Government support during lockdown – 2021

What follows are the just-announced stimulus measures from the NSW Government as well as a few others that have been around for a little bit that you might not be aware of. This support is now statewide and will, importantly, ensure regional NSW is looked after as well.

CASH BOOSTER (BUSINESS)

This is a fortnightly payment for NSW businesses that have experienced a 30% or more reduction in turnover as a result of the current lockdown. How this reduction in turnover will be calculated hasn’t been announced, but I’m guessing it’ll be similar to the method described below for the COVID-19 support grant for small business.

This payment is available to businesses that turnover more than $75,000 and less than $50 million. The payment will be equal to 40% of your payroll expense with a minimum weekly payment of $1,500 to a maximum of $10,000. One of the key requirements is that you cannot reduce your headcount compared to what you have on the books today.

Expressions of interest open on Wednesday 14th July via Services NSW with money to flow shortly thereafter.

MICRO-BUSINESS PAYMENTS

If you have a micro-business which is defined as one turning over more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 and can demonstrate a turnover reduction of 30% or more then you might be eligible for a $1,500 a fortnight payment.

Expressions of interest open on Wednesday 14th July via Services NSW with money to flow shortly thereafter.

COVID-19 DISASTER PAYMENT (INDIVIDUALS)

This is currently available through Services Australia as a single lump sum payment made to individuals who have been affected by a lockdown (e.g. lost income, can’t go to work) and is available after day 7 of any lockdown event. Payments are $325 or $500 depending on how much work you’ve lost.

Now this is looking to change with the amount being paid increasing to $375 for anyone who has lost 8-20 hours of work a week or $600 for anyone who has lost 20+ hours per week and rather than being a one-off payment it will now be paid weekly for as long as the lockdown continues.

There are requirements you’ll need to meet to get this payment, but note the ‘liquid assets’ test has been removed. Check the link above at Services Australia for details.

You’ll be able to register with Services Australia from Friday 16th July.

NSW PAYROLL TAX EXEMPTION

Looks like there will be across the board payroll tax deferrals for the next three months and for any business that has had a significant fall in revenue they will have their payroll tax liabilities for the September 2021 quarter waived completely.

More information is available via Revenue NSW website.

COVID-19 SUPPORT GRANT (SMALL BUSINESS)

This grant is aimed at supporting businesses that have experienced a downturn in revenue as a direct result of the June/July 2021 lockdowns in NSW.

Three different grant amounts will be available for small businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restriction:
• $15,000 for a 70 per cent decline,
• $7,500 for a 50 per cent decline and
• $5,000 for a 30 per cent decline


The grants will be divided into two streams:

  1. Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant. Available to businesses and sole traders with a turnover of more than $75,000 per annum but below the NSW Government 2020-21 payroll tax threshold of $1,200,000 as at 1 July 2020. These businesses must have fewer than 20 full time equivalent employees and an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in New South Wales or be able to demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in New South Wales.
  2. Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Support Grant. Available to tourism or hospitality businesses that have a turnover of more than $75,000 and an annual Australian wages bill of below $10 million, as at 1 July 2020. These business must have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in New South Wales or be able to demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in New South Wales.

Businesses will be able to apply for the grants through Service NSW from 19 July and will need to show a decline in turnover across a minimum two-week period after the commencement of major restrictions on June 26.

PANDEMIC LEAVE DISASTER PAYMENT

If you’ve been told to self-isolate or quarantine by NSW Health because you’ve got COVID-19 or have been exposed in some way and have lost income as a direct result of this then you could be eligible for a $1,500 (per fortnight) payment. Visit the Services Australia website for more information.

SMALL BUSINESS FEES AND CHARGES REBATE

If your payroll bill is under $1.2 million then you may be eligible for up to $1,500 in rebates on state government fees and charges. Maybe get your rego refunded? This is also available to businesses without any payroll (i.e. sole traders with no employees).

The full list of relevant fees and charges can be found here and you can apply via Service NSW.

MUSICKEEPER and CREWKEEPER

Earlier this year the Australian Government provided further funding to the good folk over at Support Act to enable them to broaden their support of the Australian music industry and this includes two support payments.

We note these payments have been around since late March, but it was just brought to my attention that plenty of industry people weren’t aware of them so we thought we should spread the word.

These two new grants offer cash payments to music industry workers suffering financially as a result of the COVID restrictions in place across the country. The payments are designed to step in and help after the Jobkeeper and Jobseeker taps were turned offer earlier this year.The grants are $2,000 for individuals and $2,700 for families with dependent kids.

Eligibility:

  1. Be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid working visa,
  2. Prove you’ve been working in the Australian music industry for at least three years,
  3. Provide names of two professional (industry) references, and
  4. Have household expenses exceeding your household income.
    Even if you’ve already received money from Support Act you can still apply for this grant, but you’ll need to wait until six months have passed since you last received anything.

You can apply using the form here.

AND MORE …

• No evictions for small businesses or residential tenants for 60 days;

• 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 ie – those landlords who give rent reductions will get a credit against their land tax obligations. You’ll need to check in with Revenue NSW for more information;

• A support package for the accommodation sector worth $26 million;

If any of these measures require a letter from your accountant to vouch for a reduction in turnover please get in touch with what you need and we’ll do what we can to help.