The state governments of New South Wales (NSW), South Australia (SA) and Victoria (VIC) have introduced new measures and/or extended existing measures to help the businesses in their respective states survive the disruption caused by the Omicron wave. Eligible small businesses in NSW may be able to receive 20% of their weekly payroll as a lump sum, and certain grants and rebates have been extended. SA announced additional grants for tourism, hospitality, gyms and other businesses experiencing hardship, while VIC has extended the commercial tenancy relief scheme.
Read on to learn more about how these new measures and extended existing measures can help businesses to survive the latest COVID hurdle.
The NSW government has introduced a new small business support program that will see employing eligible businesses receive 20% of their weekly payroll as a lump sum for the month of February 2022 only (minimum payment will be $750 per week and the maximum payment will be $5,000 per week). Non-employing businesses will be eligible to receive a payment of $500 per week, paid as a lump sum of $2,000.
Eligible businesses must have a turnover between $75,000 and $50m, and will have experienced a minimum of a 40% decline in turnover in January 2022 and the first fortnight of February 2022.
The existing small business fees and charges rebate will be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 in late March 2022. The rebate can be used to pay for the cost of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) and also various licences, outdoor seating fees, council rates and road user tolls for business use, etc. Businesses that apply for the rebate will have to upload each claim separately and provide proof such as an invoice or receipt indicating that the charge has been paid.
Grants of up to $3,000 per month for eligible commercial landlords that provide rental waivers to affected tenants have been extended until 13 March 2022. The support package targeting the performing arts sector also received an extension to 30 April 2022. Other NSW government support initiatives include export assistance, vouchers to support tech start-ups, and payroll tax support.
In addition to the support package announced by the government in December 2021, further support for tourism, hospitality, gyms and other businesses experiencing hardship will be available mid-February 2022. For tourism, hospitality and gym businesses, an additional grant of up to $22,000 will be available to those that experience a 30% decline in turnover for the period between 10 January 2022 and 30 January 2022 (compared to an equivalent reference period).
Any South Australian businesses experiencing a 50% decline in turnover between 10 January 2022 and 30 January 2022 when compared to an equivalent reference period may be eligible for an additional grant of up to $8,000.
So far, the Victorian government has only extended the commercial tenancy relief scheme for small and family businesses to 15 March 2022. It is available to eligible commercial tenants with an annual turnover of $10m or less who have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to COVID-19 (comparing January 2022 to January 2020). If you’re unsure whether your business is eligible, your tax accountant in Melbourne will be able to advise you.
Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief to their commercial tenants in line with the reduction in turnover (e.g. a business with a turnover of 40% of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40% of its rent). Of the balance, at least half the rent must be waived, with the remainder to be deferred. A freeze on rent increases will also continue.
If your business needs help to get through this latest period, Alexander Bright can help you get all the financial support available to your business. Contact us today to learn more and benefit from our business accounting services in Melbourne.
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