The NSW Government has announced a new financial support package to assist businesses being impacted by the Omicron wave.

Small business support program
Eligible businesses will receive 20% of their weekly payroll paid as a lump sum for the month of February 2022. The minimum payment will be $500 per week and the maximum payment is set at $5,000 per week. Non-employing businesses will received a lump sum of $2,000 (i.e. $500 per week).

Businesses may be eligible for the support program if they meet the following requirements:

  • The aggregated turnover of the business is between $75,000 and $50 million.
  • The business has experienced a 40% decline in turnover as a result of the Omicron strain:
    1. For the month of January 2022 compared to January 2021 or January 2020; and
    2. Between 1 February 2022 – 14 February 2022 compared to the same fortnight in the comparison year used in (a) above.
  • The business must maintain their employee headcount from the date of the announcement of the Scheme.

Businesses will be able to apply through Service NSW from mid-February onwards. Similar to JobSaver, we expect the NSW Government to release detailed guidelines over the coming days.

Small business RAT, fee and charges rebate
The small business fees and charges rebate will be increased to $3,000 (from $2,000). Furthermore, the rebate can be used to cover half the costs of rapid antigen tests. Businesses which have already been registered will receive an automatic top up of $1,000 and newly registering businesses will receive a rebate of $3,000.

As a reminder, the rebate applies to fees and charges such as food authority licences, liquor licences, tradesperson licences, event fees, outdoor seating fees, council rates and road user tolls for business use.

Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant
The protections under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (the Regulation) for small retail and commercial tenants will be extended for an additional two months, until 13 March 2022. The Regulation prohibits certain actions by landlords (such as lock out or eviction) unless they have first renegotiated rent with eligible tenants and attempted mediation.

Furthermore, grants of up to $3,000 per month (GST inclusive), per property, are available for eligible landlords who have provided rental relief waivers to affected tenants. Rental waivers must comprise at least half of any rental reduction provided. Applications for eligible landlords who provided rent relief from 15 November 2021 to 13 January 2022 will open in early February. The guidelines for the grant can be found here -

Performing Arts Package
The NSW Government has extended the performing arts package to April 2022. For more information in relation to this, refer to the following webpage:

This article is issued as general commentary - please contact us about your specific circumstances.