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Accessing financial support for your business during the COVID-19 lockdown

Updated 16 August 2021

Business support packages have been announced for NSW businesses and other states that have been affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions. 

If your business has been impacted by the latest COVID-19 restriction, there a number of grants and programs that your business may be eligible for, including a one-off grant of up to $15,000 for NSW businesses, the joint NSW-Commonwealth JobSaver program, and grants for microbusinesses. Other support is also available.

To find out more, continue reading below.

COVID-19 Business Grant: up to $15,000 one-off payment

Applications open: 19 July 2021 and close 11.59pm 13 September 2021

If you're a business, sole-trader or not-for--profit organisation and you've been impacted by the Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, then you may be eligible for a $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000 grant to help with the first three weeks of lockdown.

The 2021 COVID-19 business grant provides cash flow support for businesses that experienced reduced turnover or had to close due to the public health orders. Eligible applicants across NSW can use the grant for business costs incurred from 1 June 2021, including:

  • utilities, wages and rent
  • financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • marketing and communications activities to develop the business
  • the cost of perishable goods that can no longer be used
  • other activities to support the operation of the business.

The grant amounts available will be dependent on the decline in turnover over a minimum two-week between 26 June 2021-17 July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, 2020 or the immediate two week period prior to 26 June 2021:

  • $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

Applications can only be made for one tier and only one grant is available for a single ABN. Multiple businesses under a single ABN are eligible for one grant only.

Businesses and not-for-profits on the NSW border with Victoria that were impacted by earlier stay-at-home orders beginning 27 May may be able to use a different comparison period to demonstrate the decline in turnover over minimun two weeks from 27 May to 17 July 2021.

Eligibility criteria is available from the Services NSW website, or please contact us on 02 9957 4033 for additional guidance.

To apply for the grant, you will need to provide  details of your accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent, submit an Australian tax return, Notice of Assessment, or other documentation that demonstrates your business had an aggregated turnover between $75,000-$10 million, your ABN or ACN number and other identification documentation. If your business is outside the 'highly impacted industries list', you also need to submit evidence through a letter from a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent. Successful applications may also be subject to audit, therefore it is important that your tax and business documentation is up-to-date and available for review if required.

If your business does not meet all of the elibility criteria, you may still apply for the grant provided that there is sufficient evidence to support alternative circumstances.

JobSaver

Applications open: 26 July 2021 and close 11.59pm 18 October 2021

JobSaver is a support program funded jointly by the NSW and Commonwealth governments to maintain employment of staff for small and medium businesses impacted by the current health restrictions.

If you've experienced a decline of 30% or more and have turnover between $75,000 and $250 million, then you may be eligibe to receive:

  • Employing businesses: 40% of weekly payroll, with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum payment of $100,000 per week. To receive the payment, employing entitites will be required to maintain their staffing level as of 13 July 2021.
  • Non-employing business: $1,000 per week

If your business is not on the 'highly impacted industries list' or your business is on the 'highly impacted industries list' and you are applying for a weekly JobSaver payment of more than $10,000, you need to submit a letter from a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent confirming your decline in turnover.

The Federal Government has declared the grants to be tax-free, however only for those eligible businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $250 million. Applications for the grant will close on 18 October 2021.

Micro business grant

Applications close 11.59pm 18 October 2021

If you're a micro business (small business or sole trader with annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000) impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions from late July 2021.

Your turnover must have reduced by 30% or more and provide the primary income source for a person associated with the business. Businesses applying for the micro business grants must not have applied for either the NSW 2021 COVID-19 Busness Grant or the NSW Job Saver Payment. 

Additionally:

  • Employing businesses will be rquired to maintain their employee head count as at 13 July 2021
  • Eligible non-employing businesses must have the business as their primary source of income

Payroll tax assistance

NSW businesses can opt in to defer payments on the 2020-21 annual reconciliation until 7 October 2021. A new Support Payment Arrangement anda 25% reduction in 2021-22 payroll tax is also available for eligible businesses.

Retail and Commercial Leasing Laws

As health orders impact retail businesses and commercial leases, there are new protections to protect tenants and support landlords. Before action can be taken by a landlord with regards to rent, eviction or locking out tenants, they will need to attempt mediation. Landlords that reduce rent will be eligble for a land tax concession.

Tenants must also provide landlords with evidence showing they are impacted by by the lockdowns. The Retail and other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 applies from 14 July 2021 until 20 August 2021. For more detailed guidance on what this may mean for you, please contact us.

Get assistance and more information

Note that this information is changing frequently. To get the most updated information and for help with accessing any of the support outlined above, please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to speak to our team.

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Disclaimer

This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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