Small Business Support

The government recently announced an additional $4.785 million to provide eligible small regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free and confidential financial counselling.

Is your small regional business experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship due to the impacts of drought or COVID‑19?

We understand this has been a difficult time for small regional businesses that rely on primary production and thriving communities to survive. To help businesses with the challenges they are experiencing and get back on their feet, we are investing more than $11.7 million in small business financial counselling:

  • $7 million to help small businesses in drought-affected areas improve their long-term viability.
  • $4.785 million to help small businesses recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. 

These initiatives  will run until 30 June 2021, which will help you to:

  • better understand your financial position
  • identify options
  • implement plans to improve the viability of your business
  • access broader professional advice and support.

Read the program guidelines.


These services are for small businesses that:

  • have 19 employees or less
  • are experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship due to the impacts of drought or COVID-19
  • are not located within 20 kilometres of a town with a population greater than 50,000
  • are ineligible to access services under the existing Rural Financial Counselling Service (RFCS) Program.


Small business financial counselling is available through the RFCS in communities across Australia where drought or the COVID-19 economic downturn is having a major impact. The RFCS has successfully delivered financial counselling in regional communities for over 30 years.

A Professional Services Fund is also available to help businesses access specialist third-party advice (determined on a case-by-case basis). This includes financial planning, legal, specialist taxation and accounting advice.

How they can help

Small business financial counsellors can help you to:

  • understand your financial position and the viability of your business
  • identify options to manage the financial issues of your business
  • develop budgets and cash flows
  • create and implement an action plan to work towards your business goals
  • negotiate with your lenders and access dispute resolution services
  • identify other government and community grants, programs or schemes
  • access broader professional advice and support.

Small business financial counsellors do not give family, emotional or social counselling or financial advice. They can refer you to other professional services, including:

  • accountants
  • legal services
  • mental health services.

Find a counsellor

Talk to a small business financial counsellor. It’s a free, confidential service. They can give you individual support and create a tailored recovery plan.

Find your local RFCS office:

Download the financial counselling service map of Australia (PDF, 2 MB).

More support

Read more about support we provide for communities affected by drought, bushfires  and COVID-19.

Last reviewed: 10 June 2020
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