The NSW Government has announced a series of grant packages and changes to the Dine & Discover program to aid small businesses and people across NSW impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions.
The support will be available to businesses across the state, not just in the Greater Sydney lockdown area.
NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet says he believes the package will give businesses the confidence to come through the crisis.
“Our message today to every business and person is we have your back. Our economy is larger than it was before the pandemic began. There is no doubt how difficult the past 18 months have been but we will get through the next two weeks,” he said.
Perrottet said the support focuses on keeping business in business and people in jobs.
“Our support package covers the entire state. We know that many businesses and individuals are going through a difficult time, particularly during a school holiday season.”
The fine print
The package includes grants of between $5,000 and $10,000 for small businesses, payroll tax deferrals for all employers, an extension of the Dine & Discover program to 31 August and the ability for people to use Dine & Discover vouchers for takeaway delivered directly to their home by the venue itself.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the centrepiece of the package was the small business support grants which will help businesses by alleviating cashflow constraints while trading is restricted. This can be used for business expenses such as rent, utilities and wages, for which no other government support is available.
“We always said we will do whatever it takes to support businesses and keep people in jobs during the pandemic and that is exactly what we are doing,” she said.
“The current restrictions are in place to protect people and keep the community safe, unfortunately, businesses continue to incur costs such as rent, power and lost produce, and this will go some way to lessening that financial pain.”
But they come with a catch: to qualify a business must have an annual turnover of more than $75,000, less than 20 employees, and have a wages bill under the payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million.
What support is available?
Grants will be dependent upon the turnover decline businesses experienced during the restrictions. If you have had a 70% decline you are eligible for $10,000.
A 50% decline will receive $7,000 and $5,000 for a 30% decline.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the new grants would also support businesses in regional communities who had been relying on school holiday trade.
“This latest outbreak has coincided with school holidays when a lot of regional areas were counting on more visitors to help boost local economies,” he said.
“These grants will help many get through the winter, and just like after the bushfires, the floods and the first wave of COVID-19, the regions will lead NSW out the other side.”
Sole trader support
The treasurer confirmed the small business grants would be available for sole traders and non-for-profit organisations, with expanded criteria to assist most hospitality and tourism operators hit hard by the restrictions during school holidays.
“New South Wales Government will be providing individual payments to small businesses with up to 20 full-time employees or having payrolls up to $1.2 million with turnover of $75,000 a year and that includes sole traders,” Perrottet said.
“This payment will be available to tourism, hospitality and the accommodation sector with payrolls of up to $10 million who we know have been significantly disrupted during this period of time.”
Businesses will be able to apply for the grants through Service NSW from later in 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.