Bushfires and natural disasters can have a significant impact on the mental health and wellbeing of affected communities and individuals, especially small business owners.

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If you live in or operate your business in a bushfire-affected area, you may find yourself dealing with the emotional trauma of having lost your business or home, or experiencing significant property damage.

At the same time, you may be assisting affected customers and neighbours, as well as managing the financial stress of lost or reduced income and business disruption.

There are a range of services available for small businesses and their owners who wish to seek business support or mental health support due to the impact of natural disasters and trauma such as the recent bushfires.

Regardless of the type of support you need for yourself, your family or your business, don’t hesitate to reach out and take advantage of the services provided.

Everyone can use a hand following a traumatic event, and the sooner you access services the sooner you can get yourself back on your feet and your business back on track.

Support for mental health and wellbeing

Whether you are directly or indirectly impacted by a natural disaster such as the bushfires, it can bring about a range of stressful thoughts, feelings and behaviours for individuals.

While everyone reacts differently to traumatic experiences and memories, you may want to seek support from a GP or mental health professional and encourage others to do so if you notice signs of distress. Learn more about the effects of trauma and find community support and resources via the links below.

Life in Mind: Mental health support for bushfire affected communities

Beyond Blue: Bushfires and mental health

Practical support for starting your business recovery

A number of resources are available to support small and family businesses to survive and recover from disruptions to operations due to disasters or other factors.

Below are links to Australian Government agencies and other organisations that can help you with a range of questions related to business recovery, including insurance claims, tax deferrals, eligibility for government allowances, and how you can best support your staff.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Small Business Commissioner New South Wales

South Australian business bushfire recovery

Business Victoria: Bushfire recovery

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