The road to recovery after a disaster is an uncertain time in the life of a small business owner. The fact that natural disasters are a fact of life in Australia doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. Here’s what you need to know to get back on your feet faster.
The process of recovering from some sort of disaster in business can be a devastating period of time for a small business owner. And while insurance is one aspect of the process, don’t overlook the value of reaching out to you community for support, or mental health assistance to help with this often gruelling period of time.
Elise Currey, manager of the Coffs Harbour International Marina knows just how difficult the process of recovery can be. When a major storm event lashed the east coast in June, it completely destroyed the marina’s boardwalk and damaged its finger wharves and office.
It also threatened the tourist trade that provides their livelihood. “We are entering the season when the blue nomads start arriving from overseas and they will redirect themselves to other ports if they can’t access our facility,” says Currey.
Like all businesses knocked for six by a natural disaster, the marina’s first priority was to repair the physical damage so they could resume trading as quickly as possible. The job was made more difficult, and costly, because the only access for construction work was by water. They needed a financial lifeboat, fast.
Where to seek financial support
After a financial setback such as a natural disaster, you may need some short-term financial assistance to get you back on your feet. All banks offer financial hardship schemes, so check if you may be eligible, here. The Federal Government also offers Financial Assistance Grants to help small businesses recover from financial difficulties.
Fortunately for the marina, their business interruption insurance will cover their loss of trading profit, which resulted from the disaster.
Theirs was one of 45,522 insurance claims lodged following the East Coast Low of June 2016, with a total estimated value of $412.8 million, according to the Insurance Council of Australia. More than a third of those losses were suffered by businesses who lodged claims for commercial property, motor vehicles and business interruption, according to its figures.