Dry Season Assistance Is Well Received

Dry Season Assistance Is Well Received

Western Australia Minister for Small Business Simon O’Brien

Enthusiastic Take-Up Of Dry Season Assistance By Small Business

Victor P Taffa

The State Government’s Dry Season Assistance Program for small business has been well received with half of the $500,000 funding distributed in the first two months.

The Program provides up to $1,500 to non-farm small businesses affected directly or indirectly by dry season conditions and to be used for professional services (accounting, financial or legal advice) to help assess the current financial position of the business and develop strategies for its future operations.

As at February 1, 167 small business operators had received grants totalling $250,000 with more applications being processed each day.

Small Business Minister Simon O’Brien said the program was having a two-fold benefit, with recipients getting tangible assistance through accountants, lawyers and financial planners, and local economies benefiting from the funds being spent with local providers.



“The Program is being rolled out by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and the network of Small Business Centres in affected areas, and the take-up has been very encouraging.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“So far, applications have been coming in from the Central Wheatbelt, Eastern Wheatbelt and Great Southern Regions with more expected in coming weeks.”

“The grants have been tailored specifically for the purpose of keeping regional businesses up and running during these challenging times and into the future.” Mr. O’Brien said.

“While the program is accountable and thorough, the process is not onerous for applicants. Grants are quick and easy to access, and in most cases responses are issued within days.”

“The first step is a ‘needs assessment’ to establish eligibility and decide which services will best suit individual circumstances.  This assessment can be undertaken by an SBDC business advisor, or local Small Business Centre Manager and a voucher for an amount of up to $1,500 can then be issued.” Mr. O’Brien said.

Since December 7, 2010, the SBDC Dry Season Assistance coordinator has visited small businesses in Beverley and Corrigin, with further visits to take place where necessary.

The SBDC is encouraging businesses requiring assistance to make contact either direct to the SBDC or through their local Small Business Centre.