Business Storm and Recovery - Feedback and Suggestions


Mental Health & Resilience

Business are suffering both financial and emotional hardship as a result of the storm and flood, particularly coming on the back of recent lockdown restrictions. The compounding events, that they have no control over, are mentally exhausting.

Business owners noted emotional and mental distress in their staff and clientele as well.

Despite of their own challenges many of these businesses have shown extraordinary resilience and kindness, supporting their own community.


Lack of public awareness of the event

There is a feeling amongst the community that this emergency and its impact has not received the publicity it warranted, and this resulted in a delay in allocating resources, and the financial support has been inadequate.

Road Closures/No visitors/Tourists

Particularly in the Dandenong Ranges, road closures had a huge impact on businesses.

Those not affected directly by power outages or storm damage were heavily impacted by safety messaging keeping visitors out of the entire region.

Some businesses are still losing business due to storm damage to near-by infrastructure (eg. National Parks, roads). 

Inequality in Support

Residents/business do not qualify for clean-up assistance for fallen trees and debris, if no damage to property has occurred.

Business support packages have only been for businesses that were without power. However, a significant number of businesses with power, lost trade/were unable to trade

All sorts of businesses were impacted (hospitality, specialist retail, tourism, horticulture, agriculture, small and home based) which means all sorts of support solutions are required.


Power & Telecommunication Networks

Lack of communication services, particularly during and for the day after the event. Neither NBN or mobile services were working. This caused dangerous situations, and operational difficulties.

Prolonged power outages affected business ability to open, loss of product and produce that needs refrigeration (particularly impacting agricultural businesses), ability to provide safe working conditions, and to operate necessary machinery/equipment



Several businesses are reporting difficulties with their insurance companies.

Business owners are also experiencing delays and/or no response to the claim enquiries which adds significant stress to those suffering from consequences of this weather event. 



Many businesses in Yarra Ranges are experiencing staff shortage - particularly in hospitality. This emergency has forced some businesses to shed staff and/or reduce their working hours due to lack of trade.

Some businesses have not been able to pay their staff over the last 4 weeks and this has caused more distress to business owners as their feel responsible being the only income source to a group of locals. 


Grants & Business Finance

Difficult to find a single source of information for business support

Internet and power outages made it difficult to seek information and complete administrative processes.

Eligibility requirements have resulted in certain business types not qualifying for any support. 


You Suggested

  • Ongoing wellbeing & mental health support will be needed to support these businesses in the long term.
  • Additional financial support is still needed for struggling businesses.
  • Marketing and tourism campaigns are needed to encourage people back to the area. 
  • Businesses be provided with more accurate timing for road access.
  • Township specific resourcing for future emergency events.
  • Most residents/businesses in these areas know they need a bushfire plan - storms are no different.
  • Back-up generators and other sources of power and communication will become essential for home and business. But businesses can’t create a substitute for mobile or internet reception.