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Optus Launch Regional Bushfire Regrowth Grant Program

Optus is announcing funding opportunities to support businesses impacted by the devasting bushfires through a grant program to help re-establish connectivity within regional Australia.

The program, called Green Shoots, will make 2,000 grants available during 2020 from 17 February to help get businesses back on their feet.

Each grant will include a technology pack, dedicated tech support and extended staff volunteer programme.

The technology pack will include a complimentary tablet and up to two years on an Optus mobile plan and/or fixed internet service.

Available to both current and non-Optus customers, participants must be in an Optus service area to qualify for the tech pack.

Applications for the grant program close on 30 March, though Optus is leaving the option to extend the process open.

Optus CEO Allen Lew, National Geographic Launch Event Sydney, Photo: Fergus Halliday

Optus Chief Executive Allen Lew said, ‘it will take significant time and resources for the affected small businesses and communities to rebuild and bounce back’.

As a result, Optus is now ‘focused on rebuilding and reconnecting the engine room of the Australian economy – small business – in bushfire affected regions’.

Optus CEO Designate, Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said the program is meant to ‘inspire optimism in regional Australia and give the impacted communities hope and belief for the future’.

Eligibility, selection criteria and details about volunteer support will be posted to the Optus website from February 17, including details about how to apply for the grant.

In addition to the Green Shoots program, Optus has activated its financial assistance policy for customers affected by the bushfires which include a number of support options like bill waivers and free prepaid recharges.

Unmetered access to a range of emergency service websites has also been extended to ensure ‘customers can access the information they need, without exceeding their plan data caps’.

Optus is also covering the cost of volunteer firefighters’ and SES volunteers’ mobile services for December and January.

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