Almost 300 bushfire-hit businesses have applied for federal government loans in the week the scheme has been open, but just one application has been approved.
More than 230 applications have been lodged in NSW since February 3, with another 60 submitted in South Australia.
However, the only loan to have been approved so far is to a business in Queensland where two applications have been made.
“The loans program has only recently opened,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told parliament on Wednesday.
Victoria’s Labor government is still developing the guidelines required to deliver the bushfire business loans.
Mr Morrison said support was flowing in a range of ways including prioritised tax refunds of $3.2 billion in bushfire-affected communities.
Labor employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor said the recovery package was failing to reach those in need.
“Every day we hear from concerned small business owners and workers, from Bairnsdale to Ulladulla and everywhere in between, who have been waiting weeks for the government to release desperately needed funding to keep themselves afloat,” he said.
“Businesses have no cashflow to pay bills and workers have had shifts cancelled, or been put off entirely, due to the business downturn at what is normally the busiest time of the year.”
Meanwhile, families affected by the bushfire season are being offered childcare payments.
Volunteer firefighters and families affected by the disaster will be able to put public donations towards childcare fees for the next 12 months without risking their subsidies.
There are more than 95,000 families in bushfire-hit areas eligible for the childcare subsidy.
“This change will mean families have one less thing to worry about,” Education Minister Dan Tehan said.