Small businesses across NSW, especially those located in Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong, have been feeling the strain of the most recent Covid-19 lockdown, enforced on Saturday 26 June. At this stage, the lockdown is due to run for one fortnight, ending at 11:59pm on Friday 9 July. During this time, residents of lockdown zones are only permitted to leave the house for essential reasons. To assist small businesses across the state doing it tough during this time, the NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced several areas of financial relief for those impacted. Let’s unpack the latest announcements, including what small business grants your business may be eligible for and how you can support your staff during this stressful time.
What are the NSW Covid-19 small business grants?
Thousands of small businesses across NSW will be eligible to access a government relief package between $5000 to $10,000. The grant can be used for expenses such as rent, utilities and wages. Payments will become available by 19 July, 2021.
Who can receive a $10,000 small business grant?
Small businesses that have experienced a 70% reduction in turnover may be eligible for the $10,000 grant. Businesses that have experienced a 50% reduction can access $7,000, and those that have experienced a 30% reduction can access $5,000.
Is my business eligible for the NSW Covid-19 small business grants?
A small business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation can access the grants if they meet the eligibility criteria:
- Less than 20 full-time staff
- A turnover of more than $75,000 but are below the payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million
- Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in NSW, or be able to prove they are physically located and primarily operating in NSW
- An accountant statement that confirms a loss in revenue for the lockdown period compared to the same period in 2019
There are different eligibility criteria for the tourism and hospitality sector:
- A turnover of more than $75,000 and an annual wages expense of below $10 million
- Must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in NSW, or be able to prove they are physically located and primarily operating in NSW
- An accountant statement that confirms a loss in revenue for the time period compared to the same period in 2019
More details about eligibility criteria and details on how to apply will be available on the Service NSW website in the coming days.
Payroll tax deferrals
For employers, there will also be an option to defer payroll tax payments due in July 2021. Hotel and club operators will also have the option to defer gaming machine tax for the June quarter. The Chief Commissioner of State Revenue will be able to provide for appropriate repayment arrangements on a case-by-case basis. More information to be announced soon.
Extension of the Dine and Discover program
The Dine & Discover program has been extended one month from the previous July 31 deadline. Now, the Dine and Discover program will be available for use up until 31 August, 2021. The four $25 vouchers for NSW residents can be spent in hospitality, arts and recreation venues. During the lockdown, the vouchers can be used for takeaway food at eligible businesses, as long as customers use Covid-19 QR codes to check into businesses when picking food up.
What government support is available for casual workers?
The federal government also announced the Covid-19 Disaster Payment support package for NSW casual staff, with payments available from 1 July, 2021. To learn more and apply, workers must visit servicesaustralia.gov.au.
Which casual workers are eligible for NSW government support payments?
Casual workers that are located in a lockdown zone may be eligible for the weekly support payment. To receive $500, workers must work more than 20 hours a week when not locked down. Workers who work fewer than 20 hours a week will receive $325. To be eligible, workers must also meet these additional requirements;
- They must be an Australian resident or hold an eligible working visa
- They must be 17 years or older
- They must not already receive an income support payment, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
- They must live or work in a Commonwealth-declared Covid-19 hotspot
- They must have had paid employment prior to the stay at home orders and because of the lockdown they can’t attend work on or after day 8 of lockdown
- They’ve lost income on or after day 8 of lockdown and don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
- They have liquid assets of less than $10,000
More help for NSW businesses;
We wish your business all the best in weathering the latest Covid-19 lockdown. To help you get through this tough period, we’ve collected our best resources for small businesses. Face mask policy for staff in COVID-19 (NSW) Flexible working policy template Workplace wellness pack Covid employee wellness survey template Safe Work Australia suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 at work info sheet NSW essential workers right to access work letter template Navigating uncertainty webinar Working from home guide If you’re looking for more information and support during this time, visit the Employment Hero Covid-19 Resource Hub.