Lockdown Support for NSW Businesses

Last updated 30/07/2021

Is your business adversely impacted by the recent lockdowns in NSW?

The Federal & NSW Governments have confirmed support measures that could protect your business and save jobs.

2021 Covid Business Grant of up to $15,000

The COVID-19 Business Grant provides up to $15,000 to eligible businesses (including not-for-profits and sole traders) with annual wages of up to $10 million.

The value of the grant is determined by the impact of the lockdown on turnover. The business will need to prove a decline in turnover across a minimum 2 week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021.

Eligibility
The 2021 COVID-19 business grant is available if the business:
• Has an active ABN; and
• Can demonstrate that the business was operating in NSW as of 1 June 2021; and
• Had total annual Australian wages of $10m or less as of 1 July 2020; and
• Had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50m (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
• Has unavoidable business costs from 1 June 2021 for which there is no other government support available; and
• Will maintain employee headcount as of 13 July 2021 – the number of people employed in NSW including full time, part-time and long-term 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 period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in 2019. The application will ask for the lowest fortnightly turnover in this period.
• 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.

Some businesses are ineligible for the grant. These include businesses predominantly earning passive income (rent, interest, or dividends), businesses owned by sovereign entities (foreign Governments), businesses in liquidation or bankruptcy proceedings, businesses that did not have an ABN as of 1 June, government agencies, local governments, banks, and universities.

The application process and evidence
Applications are made online through Service NSW and close at 11:59 pm on 13 September 2021. More information on evidence needed to apply and commonly asked questions are also found
here.

Jobsaver: Cashflow Support of up to $100,000

JobSaver is a weekly payment between a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $100,000 based on 40% of the NSW payroll payments of the business (including not-for-profits).

Eligible businesses without employees that meet the eligibility criteria (such as sole traders with no employees), will be able to access payment of $1,000 per week.

The cash flow support will cease when lockdown restrictions are eased or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed. Funding is also limited to specific costs incurred from 18 July 2021 including salaries and wages, utilities and rent, financial advice, perishable goods, etc.

Payments will be made in arrears with the first payment backdated to 18 July.

Eligibility
• Have an active ABN; and
• Can demonstrate that their business was operating in NSW as of 1 June 2021; and
• Had an aggregated turnover between $75,000 and $250 million for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
• Maintain employee headcount as of 13 July 2021 – the number of people employed in NSW including full time, part-time and long-term 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 period from the start of the Greater Sydney Lockdown (from 26 June 2021), compared to the same period in 2019. The application will ask their lowest fortnightly turnover in this period.

Some businesses are ineligible for JobSaver. These include businesses predominantly earning passive income (rent, interest, or dividends), businesses owned by sovereign entities (foreign Governments), businesses in liquidation or bankruptcy proceedings, businesses that did not have an ABN as of 1 June or backdated their ABN, government agencies, local governments, banks, and universities.

The application process and evidence
More information and Applications can be made online through Service NSW and close at 11:59 pm on 18 October 2021.

If the business has successfully applied for the COVID-19 business grant, they will be automatically eligible for JobSaver but will need to provide additional information on payroll and headcount.

$1,500 Micro-Business Grants

A new grant for micro-businesses (including sole traders) providing $1,500 per fortnight while lockdown restrictions apply will be available from week one of the lockdown until restrictions are eased.

Grants are for costs incurred from 1 June 2021 including salaries and wages, utilities and rent, financial and legal costs, perishable goods, etc.

Eligibility
• Have an active ABN registered in NSW or can demonstrate the business was operating in NSW as of 1 June 2021; and
• Have had an aggregated annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
• Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% over a minimum 2-week period from the start of the Greater Sydney Lockdown (from 26 June 2021), compared to the same period in 2019; and
• Have business costs for which there is no other government support available; and
• Have not applied for either the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver; and
• Have less than 20 full-time equivalent employees at 1 June 2021; and
• If they are an employer, maintain their headcount as of 13 July 2021; and
• If they do not have employees, such as a sole trader, the business making the application is the primary source of income.

Businesses that received the $1,500 small business fees and charges rebate can apply for this grant.

If the business does not have any employees, they cannot access the grant if persons associated with the business, and who derive income from it, have applied for, or are receiving, the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Ineligible businesses include those predominantly earning passive income (rent, interest, or dividends), or businesses in liquidation or individuals in bankruptcy proceedings.

The application process and evidence
Applications are made online through Service NSW and close at 11:59 pm on 18 October 2021. More information on evidence to provide is also available through the link.

Payroll Tax Relief

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. 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.

Rent Protection and Grants

Commercial and retail rent protections are in place.

Eviction moratorium
A short-term eviction moratorium is in place for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers the loss of income of 25% or more 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 is available for up to 100% of the 2021 land tax liability.

See Residential Tenancies Moratorium Application for rent negotiation

Specific Sector-Based Support

Arts community
Applications have opened for the NSW Performing Arts COVID support package covering performances impacted by NSW Government Public Health Orders from 26 June 2021.

The funding amount per performance is calculated using a formula of average ticket price multiplied by the number of tickets available for sale and a specified percentage tied to the lockdown period.

To be eligible for funding, the client must be one of the following:
• An eligible venue
• A producer of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues
• A promoter of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues.
See the full details and the list of eligible venues and performances here.
Applications are made online through SmartyGrants.

Accommodation sector
Businesses in the accommodation have been advised to apply first for the COVID-19 Business Grant.

The support package announced is 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, the client will need to be able to show evidence of cancellations for lost room nights between 25 June and 11 July 2021.
No further details are available on this package at present.

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.


If you are unsure how these economic updates will affect you personally, Roberts & Morrow’s experienced team is available to help – call our office today or email enquiries@rm.net.au.

**The material and contents provided in this publication are informative in nature only. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.

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