Support for Businesses
If your business has been adversely impacted by the recent and extended lockdown and restrictions in NSW, support is available.
The NSW Government, with supported funding from the Federal Government has announced a series of new measures to support business during this extended lockdown. These include:
- Up to $15,000 through the expanded NSW 2021 COVID-19 business grants program
- Up to $10,000 cashflow support per week
- NSW micro business grants
- NSW payroll tax deferrals and a 25% payroll tax waiver
- NSW Rent protections and grants
- NSW Sector support for the arts and accommodation sector
You can streamline the process of applying for business support by ensuring:
- Your business and contact details are up to date on the Australian Business Register· – importantly your business address is correct
- You have a MyServiceNSW account with a business profile linked and you have registered your business as a COVID safe business.
The grants were released with minimal details. Services NSW is regularly updating their website as eligibility criteria and guidelines are released and/or refined. We will provide updates as these details become available.
We’re available to assist you with the lockdown support for your business. If you need to contact us we are available via our usual phone or email, or alternatively we can arrange a Zoom meeting.
Small business grants of up to $15,000 are available to eligible businesses (including sole traders and not-for-profits) with turnover of over $75,000 and annual wages of up to $10 million.
The value of the grant is determined by the impact of the lockdown on your turnover. Your business will need to prove a decline in turnover across a minimum 2 week consecutive period after the commencement of the major restrictions.
How to apply
Applications are currently open and can be made online by business owners through ServiceNSW. Applications close at 11:59pm on 13 September 2021.
The 2021 COVID-19 business grant is available if you:
- Have an active ABN; and
- Can demonstrate that your business was operating in NSW as at 1 June 2021; and
- Have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50m (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
- Have had total annual Australian wages of $10million or less as at 1 July 2020; and
- Have unavoidable business costs from 1 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 for which there is no other government support available; and
- Maintain employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 – the number of people you employed in NSW including full time, part time and casuals that have been employed by the business for more than 12 months; and
- Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% over a minimum 2-week consecutive period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.
- For businesses and not-for profits on the NSW border with Victoria impacted by lockdown orders that began on 27 May 2021, use the turnover period from 27 May 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in May and/or June and/or July 2019.
In determining whether the business has suffered a decline in turnover, you need to review your turnover based on the method of reporting used on your Business Activity Statement, this is known as the GST concept which can be on cash or accrual basis and you need to have experienced a decline of at least 30%. If you are unsure of your GST concept, please contact us.
Businesses that are not able to meet all the eligibility criteria may still potentially qualify for the grant, but you will need to contact Service NSW to discuss the situation before applying. This includes where a business was not operational before June 2019 and does not have a comparable period to assess the decline in turnover.
Non-employing businesses such as sole traders are not eligible to apply if persons associated with the business, and who derive income from it, have applied for, or are receiving, the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
Evidence to support eligibility
Evidence to support the grant is slightly different based on whether your industry type has been identified as a highly impacted industry, please review the ServiceNSW list.
As part of the grant application, you will need to provide the following:
- A copy of your business’ 2020 financial year income tax return – if you have not just completed this, please get in touch with us; and
- For business’ that have been identified as highly impacted, you will need to provide details of your qualified accountant/ registered tax agent – this will be our office;
- For business’ that have not been identified as highly impacted, you will need to provide a letter from qualified accountant/ registered tax agent (our office) detailing the specific period used for the calculation and the decline in turnover.
- Please note that for highly impacted businesses with a decline of 70% or more, to gain the full grant this letter will also need to be provided.
In the case of the above, please contact our office to make arrangements for this letter to be completed.
JobSaver: Cashflow Support of up to $10,000
A cashflow payment, similar to the cashflow boost initiative, will see eligible businesses receive up to 40% of the NSW payroll payments of the business between a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $10,000 per week.
Businesses without employees that meet the eligibility criteria such as sole traders, will be able to access a payment of $1,000 per week.
The cashflow support will cease when lockdown restrictions are eased or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed.
The cashflow support payments will be made weekly.
How to apply
Applications for the cashflow support have not yet opened but you can register your interest through ServiceNSW. More information surrounding this should be available by 26th July 2021.
- Annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million
- Demonstrate a 30% or more decline in turnover basec on GST concept
- Maintain your full time, part time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021
- Impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions
A grant is available for micro businesses (including sole traders) providing $1,500 per fortnight while lockdown restrictions apply. The grants will cover from week one of the lockdown until restrictions are eased.
How to apply
Applications for this support have not yet opened but you can register your interest through ServiceNSW. More information surrounding this should be available by 26th July 2021.
- Annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000
- Demonstrate a 30% or more decline in turnover
- The business provides the primary income source for a person associated with the business
- Impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions
Payroll tax and lodgement deadline deferred
NSW payroll tax has been deferred for July and August 2021 until 7 October 2021 for all businesses.
The due date for the 2020-21 annual reconciliation has also been deferred until 7 October 2021.
Previous payroll tax deferrals and payment arrangements for 2020-21 due in July 2021 have not been deferred.
