Cyclone Gabrielle: Government announce $25m locally-led support package for ravaged businesses

The Government has announced a $25 million locally-led support package for businesses affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

East Coast MP Kiri Allan and Minister for Cyclone Recovery Grant Robertson made the announcement on Sunday, which will help businesses meet immediate costs, further assist with the clean-up and boost business support and advice services. 

The $25 million in grants comes as part of the initial $50 million emergency package announced by the Government earlier this week. 

"Our priority is to get this initial emergency support out as quickly as possible. Those who are on the ground in communities know best how to do that. The Government has established agreements with local delivery partners to make it happen," Robertson said.

"Each local agency will have their own processes, but the Government has provided the funding to address the immediate cashflow needs of businesses. This includes those that have been impacted due to barriers to customer access, ability to source stock, supply chain issues, inability to operate as usual due to physical damage to equipment or premises, or delays in insurance assessment and repairs."

Businesses will initially be able to apply for up to $40,000 while the overall demand for the grants is assessed. 

"It's important to note that this is only the first stage of government support for affected businesses and communities. We are working closely with communities to assess needs and expect to make further announcements in the coming days and weeks," Robertson said. 

"We are also aware that there are larger businesses who are facing costs that go beyond what this initial emergency funding could support. We will be working one on one with these businesses to understand their needs and how we can support them." 

It was also announced that $250,000 will be provided for the Employers and Manufacturers' Association to extend the reach of its employer helpline. 

On top of this, $600,000 will also be provided for the Regional Business Partners to increase the amount of business advice they can offer.

"As we work swiftly in this response not every community and business is going to have the same needs. It makes sense that those providing the support have their boots on the ground and are part of the communities they are serving," Allan said.

"Through this package our local delivery partners will be using their grassroots knowledge and robust networks to tell us what they need, to ensure the funding is being distributed in the best way possible to meet the needs of their communities."