26 January 2022

Disaster recovery grants to help keep flooded Mogo businesses above water

| Tom McGann
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Naomi Lafranchi with Andrew Constance, Steph Cooke and Fiona Kotvojs

Fiona Kotvojs, Steph Cooke, Naomi Lafranchi and Andrew Constance after the grant announcement. Photo: Tom McGann.

Having been battered by bushfires, floods and storms, Mogo businesses can look forward to some relief with the NSW Government announcing a new grant for small businesses in declared natural disaster areas around the state.

The $50,000 Storm and Flood Small Business Recovery Grant will be accessible to nearly 20 businesses in the village, with the program designed to help meet the costs of clean-up and reinstatement of small business and not-for-profit organisations who suffered direct physical damage as a result of the severe storms and floods during November and December 2021.

Naomi Lafranchi, owner of Nook Hair Co in Mogo, helped make the grant a reality for her own and neighbouring flood-affected businesses by getting in contact with both local and state governments after the storm.

“The floods really affected the salon,” Mrs Lafranchi said.

READ ALSO Extension granted for fire-affected Bega Valley residents living in temporary homes

“We lost lots of equipment like hair straighteners, clippers and curling irons.”

Structural damage also occurred, with the salon’s floorboards having to be fully replaced as well as internal walls and a custom-made desk being destroyed.

Mrs Lafranchi said the money would help rebuild the lost walls and pay outstanding invoices owed from having to purchase new items.

“It will hopefully bring the salon back to how it was before the flood happened,” she said.

Resilience NSW commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons, Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke, Bega MP Andrew Constance, Liberal candidate for Bega Fiona Kotvojs and current member for Gilmore Fiona Phillips visited Mogo on Monday, 24 January 2022, to deliver the good news.

Andrew Constance talking at grant announcement.

Andrew Constance speaking at the grant announcement on Monday. Photo: Tom McGann.

While the grant will help Mogo businesses, it is also open to other areas that have been hit by natural disasters around the state.

Minister for Emergency Services and Resilience Steph Cooke said the funding was expected to be a big help for suffering businesses.

“NSW has had a huge storm season with flooding,” she said.

“We have seen a number of local government areas declared natural disaster areas.”

The total number of local government areas in NSW declared as natural disaster areas is 59.

Outgoing Bega MP Andrew Constance said, due to the recent fires and floods in Mogo, it was extremely hard for new businesses to acquire any type of insurance.

READ MORE Call goes out for shoppers to support Mogo as community bands together to clean up after flood

“After two years of pandemic, fires and floods, people are really doing it tough right now,” he said.

“The government has had to step in with grants like this to allow suffering businesses to have a chance to move on and keep running their business.”

Mr Constance also thanked the more than 60 volunteers who came into Mogo the day after the floods to help clean up the damage.

“Mogo is a tight-knit community and they’re always happy to help each other when disaster strikes.”

Eligible businesses in a declared natural disaster area can apply for the Storm and Flood Small Business Recovery Grant now at Service NSW, or by calling 13 77 88.


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What about individuals? Families that have lost again!

Ted Radclyffe6:46 pm 27 Jan 22

Good on you Fiona. You worked hard for this.
Pity an outgoing member for Bega made the announcement.

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