The impact is real to many rural small business communities in times of drought. The government have now taken steps to provide some assistance to those small businesses impacted by the drought conditions.
As reported by the Australian Financial Review:
(7 Nov 2019)
The federal government will offer rural small businesses up to $500,000 in cheap loans and lower the cost of existing loans to farmers when it commits more than $1 billion today, to helping drought-stricken communities.
In recognition that the drought doesn’t stop at the farm gate, loans of up to $500,000 will be available to small businesses, in the first initiative of its kind.
Eligible applicants will have to have 19 employees or less and be dependent on agriculture. The 10-year loans will be interest-free for the first two years, interest-only for years three to five, and interest plus principal for years six to 10.
They will be administered through the Regional Investment Corporation which currently charges a 3.11 per cent interest rate, which is the bond rate plus a margin to cover administration and other costs.
"Shearing contractors, harvesters and livestock transport providers have seen their turnover hit, and in many cases struggle to survive.
“Rural communities can’t function without these small businesses, that’s why we are stepping in to provide this extra support."