COVID-19 (NSW): business support package released, February 2022

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Hold onto your seats for yet another round of support due to the impact of Covid to business.

The support package is more than $1 billion and consists of the following:

1. Small Business Support program (Cash targeted at those hit hardest by the Omicron wave) Businesses will be able to apply through Service NSW from Mid-February.

This is a support package for February.

a. Support to be Provided

Employing Entity

i. 20% of weekly payroll

ii. Minimum $750/week

iii. Maximum $5,000/week Non Employing Entity $500/week (Paid as lump sum of $2k)

b. Eligibility

Business must have:

i. Aggregated Annual Turnover of between $75k and $50m for the year ended 30 June 2021; and

ii. 40% decline in turnover due to Public Health orders or the impacts of Omicron Covid-19:

1. during the month of January 2022, compared to January 2021 or January 2020; and

2. from 1 – 14 February 2022, compared to the same fortnight in February in the comparison year used in 1. Above

It seems you need to be down 40% in both these periods, not just 1 of the periods. Government likely to confirm in coming days or weeks

iii. Maintain employee headcount from the date of the announcement of the scheme (we assume you can stand down employees or reduce hours as with Job Saver. Just don’t fire anyone. Government is likely to confirm whether this holds true or not in coming days or weeks)

2. Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebate

a. Support to be Provided

i. Rebate increased from current $2,000 limit to $3,000

ii. Can be used to offset the cost of RATs, pay for Government Fees and charges such as food authority/liquor/tradesperson licenses, event fees, outdoor seating fees, council rates, road user tolls for business use.

iii. Already registered businesses will receive an automatic top up of $1,000 and newly registered businesses will receive a rebate of $3,000

3. Extension of the Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant

a. The protections under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (the Regulation) for small retail and commercial tenants will be extended for an additional two months, until 13 March 2022.

b. Grants of up to $3,000 per month (GST inclusive), per property, are available for eligible landlords who have provided rental relief waivers to affected tenants. Rent relief waived must comprise at least half of any rental reduction provided.

c. Program is expanded in 2022 to landlords who claimed the 2021 land tax relief

i. The Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant was announced late last year and only in the past couple weeks, did the application become available. One of the criteria to be eligible was that you hadn’t claimed the land tax relief in the 2021 year.

Its not clear whether the expansion of the grants “to 2022 landlords who claimed the 2021 land tax relief”, refers to rent relief provided in 2021 till 13 January 2022. Certainly, the expansion of the grant will apply to you for post 13 January 2022 rent relief provided to tenants, if you were excluded from the grant for the period prior to 13 January 2022 (because you had claimed land tax relief for the 2021 year), (assuming you meet other criteria). Until this is made clearer, we would not claim the grant for prior periods if you had been excluded in the first place because you had claimed the land tax relief.

d. The Regulation prohibits certain actions by landlords (such as lock out or eviction) unless they have first renegotiated rent with eligible tenants and attempted mediation.

4. Additional funding for the preforming arts sector.

Performing Arts Package

a. This package provides financial support to relaunch the performing arts sector in line with the NSW Government roadmap to recovery, which has been extended to April 2022

b. To be eligible for funding, the applicant MUST be one of the following:

c. An eligible venue (list published by Create NSW)

d. A producer of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues

e. A promoter of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues

f. Eligible venues have been identified through sector-wide consultation, review of online marketing material of venues, and through assessment of tickets on sale through major ticket selling agencies

g. Eligible performances must be evidenced by marketing collateral (website, social media etc) and have ticket sales managed through one of the eligible ticketing systems (list published by Create NSW)

h. Funding is then provided to eligible performances staged between 19 September 2021 to 30 April 2022

i. The funding amount per performance will be calculated using a formula of average ticket price multiplied by the number of tickets available for sale (capped at 10,000) and a specified percentage (“Agreed Percentage”) as detailed below (up to a maximum of $12.5m).

Venue Type Type A Type B Type C Type D Type E
Support 19/9 - 31/10/2021 40% 35% 50% 50% 50%
Support 1/11 - 16/12/2021 20% 15% 25% 25% 25%
Support 17/12/2021 - 14/3/2022 40% 35% 50% 50% 50%
Support 15/3/2022 - 18/4/2022 20% 15% 25% 25% 25%

 

 5. Other assistance

a. The export assistance grant has been extended to 30 June 2022 – refer link below https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-export-assistance-grant

b. Payroll tax payment plan support for eligible businesses is available until 28 February 2022 https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/help-centre/online-services/payroll-tax-support-payment-arrangement

Important: Clients should not act solely on the basis of the material contained in this newsletter. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice per se. Also changes in legislation may occur quickly. We therefore recommend that our formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. Client Alert is issued as a helpful guide to clients and for their private information. Therefore it should be regarded as confidential and not be made available to any person without our prior approval.


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