25% payroll tax waiver for businesses between $1.2m and $10m
Businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover, will be provided with a 25% payroll tax waiver in 2021-22. Further details of the reduction will be available by the end of August from RevenueNSW.
Commercial and retail rent protections will be reinstituted.
Legislative amendments will be introduced shortly providing a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meets certain other criteria. The moratorium applies to tenants with an annual turnover of $50 million or less.
Commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond or locking-out or evicting a tenant impacted by Public Health Orders.
Land tax relief
Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants will be available for up to 100% of the 2021 land tax liability.
A $75 million support package will be provided to the performing arts sector to be administered by Create NSW.
The package will be delivered in two stages:
- Immediate support to provide relief to eligible organisations who were staging performances during the period covered by the Public Health Orders.
- Funding available to support eligible organisations to reschedule performances once it is safe for restrictions to ease.
Eligible organisations include performing arts organisations with heavy reliance on box office income, including not-for-profit performing arts companies who were staging, or scheduled to stage performances during the lockdown period, commercial producers and some live music venues.
Organisations will need to provide evidence of performances scheduled, venues and average ticket prices.
CreateNSW will open applications from 23 July 2021.
A $26 million support package for eligible tourism accommodation providers that have lost business during the school holiday period. Assistance will be based on the number of cancelled ‘room nights’ of:
- $2,000 for up to 10 room nights
- $5,000 for 11 or more room nights
To be eligible, you will need to be able to show evidence of cancellations for lost room nights between 25 June and 11 July 2021.
Gaming machine tax deferrals
All businesses paying hotel or club gaming machine tax will be able to defer the taxes for the 2021-22 financial year:
Hotels: deferrals for June and September quarter until 21 January 2022.
Clubs: deferrals for the August quarter until 21 December 2022.
Support for Individuals
If you can’t work because you or someone in your household is impacted by COVID-19, support is available.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account. Apply for the Pandemic Leave Payment by phoning Services Australia on 180 22 66.
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.
Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if you are unable to operate your business from home. However, you will not be eligible if you are also receiving a state business grant such as the NSW 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant.
Timing of the payment
The disaster payment is generally accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here).
However, the disaster payment will also be available:
- In NSW from 18 July 2021, to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. The requirement to be in a Commonwealth declared hotspot has been removed and the payment will apply to anyone in NSW impacted by the lockdowns who meets the other eligibility criteria.
- In Victoria from 15 July 2021, to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. The requirement to be in a Commonwealth declared hotspot has been removed and the payment will apply to anyone in Victoria impacted by the lockdowns who meets the other eligibility criteria. And, the 7 day requirement has been removed so that the payment will be made for the period from 15 July 2021 (paid in arrears from 23 July 2021).
How much is the payment?
The COVID-19 disaster payment amount available depends on:
- How many hours of work you have lost in the week, and
- If the payment is on or after the third period of the lockdown.
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible and is taxable (you will need to declare it in your income tax return).
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
- Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
- Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of New South Wales or interstate.
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
- Are aged 17 years or over, and
- Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions – losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
- Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave, unpaid leave, paid sick and carer’s leave, long service leave and compassionate leave when your employer has stood you down without pay), and
- Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
A liquid assets test of $10,000 previously applied to the disaster payment but was removed from Thursday, 8 July 2021.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account or by calling Service Australia to create an online account.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because they:
- Test positive to COVID-19;
- Have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case; or
- Care for a person who has tested positive to COVID-19.
How much is the payment?
The payment is $1,500 for each 14 day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you:
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
- Are aged 17 years or over; and
- Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
- Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
- Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the Pandemic Leave Payment by phoning Services Australia on 180 22 66.
The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.
If you are concerned about the impact of disaster relief payments on you, talk to us.
NSW Child-care gap fee
From 19 July 2021, the Government is enabling childcare services in NSW Local Government Areas subject to stay at home orders to waive gap-fees for parents keeping their children at home due to current COVID-19 restrictions. The gap fee is the difference between the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) the Government pays to a service and the remaining fee paid by the family.
The child-care gap fee waiver is only applicable where the childcare service opts in.
The current Local Government Areas are: Bayside, Blacktown, Blue Mountains, Burwood, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Central Coast, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Hawkesbury, Hornsby, Hunters Hill, Inner West, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Liverpool, Mosman, North Sydney, Northern Beaches, Parramatta, Penrith, Randwick, Ryde, Shellharbour, Strathfield, Sutherland Shire, Sydney, The Hills Shire, Waverley, Willoughby, Wollondilly, Wollongong and Woollahra.
NSW Eviction moratorium
The NSW Government will introduce a targeted eviction moratorium to protect residential tenants who have lost 25% of their income due to COVID-19.
60 day freeze on evictions
Tenants who can’t pay their rent in full because they are impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak can’t be evicted between now and 11 September 2021.
Financial support for landlords
Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant of up to $1,500 or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances. The land tax relief will be equal to the value of rent reductions provided to financially distressed tenants for up to 100% of the 2021 land tax year liability.