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Additional financial support now available for businesses impacted by NSW lockdown
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Additional financial support now available for businesses impacted by NSW lockdown

The Federal and NSW governments have announced additional support for businesses impacted by the current Public Health Order in place in NSW.

The package, which will be jointly funded by the federal and NSW governments, provides further financial support to businesses that are impacted by the extension of the lockdown in Greater Sydney.  We summarise the support that is now available below.

COVID-19 Business Grant

Businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations may be eligible for a one-off grant, the amount of which will be based on the extent of their decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period during current lockdown, as follows:

Decline in turnover Maximum grant
30% or more $7,500
50% or more $10,500
70% or more $15,000

Eligibility

To be eligible for the COVID-19 Business Grant a business must:

  • be located in NSW;
  • have an active ABN;
  • have a national aggregated turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020;
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2- week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown compared to the same period in 2019;
  • have total Australian wages of no more than $10 million at 1 July 2020;
  • maintain employee headcount as of 13 July 2021 while receiving the payment; and
  • have business costs for which there is no other government support available.

JobSaver Payment

Eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with employees in NSW can apply for fortnightly payments equivalent to 40% of their weekly payroll for work performed in NSW, up to a maximum of $100,000 per week.

The relevant weekly payroll should generally be determined by referring to the most recent Business Activity Statement lodged with the ATO prior to 26 June for the 2020-21 financial year.

Payments will be backdated to 18 July 2021.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the JobSaver Payment a business must:

  • be located in NSW;
  • have an active ABN;
  • have a national aggregated turnover between $75,000 and $250 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020;
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2- week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown compared to the same period in 2019;
  • maintain employee headcount as of 13 July 2021 while receiving payments; and
  • have business costs for which there is no other government support available.

In some circumstances businesses will be required to provide Service NSW with a letter from a qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent confirming that the business has experienced the requisite decline in turnover for the relevant period.

Certain entities such as those earning passive income (rents, interest or dividends), banks, government agencies and universities are not eligible for either the COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment.

COVID-19 Micro-business Grant

Small businesses with an annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 may be eligible for a payment of $1,500 per fortnight to cover expenses for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown. To be eligible a business must have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the Public Health Order and have an active ABN as at 21 June 2021.

Payroll Tax

Revenue NSW is providing a 25% reduction of the 2021-22 payroll tax liability for businesses with grouped Australian wages of no more than $10 million, which have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more.

In addition, all businesses liable for payroll tax in NSW will have the option to defer their payment of the 2020-21 annual reconciliation, July and August monthly return periods until 7 October 2021.  Interest-free repayment plans for up to 12 months are also available.

Land tax relief

Landlords with commercial properties may be eligible for a refund of up to 100% of the 2021 land tax on a taxable parcel of land if they provide rent reductions to their tenants who are eligible for either the COVID-19 Micro-business Grant, the COVID-19 Business Grant or the JobSaver Payment.  The land tax reduction will be the lesser of :

  • the amount of the rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021; or
  • 100% of the 2021 land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to the tenant.

To be eligible, the rent reduction must be a waiver as opposed to a deferral.

Support for tenants

Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict eligible tenants in commercial and retail tenancies in NSW from 13 July 2021 to 20 August 2021 without first going to mediation. To be eligible tenants must have an annual turnover of $50 million or less and be eligible for either the COVID-19 Micro-business Grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or the JobSaver Payment.

What are the next steps?

Applications for any of the support measures discussed above can be made via the Service NSW website.

Pitcher Partners can assist our clients with their applications for support and, where required, can prepare the letter confirming that the business has experienced the requisite decline in turnover upon reviewing the relevant turnover information.

Clients seeking further information or assistance should contact their Pitcher Partners representative.

This content is general commentary only and does not constitute advice. Before making any decision or taking any action in relation to the content, you should consult your professional advisor. To the maximum extent permitted by law, neither Pitcher Partners or its affiliated entities, nor any of our employees will be liable for any loss, damage, liability or claim whatsoever suffered or incurred arising directly or indirectly out of the use or reliance on the material contained in this content. Pitcher Partners is an association of independent firms. Pitcher Partners is a member of the global network of Baker Tilly International Limited, the members of which are separate and independent legal entities. Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

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