On 13 July 2021, the NSW Government announced a comprehensive economic support package worth billions of dollars aimed at helping businesses and people right across the state fight through the current COVID-19 lockdown.
The commitment will now be up to $5.1 billion, including more than $1 billion from the Commonwealth as part of a business and employee support program.
The business grants program announced two weeks ago that was the subject of our earlier newsletter issued on 2 July 2021 has now been expanded and made more generous.
The following is our summary of the suite of packages available for workers, small to medium businesses and landlords as outlined in yesterdays combined Federal and NSW State Governments announcements.
Please note that once the application process opens, the team at Quantiphy are here to assist with some of these grants or provide necessary evidence required to support you own application. In the meantime we encourage you to register a MyServicesNSW account and if you have one, please ensure your personal details are up to date and you know your login details.
COVID-19 business grant
If you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a grant of up to $15,000 from 19 July 2021. The purpose of this grant is to assist businesses financially for the first three weeks of restrictions.
The grant can be used for business expenses such as rent, utilities and wages, for which no other government support is available.
Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions:
- $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more
- $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
- $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more
Further eligibility criteria include;
- Annual turnover must be above $75,000
- Less than 20 full time equivalent employees as at 1 June 2021
- Wages below the NSW payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million
The relevant test period for the decline in turnover is a minimum 2 week period after the lockdown commenced (26 June 2021) as compared to same length period in June and/or July 2019
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
This is a support payment for workers adversely affected by a state public health order. The Commonwealth will enhance and expand the support available to NSW and other states that experience an extended lockdown.
Specifically, the Commonwealth will:
- 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 will remove the need for recipients 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 Disaster Payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment.
The NSW Government will fund any payments outside a Commonwealth declared hotspot, with the Commonwealth continuing to fund payments to recipients in a Commonwealth declared hotspot.
This arrangement will be available to other states and territories for future lockdown as a result of a Commonwealth declared hotspot.
This is a lump sum payment to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 lockdown, hotspot or period of restricted movement.
You may be eligible if all of the following apply:
- you can’t attend work and lost income on or after day 8 of a COVID-19 restriction of movement event
- you don’t have access to appropriate paid leave entitlements through your employer
- you’re not getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
- you’re not getting a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period.
Information about how to apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment can be found on the Services Australia website at COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Small and medium business support payments – “Saving Jobs” Grant
A business that has an annual turnover between $75,000 & $50 million and meets a 30% decline in turnover can apply for payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll. Payments of up to 40% of weekly payroll will be available subject to a $10,000 threshold.
Furthermore, to receive this payment, eligible entities will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021. Eligible entities include not-for-profits and you still may be eligible if you have already stood down staff up to today as long as you remain employing staff from now on.
This grant is designed to provide support to businesses from Week 4 of a lockdown and will continue to be provided until the lockdown restrictions are eased or when the Commonwealth Hotspot declaration is removed.
A new grant program has also been introduced for smaller micro businesses with turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 which have also experienced a decline in turnover of 30%. These businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions.
To help avoid delays in completing an application for support, affected entities should ensure that their business and contact details are up-to-date with the Australian Business Register (ABR) and that, likewise, personal, contact and business details are up-to-date in their MyServiceNSW account.
Payroll tax waivers
Businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover may be entitled to NSW payroll tax deferral and potentially waivers of 25% for the first quarter of this financial year as well as interest free repayment plans. Details to be announced shortly.
NSW Commercial/Residential Landlords & Tenants
A capped grant of up to $1,500 is available for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances. Likewise residential tenants will have greater protection with a targeted eviction moratorium.
Commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond, or locking out or evicting a tenant impacted by the Public Health Order.
Commercial, retail and residential landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession where they reduce the rent of their tenant.
Further details to be announced shortly and other state & territory landlords should check their relevant state Revenue Office website for similar announcements.
NSW Land Tax
Commercial, retail and residential landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession where they reduce the rent of their tenant. The relief may be equal to the value of rent reductions provided by landlords to financially distressed tenants and up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability. Further details to be announced shortly
Commonwealth Business Tax Relief
The Commonwealth will also provide additional support through the tax system, by:
- Making NSW small business grants, including the new small business payments, tax exempt.
- Providing administrative relief to NSW taxpayers facing hardship, including reduced payment plans, no interest charged on late payments and varying instalments on request.