Optus to help fire-hit small businesses recover

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 23 January, 2020

Optus to help fire-hit small businesses recover

As part of its bushfire relief efforts, Optus has announced a new grant program to help small businesses impacted by the disaster get back on their feet.

The Green Shoots grant program will be extended to 20,000 small businesses in impacted regional areas. It will consist of a technology pack which includes one free tablet as well as up to two years’ subscription to an Optus mobile plan and/or fixed internet service.

The program, which will be open to both existing Optus customers and non-customers, will also involve providing recipients access to the company’s dedicated small business tech support team.

The program will commence on 17 February, at which time Optus will publish its eligibility and selection criteria. Applications will be open until 30 March.

Optus CEO Allen Lew said the program is one of a number of steps Optus is taking to help impacted areas recover from the crisis.

“Many regional towns have been affected by the bushfires and it will take significant time and resources for the affected small businesses and communities to rebuild and bounce back,” he said.

“We are focused on rebuilding and reconnecting the engine room of the Australian economy — small business — in bushfire affected regions.”

Optus’s assistance program for the bushfires also includes waiving mobile fees for all volunteer firefighters and SES volunteers for December and January, and offering a financial assistance policy which may include bill waivers for customers facing extreme financial hardship and free pre-paid recharges for eligible impacted customers.

Optus engineers are also helping on the ground through efforts including ensuring mobile and satellite connectivity is available in evacuation centres.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Siriwat

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