A financial counselling service is encouraging small travel businesses to reach out for support in response to the impacts of the bushfires and COVID-19.
The Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line, which was launched by Financial Counselling Australia in March, offers free financial counselling to businesses doing it tough in this volatile time.
The support line’s general manager, Helen Davis, said that when small businesses, including independent travel agencies, do it tough, so too does the business owner and their staff.
“Many business operators are used to being self-reliant and solving their business problems,” she said.
“But they don’t have to do it alone. Support is available.
“Through our work with businesses impacted by bushfires, we have seen that people can be great at what they do and running their businesses. But the impact of disasters outside their control – such as bushfires and COVID-19 – can be overwhelming.”
Davis said small business owners commonly have their business and personal finances intermingled, meaning that as soon as a crisis hits, not only is the business at risk, but so are their personal assets.
“Our counsellors are experts at listening and working with people to find a starting point for that support,” she said.
“No small business or personal circumstance is the same. However, the team can give you options – ranging from grants available, assisting with tax debts, hardship consideration for bank loans and utilities assistance – through to helping put food on the table and providing medical support.
“My advice to all small business, including travel trade operators, is don’t hesitate to reach out early for support.”
The financial counselling support line was established earlier this year as a direct response by the federal government to the devastating bushfires that swept across large parts of Australia.
Davis said the support line plays a critical role in helping small business owners get through the double whammy of bushfires and COVID-19.
The Small Business Bushfire Financial Counselling Support Line can be contacted on 1800 413 828 or via the website.
Featured image: iStock/AlenaPaulus