ONE YEAR ON: FLOODS AND BUSINESS RECOVERY
Member for Lismore Thomas George said today that almost a year since heavy rains from Cyclone Debbie devastated local businesses, the government and community recovery effort continues to deliver support to flood affected companies.
Mr George said he would join the Chair of the Lismore Flood Recovery taskforce - NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs – at the taskforce’s latest meeting today to review ongoing recovery efforts and continue to plan for the future.
“It’s a year since Lismore recorded its biggest flood since 1974, breaching the town levee and inundating businesses,” Mr George said.
“The impacts have been traumatic for many businesses but the Lismore community is resilient and we’ve seen business bounce back remarkably.
“The NSW Government has been vigilant in its efforts to help business get back on its feet and to bring Lismore back to its best after the disaster. Much has been done but recovery efforts are ongoing to support businesses into the future.”
Robyn Hobbs, NSW Small Business Commissioner, said the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner had played a key role in advocating for flood affected Lismore businesses in a number of ways.
“My team visited Lismore immediately after the floods and they’ve been back many times since the recovery effort began,” Ms Hobbs said.
“We’ve helped businesses access grants and advice, assisted businesses to complete grant application forms, and advocated on behalf of businesses on insurance issues.
“More than 100 cases of businesses facing insurance-related issues have been referred by my Office to the Financial Ombudsman Service for review resulting in some businesses accessing insurance payouts that were initially refused.
“Last year, the NSW Government provide Category C relief as well as a $1 million disaster recovery package to help businesses clean-up and rebuild.
“Over and above that, our Business Connect advisors went directly to the flood-affected areas and they have helped more than 300 local businesses restart, recover cash flow, and begin to thrive again.
“Through these strategies, and with the support of the community in Lismore and the remarkable effort of local business owners, Lismore has returned once again to become a thriving regional hub,” she said.<./p>