The New South Wales and Western Australia state governments have now announced new grants for small businesses affected by snap COVID-19 lockdowns.
In NSW, the new $3,000 and $5,000 hardship grants will be available to small businesses in Sydney’s Northern Beaches that were affected by COVID-19 restrictions over Christmas last year.
WA small businesses will also now have access to a $500 offset on their electricity bill under a new $43 million package announced by the state government.
The $3,000 grant is for small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover due to the lockdown, while the $5,000 grant is for small businesses that have had at least a 50 per cent decline in turnover.
The NSW government said it designed the program to cover unavoidable costs for which no other government backing is available, including utilities, rent, financial or legal advice, and other activities to support the operation of a business.
In addition to the grants, the NSW government announced it will be implementing additional measures to support businesses in the Northern Beaches, including:
- Promotion for the Northern Beaches for local attractions and welcoming visitors to the community.
- Industry-specific information on public health restrictions to assist small businesses impacted by Public Health Orders to better understand their obligations.
- Improved access to existing support including mental health resources for small business owners on the SafeWork website, Business Connect, and the Small Business Commission’s mediation services team.
- The Dine & Discover program whereby a pilot of the program will be tested in the Northern Beaches.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the government was committed to supporting businesses while keeping people and communities safe.
“The Northern Beaches community and businesses did an outstanding job in helping control the spread of the virus at a critical time and, unfortunately, that had a material impact on many businesses,” Mr Perrottet said.
“After almost 12 months, we continue to battle the impacts of COVID, both in a health sense but also from an economic perspective and that is why we are providing targeted and temporary financial assistance to those impacted by the recent lockdown.”
The NSW Government’s Eligibility Criteria
Tier 1: $3,000 grant
Small businesses and not-for-profits that were subject to the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 (the Northern Beaches Public Health Order) will be eligible for a one-off $3,000 Northern Beaches Hardship Grant if they:
- Are a non-employing business or a business with fewer than 20 full-time equivalent staff (FTE).
- Have an Australian business number (ABN) registered in, or they can demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in the Northern Beaches Local Government Area (LGA).
- Experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to the Northern Beaches Public Health Order over a minimum two-week period from 19 December 2020 to 10 February 2021 compared to the same time last year.
- Have total Australian wages below the NSW government 2020–21 payroll tax threshold of $1,200,000 as at 1 July 2020.
- Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 as at 1 March 2020.
- Had unavoidable business costs during the Northern Beaches lockdown (e.g. rent), for which there is no other government support available.
Tier 2: $5,000 grant
Small businesses and not-for-profits that were subject to the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 (the Northern Beaches Public Health Order) will be eligible for a one-off $5,000 Northern Beaches Hardship Grant if they meet all the eligibility criteria for the $3,000 (tier 1) grant, except they must:
Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 50 per cent due to the Northern Beaches Public Health Order over a minimum two-week period from 19 December 2020 to 10 February 2021 compared to the same time last year.
The $500 electricity offset will be available to small businesses in the Perth, Peel and South West regions impacted by the five-day lockdown between 31 January and 5 February 2021.
The offset will be available for eligible Synergy and Horizon Power customers, with a process to be put in place for eligible small business owners whose electricity bills are paid by lessors.