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Ombudsman overwhelmed by natural disaster-impacted small business survey response

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bruce Billson has thanked the 2,000 small and family businesses which have completed an online survey as part of the Small Business Natural Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Inquiry.

Mr Billson, who is currently hosting small business feedback sessions in areas impacted by natural disasters across Australia, says the online survey is an excellent way for small and family businesses to contribute to the ongoing inquiry.

“Thank you to the 2,000 small and family businesses which have already taken the time to complete our online survey – we value your contribution,” Mr Billson says.

“We want to hear from as many small and family businesses as possible, to learn more about what steps and support best helped them to proactively contend with and recover from a disaster. So if you can’t get to an in-person feedback session, please complete our online survey – your insights are vital to this inquiry.

“I encourage anyone in a small business who has lived experience of a natural disaster such as bushfires, cyclones or floods and may also have ideas about how best the government can support them to prepare and remain resilient in the case of an unavoidable event, to be part of this important discussion.

“What we learn from our small business community, will help inform the work on our current Small Business Natural Disaster Preparedness and Resilience Inquiry, including recommendations to improve information and engagement programs to best target and assist small businesses in preparing for natural disasters.

“In our feedback sessions so far, we’ve heard time and time again that local engagement, leadership and decision making, informed by local knowledge and community connectedness and engagement is critical. More often than not, it’s the local business communities who are experienced in disasters that affect their region, that can best guide and support their business peers.

“This local leadership needs to be supported appropriately, so they have access to the resources needed to assist small business owners who are working to get back on their feet after a natural disaster hits.”

Complete ASBFEO’s online survey here. Survey closes on February 28, 2022.

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