This summer, many parts of Australia that are typically very dry are struggling with ongoing flooding. Floods can have a far-reaching impact on small businesses. We share a roadmap on critical points to help your small business prepare, respond and recover from a flood event.
Preparing: Before a Flood
Preparing is key to minimising the impact of severe weather events and bouncing back as quickly as possible.
- Discuss and document how to deal with supply chain interruptions. Identify what could be done to shorten the disruption and the resources needed.
- Create a business continuity plan.
- Review insurance policies to ensure all details are up to date.
- Photograph equipment in anticipation of insurance claims.
- Communicate evacuation plan with staff and prepare an emergency kit.
Responding: During a Flood
Safety should always be the immediate priority for yourself and your team. With everyone safe, it’s time to focus on the business response.
Keep staff, customers and stakeholders updated
Get the message to all customers and stakeholders that floods have impacted the business. Update the website, communicate via email, make announcements and continue updates via social media.
Keep staff updated about changes to employment and their entitlements and, if an employee assistance program is in place, encourage them to use counselling services if needed.
Understand employee entitlements during a flood event
Resources provided by the Fair Work Ombudsman are an excellent starting point for employers to understand their legal obligations to staff. This guidance on employee entitlements includes:
- What to do if a business has to close temporarily.
- Alternatives to standing down employees.
- Leave for staff to take care of family members or community service.
Employers can also reach the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94 for further questions about their legal obligations.
Recovering: After a Flood
There are critical actions to take post-flood to help get back to business-as-usual as fast as possible.
Lodge an insurance claim immediately
Make no delay in submitting an insurance claim and contact your insurer ASAP to begin the process.
- When safe to do so, return to the premises and assess the damage.
- Photograph and video damage to the building, equipment, vehicles and other assets.
- Complete an event log and keep any directives provided by authorities during the flood.
Understanding your insurance policy and what is (and isn’t) covered in the preparation stage will ensure no surprises during the claims process.
Investigate finance options
Flood events can have a significant impact on small business cash flow. Business finance can provide fast access to funds to help cover shortfalls for wages or purchase new stock and equipment.
At Earlypay, we specialise in working capital and business cash flow solutions. There are a range of finance options available that could help manage cash flow problems during a natural disaster:
- Invoice Finance could help you access cash from your outstanding customer invoices if your cash flow has been affected by the flood. This could be particularly helpful if your customers have been financially impacted too and are unable to pay you on time.
Apply for government recovery grants and support
Federal and state governments have responded to 2022 flood events with various financial support and services available for impacted small businesses.
Individuals and small businesses can access various types of support, including one-off payments and short-term allowances, through the Australian Government Disaster Assistance.
For business owners in NSW and Queensland, check out these resources:
Grants of up to $50,000 are available to businesses in South Australia to help cover the costs of levee construction, damage, and forced closure.
New South Wales
Eligible small businesses severely impacted by the June-July 2022 floods can apply for up to $50,000 to assist with clean-up costs and getting small business operations back up and running.
Up to $75,000 is available for people impacted by the August-November 2022 floods.
A range of disaster recovery grants and loans, from $25,000 up to $250,000, are available to eligible small businesses in LGAs hit hard by 2022 floods.
Strengthening Business - AusIndustry Entrepreneurs’ Programme
Strengthening business is a no-cost initiative that connects small business owners with experts for guidance on bouncing back with more resilient business systems, operations and strategies. To check eligibility and apply, visit this page.
If your business has been impacted by recent flooding. reach out to us today to find out how we can help your business recover.
If you'd like to learn how Earlypay's Invoice Finance & Equipment Finance can help you boost your working capital to fund growth or keep on top of day-to-day operations of your business, contact Earlypay's helpful team today on 1300 760 205, visit our sign-up form or contact [email protected].