The NSW and Federal government have announced further support for businesses and individuals in NSW impacted by the extended lockdown.

Small and Medium Business Support Payment – (up to $10,000 per week)
A new business support payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover from an equivalent two-week period in 2019. Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive 40% of their NSW payroll payments, at a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 per week. For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.

Importantly, in order to receive the payment, eligible entities will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.

Businesses can register their interest from 14 July 2021 at Service NSW.

COVID-19 Business Grants (single payment up to $15,000)
The business grants which were announced previously by the NSW government have been increased and expanded to assist more businesses. Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 will be made available to eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million. The grant amounts will be as follows based on the decline in turnover experienced:

  • $7,500 (increased from $5,000) for a decline of 30% or more.
  • $10,500 (increased from $7,000) for a decline of 50% or more.
  • $15,000 (increased from $10,000) for a decline of 70% or more.

Businesses will be able to apply for the grant from 19 July 2021. We expect the NSW government to provide full eligibility criteria soon, including further detail on the decline in turnover requirement.

A new grant program has also been introduced for smaller micro businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000. These businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions.

Tax Relief
The Federal government provided further support by making NSW small business grants, including the new small business payments, tax exempt. Taxpayers will also be provided with administrative relief coming in the form of reduced payment plans, no interest charged on late payments and varying instalments on request.

Payroll tax - support
Payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover. The Government will also provide deferrals and interest free repayment plans.

Other – assistance from banks
The Australian Banking Association has also announced a support package for small businesses and homeowners affected by the lockdowns. The package includes up to three-month repayment deferrals for certain small businesses, refunds of merchant terminal fees for up to three months and loan deferrals on a month-by-month basis for eligible homeowners and small business customers.

COVID-19 Disaster payment - individuals
The Federal government announced the following changes to the payment:

  • From week four of a lockdown because of a Commonwealth declared hotspot, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase from $500 to $600 each week if a person has lost 20 hours or more of work a week, or $325 to $375 each week if a person has lost between 8 and 20 hours of work.
  • Make the COVID-19 Disaster Payment a recurring payment for approved recipients for as long as the Commonwealth declared hotspot and lockdown restrictions remain in place. This ensures recipients do not need to re-claim for each seven day period of a lockdown.
  • Amend the COVID-19 Disaster Payment so that a person would be eligible for the payment, including where they are still working, provided they have lost more than 8 hours or a full day of work.

From 18 July 2021 the COVID-19 Commonwealth Disaster Payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment. We have covered the eligibility criteria in detail here, however please note that from week three of lockdown, the government removed the $10,000 liquid assets test ensuring more individuals can access the payment. Information about how to apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment can be found on the Services Australia website at COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Land Tax – grants and relief
A capped grant of up to $1,500 for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants.

Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100% of the 2021 land tax year liability.

Other Measures
Other measures announced but not explained in detail at this stage include:

  • Deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2022
  • A $75 million support package for the performing arts sector
  • A support package for the accommodation sector worth $26 million
  • $12 million in additional funding for temporary accommodation for those at risk of experiencing homelessness, and
  • $5.1 million funding to support mental health.

We will provide an update when further details have been released.

Simon Alford, Director at Moore Australia NSW Commented: "It is encouraging to see the government support as the impacts of the extended lockdown continue. However, it may not be enough for businesses with larger payrolls for whom the support payment will be capped at $10,000 per week. Additionally, whilst one off grants will assist small businesses, it could be some time before hospitality establishments can re-open. It is important businesses seek professional advice to ensure they submit their claims timely and accurately."

The material contained in this publication is in the nature of general comment and information only and is not advice. The material should not be relied upon. Please contact your local Moore Australia office to discuss your specific circumstances or case. Moore Australia, any Australian Member, any related entity of those persons, or any of their officers employees or representatives, will not be liable for any loss or damage arising out of or in connection with the material contained in this publication.