The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is rolling out a series of initiatives for Australian retailers and communities affected by bushfires. The ARA has also partnered with charity Good360, collecting surplus items and distributing them to Australians in need, as one element of a multi-pronged strategy.

“The ARA and Good360 are partnering on a campaign to collect goods from retailers who haven’t been touched by bushfires to redistribute them to those who in some cases have lost everything,” ARA executive director, Russell Zimmerman said.

“Any retailer, small or large, who wishes to contribute – regardless of where they are in Australia – should make contact with Good360 to arrange collection of goods and stock they wish to donate.

“Retailers – and other Australians – who prefer to make a cash donation should also get in contact,” he added.

In addition to partnering with Good360, the ARA is making its services available to all Australian retail businesses affected by bushfires, irrespective of whether they were ARA members or not.

“The ARA offers employment law advice that may assist bushfire-affected retailers, for example, in cases where the business is unable to trade due to fire and shopkeepers need clarification of their obligations,” he said.

“Similarly, we provide our members with advice on retail leasing, property law and insurance matters, and any retail enterprise affected by bushfires in need of such advice is free to utilise this service.”

The ARA said it is making contact with government at all levels – from the Prime Minister to Premiers of affected states and their key ministers – and is ready to offer whatever assistance it can at a time of national emergency.

The ARA has spent the past week preparing resources for retailers who need assistance due to the bushfire crisis and a central reference page will go live on the ARA website.

“At a time of crisis, it’s critical Australians stick together; to the extent we can help affected Australian retailers and communities at this time, we encourage all who are in trouble to contact us,” he concluded.