The Morrison and Berejiklian Governments announced yesterday a combined economic support package worth up to $5.1 billion aimed at saving jobs and protecting businesses through the current COVID-19 lockdown.
The key components of the 2021 COVID-19 package are outlined below.
Expanded Business Grants
Eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million can apply for a grant of up to $15,000 from 19 July 2021 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions. The grant can be used for business expenses such as rent, utilities and wages, for which no other government support is available.
Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions:
- $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
Smaller micro businesses with turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 which experience a decline in turnover of 30% will be eligible to apply for a grant of up to $1,500 per fortnight from late July 2021.
New Business Support Payments
A new business support payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover compared with an equivalent two-week period in July 2019.
To receive the payment, eligible entities will be required to maintain their full time, part time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021.
Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
The payments will be administered by Service NSW, with registrations of interest to open today, 14 July.
NSW small business grants, including the new small business payments, will be tax exempt.
Payroll Tax Waivers
Businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover will receive a 25% payroll tax waiver, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans.
We note that the business support measures outlined above are not limited to businesses located in Commonwealth-declared hotspots in NSW and are available based on decline in turnover.
Full eligibility criteria for the business support measures are currently being developed and we will provide updates as information becomes available.
Protection for Tenants
There will be a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meets a range of criteria.
Commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond or locking out or evicting a tenant impacted by the Public Health Order.
Land Tax Relief
Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100% of the 2021 land tax year liability, will be available.
A capped grant of up to $1,500 will be available for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants.
Other Tax Relief
There will be a deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2021.
Administrative relief will be provided to NSW taxpayers facing hardship, including reduced payment plans, no interest charged on late payments and varying instalments on request.
Disaster Payment for Individuals
From 18 July, the COVID-19 Disaster Payment will increase to $600 each week (from $500) if a person has lost 20 or more hours of work a week; or $325 to $375 each week if a person has lost between 8 and less than 20 hours of work.
The payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth-declared hotspots in NSW that meet the criteria for the payment.
The payment will be a recurring payment for approved recipients for as long as the Commonwealth-declared hotspot and lockdown restrictions remain in place. This will remove the need for recipients to re-claim for each seven-day period of a lockdown.
Other support measures include:
- a $17.35 million mental health support package for NSW.
- a $75 million support package for the performing arts sector to be administered by Create NSW;
- a support package for the accommodation sector worth $26 million; and
- $12 million in additional funding for temporary accommodation for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
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