THE state government is reminding SA small businesses, primary producers and non-profit organisations impacted by the recent bushfires to apply for federally-funded concessional loans to assist in the rebuild or continue operating while the regions recover.
Eligible businesses will operate in the local government areas of Kangaroo Island, Adelaide Hills, Mount Barker, Murray Bridge, Mid Murray, Kingston SE and Yorke Peninsula.
The loans, of up to $500,000, will be available to support eligible businesses restore and replace assets and property that have been significantly damaged in the fires.
They will also help cover working capital expenses - such as employee salaries, creditors, rent and rates - for businesses in bushfire-affected regions that have suffered a significant loss of income as a result of a downturn in trade due to, for example, reduced visitor numbers.
The loans - of up to 10 years - are interest-free for the first 2 years with no repayments required over that period (2 years). A subsequent concessional interest rate will apply, equivalent to 50 per cent of the Commonwealth bond rate (currently equivalent to less than 1pc). There will be no fees, charges or administration costs.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said the loans were announced by the federal government late last month and will support overall economic and social recovery on KI and in the Adelaide Hills as well as other fire-affected SA regions.
"Small businesses and primary producers are the backbone of our regional economies and the government is pleased to be able to support them as they get back on their feet in the wake of the devastating bushfires,'' he said.
"This scheme will go a long way in assisting them stay in local communities and continue to operate and employ South Australians as our regions rebuild and recover."
For the purpose of these loans, a small business is defined as a business that employs fewer than 20 full-time equivalent staff and includes sole traders where more than 50pc of the sole trader's income comes from that business. Business with a turnover of less than $50 million, with 20 or more employees, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.