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Business NSW calls for immediate and targeted assistance for flood impacted businesses | Port Macquarie News

news, national, news, floods, lismore

Many businesses were already on their knees and may not come back from one of NSW’s worst ever floods unless they get urgent and targeted assistance, according to peak body Business NSW. The immediate needs for businesses impacted by floods were financial support, clean up and support to trade. But the crisis also needed a strategic and holistic approach that did not put anything in the “too hard basket”. IN OTHER NEWS: “The magnitude of the impact of this weather event is confronting for everyone and my heart goes out to the community at large,” Business NSW’s Northern Rivers regional manager Jane Laverty said. “Our business community has also taken another blow and at a time when many were just getting back on their feet, overcoming the latest Omicron challenges and feeling a sense of optimism again.” She said Lismore, on the NSW North Coast, in particular would benefit from the establishment of a dedicated and collaborative Project Management Office with all levels of government focused on rebuilding the city. “Critical infrastructure has been band-aided for too long, we need unprecedented investment to go with the unprecedented impacts,” she said. “Lismore is the heart of the region and plays a significant role in connecting the coastal towns with the hinterland villages, but it has a road network that resembles a moon landing. “The Lismore CBD has so much promise and businesses have invested in the past two years because they believe in what is possible, only to now be wiped out. “No one wants to walk away from Lismore but businesses need to know that their efforts can be met and sustained by every level of government. “As our governments get better and better at responding to crisis, the need for alignment and consistency in rebuilding our towns would go a long way to rebuilding business confidence and coordinated economic action.” The region needed a Category C or D disaster declaration without the extensive red tape that tied many businesses up in 2017. “Businesses do not have the cash flow to pay for the recovery to get to production/trading status,” Laverty said. “Many businesses are on their knees and may not come back from this. “This situation needs a strategic and holistic approach to that does not put anything in the too hard basket. “Manufacturers needed immediate assistance to get their sites in production, there is a lack of equipment to assist such as forklifts as they were damaged.” Business NSW has made access to its Workplace Advice Line free to all business owners in NSW impacted by the current flood disaster.Normally available to members only, the service will be available for the next two weeks at no charge to all businesses in impacted areas. Call 13 29 59 between 8.30am and 5pm.Natural disaster assistance is now available for Northern Rivers businesses affected by the floods from the Australian and NSW Governments.These can be accessed via Services Australia or Service NSW websites.