RBS help to continue with 2021-24 RFCS funding secured

Rural Business Support (RBS) is set to continue delivering the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) across South Australia and the Northern Territory from 2021-24 after a winning tender bid to continue delivering the Federal Government program.

The long-awaited announcement in late April by Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, David Littleproud, ensures consistency of care for almost 600 farming families currently working with our 24 Rural Financial Counsellors. From July, the service will be refocussed to drive improved financial wellbeing at the farm level and build a more sustainable, resilient and profitable primary production sector.

RBS now awaits news on other funding streams being secured to maintain our expanded level of support in rural and regional communities still reeling from the triple whammy of drought, bushfires and COVID-19.

In recent years RBS has evolved beyond solely delivering the RFCS program. We are constantly looking for opportunities to further assist rural businesses to deal with adversity and business risk in a more proactive way.

Over the past 12-18 months RBS has grown our services to assist small businesses and landowners beyond the farm gate, delivering two additional pilot programs on behalf of State and Federal governments – a Small Business Financial Counselling Program and the Landowner Information Service (LIS).

In just 10 months, both programs have delivered some extraordinary outcomes.

Our dedicated 10-member Small Business Team:

  • Is currently working with 208 small business owners across SA and NT, helping them to alleviate financial distress and plan a way forward for their business and family;
  • Have helped 74 small business owners to access a combined $183,000 through the program’s Professional Services Fund to improve their financial viability;
  • Worked with 104 of the 208 business owners to access JobKeeper payments. JobKeeper payments were also accessed for at least 93 employees of these small businesses.

Our LIS Officer Brett Klau is working with the Department for Energy and Mining and industry groups to provide free, factual and impartial information to landowners and community members confused about the potential impact of developer or mineral explorer interest on their farming enterprise.

Since the LIS launched in July 2020:

  • 13 landowners have received information through the LIS to resolve their uncertainties;
  • 21 landowners are working with Brett at the moment as resource company activity evolves;
  • 12 landowners have registered for future LIS support.

It has been an extraordinarily tough 12-18 months for our rural and regional communities. With continued funding support, RBS is committed to maintaining and growing our vision to assist rural business owners to achieve lasting transformational change, to ultimately build more profitable, sustainable and resilient rural businesses.

To make a confidential appointment with one of our team, please call 1800 836 211.