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Managing a small business after the bushfires

Recovering from a bushfire as a small business owner can be overwhelming. It’s important you don’t feel rushed and get help so you can make the right decisions for you and your business.

Assess and plan

Before you start, it's a good idea to plan what you need to do to recover your business.

Our business recovery checklist and your business emergency management and recovery plan (if you have one) can help you to:

  • assess the impact of the bushfires on your business
  • prioritise and plan your efforts to recover
  • understand what you need to consider before you can return to business
Download the business recovery checklist.

Contact your insurer and get advice

Contact your insurer to check that you're covered for any damage to your property. Before you start making any repairs, your insurer may need to authorise them.

Check what to do following bushfire damage to your property.

Get expert advice

Consider talking to a business adviser to help you through the process of business recovery. Use our adviser search tool to find an adviser in your area.

Rebuilding your business

If you’ve assessed the impact of the fires on your business, and decide to rebuild your business premises:

  • speak to builders about timeframes
  • talk to your local council about planning permits, if required
  • consider relocating your business to a temporary place such as a business centre or your home while you’re rebuilding
  • consider a virtual office service such as a phone answering service or remote secretarial service
  • be wary of importing materials to rebuild – check for extra costs like dumping and countervailing duties
  • look after your employees – encourage them to work from home or a temporary location if possible

Find more information for bushfire affected businesses and a handy Open for business checklist to help you rebuild.

Supporting small businesses after the bushfires

Small businesses need our support to rebuild and recover from the bushfires. Your support will help them keep staff on and stay in business.

Watch how these 2 businesses – both part of the Small Business Digital Champions project – are now back up and running after the bushfires.

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Supporting small businesses after the bushfires – Kangaroo Island

Back in business?

If your business is back up and running, you may find your market, suppliers and other aspects of business have changed.

  • Monitor your cash flow – keep an eye on changes to your turnover so you can adjust expenses if you need to.
  • Promote your business – review your market, look for new ways to promote your business and update your marketing plan.
  • Update your emergency plan – your business may have changed and you’ve probably learnt from your experiences with the bushfires.

Learn how to prepare an emergency management and recovery plan for your business.

Follow our steps to writing a marketing plan to help you focus your marketing efforts.

Contact us

Business support

Get in touch with our Contact Centre agents for support and information. We're available from 8am to 8pm across Australia, Monday to Friday.


If you think we're missing relevant government information, please let us know so we can improve our information for bushfire affected businesses. 

Read next

Check your business obligations if you've been affected by the bushfires.

Read our detailed guide on what to do during and after an emergency.