EXPLAINER

Economic support packages available for businesses impacted by COVID

With ongoing economic woes and border restrictions having well and truly impacted local businesses across the Bega Valley, we've compiled a list of support packages that may assist affected businesses and groups locally.

2021 COVID-19 business grant

Business grants at three levels based on a decline in turnover for any two-week period compared to 2019.

The three levels are:

  • $7500 30% decline
  • $10,500 50% decline
  • $15,000 70% decline

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations on the NSW border with Victoria impacted by the stay-at-home orders that began on May 27, 2021 may use a different comparison period to demonstrate a decline in turnover. For each of the three grant amounts, these businesses must demonstrate a decline in turnover over a minimum two-week period from May 27, 2021 to July 17, 2021.

Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate

Up to $1500 available to sole traders, small businesses or not-for-profits.

Funds can be used to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges due and paid from March 1, 2021. These include, but are not limited to:

  • food authority licences
  • liquor licences
  • tradesperson licences
  • event fees
  • outdoor seating fees
  • council rates
  • water charges.

2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant

Up to $1500 per fortnight for small businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations with aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions.

Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health orders over a minimum two-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced June 26, 2021 and due to end July 30, 2021), compared to the same period in 2019.

Tourism Accommodation Support Grants

Two tiers of grants based on the number of room nights cancelled during the school holidays (between June 25 and July 11 inclusive).

  • Tier 1: For accommodation premises that have had a cancellation of 10 room nights or less, there is a grant of $2,000
  • Tier 2: For accommodation premises that have had a cancellation of 11 room nights or more, there is a grant of $5,000

JobSaver Program

Fortnightly payments to help maintain employee headcount (as at July 13) and provide cashflow support to businesses.

Eligible businesses must:

  • 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 (commenced 26 June) compared to the same period in 2019;
  • maintain headcount at 13/7/21 while receiving payments

Highly Impacted Businesses

Some industries outside greater Sydney are classified as 'Highly Impacted'.

This classification makes it easier for businesses to submit applications. For instance, businesses in industries classified as Highly Impacted applying for business support grants on tiers 1 and 2, can do so by declaration rather than providing documents.

Businesses outside greater Sydney classified as Highly Impacted include:

  • Accommodation
  • Catering Services
  • Amusement Parks and Centres Operation
  • Travel Agency and Tour Arrangement Services
  • Motion Picture Exhibition
  • Professional Photographic Service
  • Museum Operation
  • Performing Arts Operation

Businesses in industries not classified as highly impacted can still apply and receive 2021 business support grants but need to submit additional detail with their applications.

An extensive list of what defines "highly impacted" is available at the following link:

Fee Waivers & Tax Assistance

A number of fees and tax obligations have been waived or altered in NSW, including but not limited to:

  • Payroll tax deferrals
  • Payroll tax concessions
  • An increased instant asset write-off
  • Cash flow boosts
  • Backing business incentives
  • ASIC COVID-19 relief

For a detailed list of assistance and eligibility please click below.

Funding options welcomed, but more could be done

Member for Eden-Monaro, Kristy McBain MP said she welcomes the above funding, but knows that people will continue to fall through the cracks and more needs to be done.

"Since being elected I have argued for greater support for our region. If you require assistance to apply for any of this support, please do not hesitate to contact me or call my Bega office on 6492 0542," Ms McBain said.

Scott Kennedy, president of the Merimbula-Eden Liberals, said in representations to the NSW government, the Merimbula-Eden Liberals have lobbied for the inclusion of provisions applying to tourism-related businesses that are relatively new (those not operating in the comparative period in 2019), to help them qualify.

"Specifically, we've submitted that an assumed level of turnover decline should apply for tourism-related businesses that were not operating during this time in 2019, when applying for business support grants determined by revenue decline," Mr Kennedy said.

"An assumed 30% decline would enable relevant tourism-related businesses to received the tier one 2021 COVID-19 business grant.

"We have also asked that retail business in tourist areas, such as Eden and Merimbula, which have a clear nexus with visitation, be classified as 'Highly Impacted', making it easier to apply," Mr Kennedy said.

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