COVID Relief Packages worth $1 billion announced for Small Businesses

Amidst the crippling news of the possibility of another lockdown as a result of the most contagious variant of Coronavirus so far, Omicron, the NSW state government has announced Covid rescue package worth $1 billion for small businesses. And we bet what a sigh of relief that must be for small businesses adversely affected by the Omicron outbreak.

The Covid relief package entails four emergency measures that address the pertinent issues faced by small to medium-sized businesses in the smooth running of their business.

Premier Dominic Perrottet stated:

‘’Eligible businesses will be entitled to a lump sum payment equal to 20 percent of weekly payroll for the month of February. Grants will range from $500 to $5000 a week.’’

Businesses will be able to access the grant money as a part of a relief package within 5 to 15 days of submitting their application.

Treasurer Matt Kean further added:

“As we continue to protect the health and safety of our community, we have to ensure our economy is resilient and our businesses are supported.”

These include:

  1. Small Business Program
  2. Performing Arts Package
  3. Commercial Landlord and Tenant Grants
  4. Small Business Fees, Charges, and RAT Rebate

What are these measures about?

Let’s have a brief look at each of these announced measures aimed at alleviating the economic losses incurred by various sectors that have directly been impacted by the Public Health Orders.

Small Business Program

According to the Small Business Program, the eligible businesses will receive a ‘’lum sum payment of 20 percent of weekly payroll ranging between $500 to $5,000 on a weekly basis’’. In order to be eligible for this scheme, the businesses ought to have an annual turnover up to $50 million for the last fiscal year.

Additionally, this turnover must have also been affected by the Omicron’s wave (Public Health Orders directly changed the dynamics of the working space due to various restrictions). The set percentage for the loss in turnover is 40 percent or more. This scheme covers the said losses that occurred/ will occur between January till February 2022. The NSW State Government has also instructed the eligible businesses to keep track of the number of their employees during these two months.

Dates to remember:

Losses to be covered: Between January to February 2022

Application date: Open mid-February 2022

Performing Arts Package

The Performing Arts package is intended to promote the performances by funding the performances directly affected by Public Health Orders that took place/will take place between September 19, 2021, to April 30, 2022. The allocated funds for Performing Arts approximate $12.5 million. Each of the performances will be funded based on the formula devised by the NSW State Government. However, the only condition is that the venue where the performances took place or are going to take place must be the ones approved by either ‘’Create NSW or promoter/producer of an approved performance.’’

Dates to remember:

Performances to be covered: Between 19 September 2021 to 30 April 2022

Commercial Landlord and Tenant Grants

Commercial landlords and tenants have been one of the most adversely affected victims of the Coronavirus outbreak. To make up for the losses incurred, a number of relief fund packages have been allocated to them. Likewise, for the Omicron outbreak, the NSW state government has decided to extend the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 for businesses with an annual turnover of less than $5 million.

As per the grant conditions, the tenant is eligible to receive a rent reduction proportionate to the percentage of the losses incurred by them in their annual turnover. To support the commercial landlords, a grant of $3000 on a monthly basis will be provided to each of the eligible landlords. These regulations will apply between 13 July 2021 to 13 March 2022. Details pertaining to these grants can be found at the NSW state government Legislation website.

Dates to remember:

Losses to be covered: Between 13 July 2021 to 13 March 2022

Small Business Fees, Charges Rebate

Lastly, the announced relief fund package also increased the Small Business Fees, Charges Rebate to $3000; an addition of a whopping $1000 to the existing one. Half of the funds allocated ought to be used for the Rapid Antigen tests (RATs). It is due to the increased frequency of getting tested for Covid-19 has increased with the Omicron wave. Businesses who are already registered on Small Business Fees, Charges Rebate will receive a $1000 top-up. The ones who register after the announcement will receive $3000 as a rebate. 

Dates to remember:

Rebate to be covered: Between 1 March 2021 to 30 June 2022

For more updates on Covid relief packages, keep coming back to this space!

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