New drought support program now available for eligible small businesses in SA and NT

As small businesses in rural communities continue to feel the financial impact of drought, a new Small Business Financial Counselling (SBFC) program is now available through Rural Business Support to help.

Based on the successful Rural Financial Counselling Service business model, which RBS delivers in South Australia and the Northern Territory, the SBFC program aims to assist eligible small businesses to understand their financial position, then identify options and implement plans to improve their viability.

The program is free, independent and confidential program for eligible small businesses who have been impacted by drought.

RBS CEO Brett Smith says he is pleased that small rural business owners now have access to this important service, alongside those primary production businesses who have been severely impacted by drought.

“Our financial counsellors can support small business owners to consider different options to manage financial concerns, help develop budgets and cash flow forecasts, access dispute resolution services and/or consider applications for government assistance such as the Regional Investment Corporation’s AgBiz concessional loans,” Brett said.

Our financial counsellors have a diverse range of experiences and qualifications; from banking, accounting, to operating their own small businesses. Importantly, our staff have experience working alongside small business owners to collaboratively find a way forward – whatever challenges they’re facing.

“Our team also works alongside other business professionals and encourages small businesses to connect with broader relevant community networks.”

RBS financial counsellors can provide support with:

  • Considering different options to manage financial issues
  • Developing budgets and cash flows
  • Negotiating with creditors
  • Accessing dispute resolution services
  • Connecting with broader professional advice and support
  • Applying for government and community grants, programs or schemes

The SBFC cost is fully subsidised by funding from the Australian and South Australian Governments.

“We are really pleased that small rural business owners now have access to this important service, alongside those primary production businesses who have been severely impacted by drought,” Brett said.

“The only cost to small business operators is in committing adequate time away from their business to work with us.”

RBS has Small Business Financial Counsellors available under this program to provide support to eligible businesses in SA and NT up until 30 June 2021.

To be eligible for the drought support program a small business needs to:

  • Employ 19 or fewer people
  • Be experiencing financial hardship, or at imminent risk of financial hardship
  • Be located in a drought-affected area

For further information about the Small Business Financial Counselling program please call 1800 836 211 to discuss eligibility and arrange an appointment. You can also download a fact sheet here.