With most of the Commonwealth COVID-19 support for businesses and individuals winding down despite the omicron wave decimating both summer plans and potential earnings, the State governments has had to go it alone. The governments of NSW, SA, and Victoria have introduced new measures and/or extended existing measures to help businesses in their respective States survive the latest hurdle.
NSW The NSW government has introduced a new small business support program that will see employing eligible businesses receive 20% of their weekly payroll as a lump sum for the month of February 2022 only (minimum payment will be $750 per week and the maximum payment will be $5,000 per week). Non-employing businesses will be eligible to receive a payment of $500 per week, paid as a lump sum of $2,000. Eligible businesses must have a turnover of $75,000 and $50m, and will have experienced a minimum of a 40% decline in turnover in January 2022 and the first fortnight of February 2022.
The existing small business fees and charges rebate will be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 in late March 2022. The rebate can be used to pay for the cost of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and also various licences, outdoor seating fees, council rates, road user tolls for business use etc. Businesses that apply for the rebate will have to upload each claim separately and provide proof such as an invoice or receipt indicating that the charge has been paid.
Grants of up to $3,000 per month for eligible commercial landlords that provide rental waivers to affected tenants has been extended until 13 March 2022. The support package targeting the performing arts sector also received an extension to 30 April 2022. Other NSW government support initiatives include export assistance, vouchers to support tech startups, and payroll tax support.
SA In addition to the support package announced by the government in December 2021, further support for tourism, hospitality, gyms, and businesses experiencing hardship will be available mid-February 2022. For tourism, hospitality, and gym businesses, an additional grant of up to $22,000 will be available to those that experience a 30% decline in turnover for the period between 10 January 2022 and 30 January 2022 (compared to an equivalent reference period). Any South Australian businesses experiencing a 50% decline in turnover for the period of 10 January 2022 to 30 January 2022 when compared to an equivalent reference period may be eligible for an additional grant of up to $8,000.
Victoria so far, the Victorian government has only extended the commercial tenancy relief scheme for small and family businesses to 15 March 2022. It is available to eligible commercial tenants with an annual turnover of $10m or less who have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to COVID-19 (comparing January 2022 to January 2020). Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief to their commercial tenants in line with the reduction in turnover.
Speak to one of our accountants today if you have any questions or need assistance with COVID support for businesses: NSW, SA, VIC.