are unsure, please contact us on 1800 623 946 to confirm receipt.

Has your question been answered?

If you require further assistance, please contact QRAA on:

Phone: Freecall 1800 623 946
Email:  contact_us@qraa.qld.gov.au
Post:   GPO Box 211, Brisbane, QLD, 4001

Regional support

QRAA also has a network of nine Regional Area Managers (RAM's) based throughout regional Queensland to provide up-to-date information on QRAA's programs. Our Regional Area Managers are available to meet on-farm to help producers with their queries and assist with their applications. Click here to find your local Regional Area Manager 

 

(http://www.qraa.qld.gov.au/about-qraa/service-commitment/regional-service).

 

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