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Further Government Support for Aussie Businesses and Workers Impacted by COVID-19

In the wake of yet another lockdown, Federal and State Government have announced support for businesses and workers in Victoria and New South Wales.
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As we spend another July indoors here in Victoria, recent announcements of state and federal funding have helped to provide a glimmer of hope for struggling businesses and workers who have been affected by the current lockdown. 

Our New South Wales neighbours who have also been impacted by the pandemic and the Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions have been offered further financial support in the way of JobSaver, the COVID-19 Business Grant, and the Micro Business Grant.  

If you’re not sure what government support is available to you and whether you’re eligible, read on.

Government Support for Victoria 

Income Support Payments

Workers affected by the public health restrictions are now eligible for the same payments afforded by the Commonwealth to New South Wales workers:

  • Payments of $600 will be made to those from NSW and Victoria that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown
  • Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between 8-20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown

There is no liquid assets test applied in order to receive these payments. 

New Cash Grants for Victorian Businesses 

The Victorian Government will provide new cash grants for businesses affected by the Victorian lockdown. Up to 90,000 businesses that have and will receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments. 

With total funding of $201.8 million available, automatic payments will be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays, with payments due to commence over the course of the next week. 

Eligible businesses include: 

  • Restaurants 
  • Cafes
  • Bars
  • Tourism and accommodation providers 
  • Non-essential retailers 
  • Event suppliers 

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two – July 2021 Top-Up Payment

If you received a grant under the Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two, you will now receive an additional payment of $2000, as announced by the Victorian Government on Friday 16 July 2021. This July 2021 Top-Up Payment will be paid into your previously nominated bank account as soon as possible.

Depending on your bank, the funds may take up to five business days to reach your account. These payments are categorised as a non taxable supply, meaning that GST is not applicable. 

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund – July 2021 Top-Up Payment

If you received a grant under the Victorian Government’s Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund (relating to the May-June lockdown), you will now receive an additional payment of $3000, as announced by the Victorian Government on Friday 16 July 2021. This July 2021 Top-Up Payment will be paid into your previously nominated bank account as soon as possible.

Depending on your bank, the funds may take up to five business days to reach your account. These payments are categorised as a non taxable supply, meaning that GST is not applicable. 

For those who believe they may be eligible but didn't apply for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two or the Licensed Hospitality Fund 2021, further information will be available in the coming days.

Government Support for NSW 

COVID-19 Business Grant 

Eligible businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions may be able to apply for a grant of up to $15,000. The 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant provides cash flow support for businesses that experienced reduced demand or had to close due to the public health orders. 

Eligible applicants across NSW can use the grant for business costs incurred from 1 June 2021, including:

  • Utilities, wages and rent 
  • Financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning 
  • Marketing and communications activities to develop the business 
  • The cost of perishable goods that can no longer be used 
  • Other activities to support the operation of the business 

Available Funding 

Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019:

  1. $7500 for a decline of 30% or more 
  2. $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
  3. $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more 

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations on the NSW border with Victoria that have been impacted by the stay-at-home orders (that began on 27 May 2021) may use a different comparison period to demonstrate a decline in turnover. For each of the 3 grant amounts, these businesses must demonstrate a decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 27 May 2021 to 26 July 2021.

Applications are now open and will close on 13 September 2021 at 11:59pm. 

JobSaver

JobSaver is a support program funded jointly by the NSW and Commonwealth Governments to maintain employment of staff for small and medium businesses impacted by the current health restrictions. JobSaver will provide eligible businesses with fortnightly payments to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July 2021) and provide cashflow support to businesses. 

Available Funding 

Employing Businesses - 40% of weekly payroll, with a minimum payment of $1500 per week and a maximum payment of $10,000 per week

Non-employing Businesses - $1000 per week

To be eligible for JobSaver, businesses must experience a revenue decline of 30% or more, and have a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million. 

Applications open late July. 

Micro Business Grant

If you’re a micro business (defined as a small business or a sole trader with an annual turnover of less than $75,000 and more than $30,000) and have been impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for a $1500 payment per fortnight of restrictions – from late July 2021. 

To be eligible for a Micro Business Grant, micro business must experience a revenue decline of 30% or more, and have a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000. 

Applications open late July. 

Businesses Operating in NSW but Registered in Another State 

The good news for businesses operating in NSW that may be registered in another state is that they are still eligible for the grant in NSW, provided that all other criteria have been met. Businesses will need to contact Service NSW at 13 77 88 as the business is operating within NSW with an ABN registered elsewhere. 

If you can provide evidence that the business was operating in New South Wales as at 1 June 2021, you will be able to apply. Evidence to demonstrate operation includes commercial rates notices or lease agreements. Where a rates notice or lease agreement is not available, Service NSW may accept a combination of the following: 

  • Utility bills 
  • Insurance papers 
  • Supply invoices 
  • Registration papers 
  • Contractor licences

How to Ensure Your Business is Ready for the JobSaver or Micro Business Grant 

To avoid delays in completing your application for the JobSaver or Micro Business Grant in late July, it is important that you: 

  • Ensure your personal, contact and business details are relevant and up-to-date in your MyServiceNSW account and your business profile 
  • Ensure that your business and contact details are up-to-date with the Australian Business Register (ABR) 
  • Create a MyServiceNSW account and business profile if you don’t already have one. 

For further clarification on any of the grants available within Victoria or NSW, and to confirm your eligibility, we recommend getting in touch with our Melbourne-Based accountants for a free consultation. 


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