COVID-19 fighting fund to support NSW through lockdown

Posted On July 14, 2021

The NSW Government has announced a comprehensive economic support package worth billions of dollars aimed at helping businesses and people right across the state fight through the current COVID-19 lockdown. 

The proposed Grants and payments will be available directly through Services NSW with 19 July being the first date that applications are open. For further information and more details on eligibility criteria and the application process please go to the Services NSW website.

The commitment will now be up to $5.1 billion, including more than $1 billion from the Commonwealth as part of a business and employee support program. 

This support package from the Federal and State Governments is a big boost for businesses dealing with the crippling impacts of lockdown in the Greater Sydney area, according to the state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW.

The business grants program announced two weeks ago has been expanded, with grants between $7500 and $15,000 available to eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million.

A new grant program has also been introduced for smaller micro businesses with turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

Thousands of employees will also be protected with NSW committing half of a new $2.1 billion business and employee support program to be delivered together with the Commonwealth.

Businesses will benefit from payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover.

The NSW Government will also cover the disaster recovery payments for areas outside the Commonwealth declared hotspots from week four of the NSW lockdown providing valuable support across the state.

Residential tenants will have greater protection with a targeted eviction moratorium.  Residential landlords who decrease rent for affected tenants can apply for a grant of up to $1,500 or land tax reductions depending on their circumstances. 
 
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. 

Commercial, retail and residential landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession where they reduce the rent of their tenant. 

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the NSW Government was offering support in as many areas as possible, with payroll tax cuts for eligible businesses, up to $75 million in support for the performing arts sector and $26 million for the accommodation industry.

Key components of the 2021 COVID-19 package include:

  • An extension to the previously announced business grants program. This means eligible businesses with Australian wages below $10 million can claim grants between $7,500 and $15,000 to cover the first three-weeks of restrictions;
  • Up to $2 billion committed to the scheme to provide cashflow support to businesses to help them retain staff, to be delivered together with the Commonwealth.
  • Payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans;
  • A new grants program for micro businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 which experience a decline in turnover of 30%. The businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions.
  • A capped grant of up to $1,500 for residential landlords who are not liable to pay land tax who reduce rent for tenants;
  • 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; 
  • Introduction of legislative amendments to ensure 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.
  • No recovery of security bonds, or lockouts or evictions of impacted retail and commercial tenants prior to mediation; 
  • Deferral of gaming tax assessments for clubs until 21 December 2021 and hotels until 21 January 2021;
  • 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;
  • $12 million in additional funding for temporary accommodation for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness, and
  • $5.1 million in NSW funding to support mental health.