There has been a strong initial response to the Australian Government’s financial assistance payments for Norfolk Island businesses affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak and travel restrictions, with eligibility criteria now adjusted to better reflect the period when the local economy first felt the impacts.
Administered by the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC), applications are now open for the relief scheme which is designed to assist local businesses hit hard by the downturn in visitors caused by widespread COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions across Australia.
There have already been almost 20 applications submitted and a further 30 already under way.
The package provides eligible businesses a tiered one-off payment ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on their annual turnover, to assist with the impacts resulting from the first three weeks of lockdown on the mainland. They will then be eligible to apply for a fortnightly payment of $1,500 to cover business expenses until the borders are opened.
Norfolk Island businesses that wish to apply for the financial assistance payments need to have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum two-week period between 26 June and 20 August 2021. (Please note, the date range has been extended from 17 July 2021 to 20 August 2021).
They also need to meet the other eligibility criteria, with full eligibility guidelines and the application form available at www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/council/grants-program.
The relief package is being delivered by NIRC to eligible businesses on Island through the NIRC grants system, which is separate to other Council processes. Under this process, information provided is subject to the Australian Privacy Act and can only be used for the purposes it is obtained.
Applications opened on 20 August and will remain open until borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, which is currently 30 September, in alignment with the EMNI emergency declaration dates.
Administrator of Norfolk Island
Interim Administrator, Norfolk Island Regional Council
2 September 2021