The Morrison Government has committed more than $4.7 million to provide small regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free and confidential financial counselling.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) would support hundreds of regional small businesses.

“This latest initiative is another step forward in regional Australia’s economic recovery from this pandemic, with more investment in industries and businesses hardest hit,” Mr Pasin said.

“The service will also create jobs for small business financial counsellors and support workers.

In South Australia, Rural Business Support has been provided funding for two additional financial counsellors (2 FTE), 1 additional support staff member (1 FTE) and a professional services fund (of up to $5000 per client) under this initiative.

One of the additional counsellors will be based out of Mount Gambier.

“This is crucial support for our community and I know how valuable it will be to local small businesses,” Mr Pasin said.

“The funding will help eligible small businesses access the immediate advice and assistance they need to keep afloat and navigate the road to recovery.”

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our regional communities and we know that many are struggling through drought and trying to recover from this season’s devastating bushfires.

“This measure is designed to ensure that businesses remain resilient through the COVID-19 downturn and are able to rebound when normal trading conditions resume,” Mr Pasin said.

This funding is in addition to the $7 million already provided for small business financial counselling services in drought-affected communities.

The funding is part of the Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund, which is delivering targeted assistance to regions, communities and industry sectors that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.