Update: Covid Stimulus

Update: Covid Stimulus

In the last couple of days, the NSW and federal governments have announced extended levels of financial support to be offered to NSW businesses and individuals while experiencing the continuation of the lockdown due to COVID-19.

Financial support for businesses

SME Support Payments
For any small to medium entity, to be eligible for this payment, the following must apply:

  • They must have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% when compared to an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
  • Their annual turnover is between $75,000 and $50 million.
  • All full-time, part-time and long-term casual staff must be maintained as of 13 July 2021.

We expect there will be alternative decline in turnover tests for new businesses or businesses with other reasons for irregular turnover, however as of this morning we have contacted Service NSW and they have been unable to provide additional details at this stage.

The payment will be equivalent to 40% of the business’ NSW payroll payments, at a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $10,000 per week.  Where a business has no employees, the payment will be $1,000 per week.

Payments are expected to become available from 26 July 2021 through the Service NSW website, and will cover the week of Sunday 18 July onwards, ceasing once lockdown ends.

NSW Small Business Grants
Previously announced grants have been increased to payments of between $7,500 and $15,000 for eligible businesses, and additional businesses may now qualify so long as their Australian wages do not exceed $10 million dollars.  It has also been announced that these payments will be tax exempt payments.

To calculate any decline in turnover, businesses must compare their turnover across a minimum two-week period after lock down commenced on 26 June 2021, with an equivalent period in June/July of 2019.  Again, we expect there will be alternative tests for newer businesses, but this has not yet been confirmed.

For other qualification requirements, refer to our previous 2 July 2021 email here. Applications at this stage are still not available, but will also be expected to be available the Service NSW website from 19 July 2021.

Micro Business Grant
A new grant of up to $1,500 per fortnight has been announced for businesses turning over between $30,000 and $75,000 and can demonstrate a decline in turnover of at least 30%.

Like the SME Support Payments, it is expected applications will become available from 26 July 2021.

Payroll Tax Relief
NSW payroll tax payments due for the 2021 annual return as well as for July and August 2021 wages may be deferred until 7 October 2021.  Interest free payment arrangements will also be possible in some circumstances.

There will also be payroll tax relief available to some businesses with annual payrolls of $1.2 million to $10 million.  These businesses must also be able to show a decline in turnover of 30% and be receiving one of the business support grants.  If eligible, businesses will receive a 25% discount of their annual payroll tax liability.

Financial support for individuals

COVID Disaster Payment
From week four of the lockdown, individuals will be able to claim $600 per week where they have lost more than 20 hours of work, and $375 where they have lost between 8 and 20 hours.  The government has also removed the $10,000 liquid assets test, however other eligibility criteria still apply, and were outlined in our previous email.

The payments will also continue to be made without individuals having to reapply weekly.

Landlords and Tenants
Residential tenants will be prevented from being evicted for 60 days if they have lost 25% or more of their income.

Landlords of both commercial and residential properties will also be eligible for land tax relief where they reduce rents for their tenants who are under financial stress.  There will also be grants of up to $1,500 available in some instances where landlords are not liable for land tax.

Additional announcements are to be made clarifying the details of both measures.