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Community & Business

1 August, 2021

COVID-19 boost for business

A state-wide boost for businesses is coming for those dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown in the greater Sydney area.

By Emily Middleton

The support package from the federal and state governments is an extension of the existing NSW Business Grants package for a third lockdown week and includes cash boosts for businesses who can prove at least a 30 per cent loss in revenue.

“The western NSW community is not in lockdown, but the impact to our business community has been strongly felt through cancellations, reduced capacities, income loss and a lack of forward bookings,” said Business NSW regional manager for western NSW, Vicki Seccombe.

“We have been surveying our members throughout western NSW, and initial high-level results suggests business revenue is down by at least 40 per cent in certain sectors. Tourism-related and hospitality sectors continue to be the most affected industries from the lockdowns and restrictions across our region.”

Gilgandra region business owners have felt the wave of impact brought on by the Sydney lockdown.

“We’re still getting the odd travellers through, but we’re definitely not getting the grey nomads as much from Victoria heading up to Queensland, and even people who would normally be coming out from Sydney. The highway is very quiet,” said Debbie Welsh from the Next Grind café.

“Because it was school holidays last fortnight, people were still moving about, whereas this week, it’s like people have stopped moving. I’m thinking if we are popping along like we are today, I would be looking at taking up that.”

“We are still getting local support, and I think travellers are just trying to get to their destinations without popping in, having to have a mask etc,” said Ms Welsh.

The case for Gilgandra Caravan Park is quite similar.

“Where we are, it gets a little bit of a rush, but it’s certainly dropped off after the school holidays. Any side of the COVID-19 news we get busy for a couple days. But then for instance today, we have had one person in. The way that it works for us because of where we are, we have a rush of people just trying to get home after the news. There always is, every single time,” said Peter Mellor from Gilgandra Caravan Park.

Mr Mellor’s main concern is not being eligible for the payments.

“They say there’s benefits or handouts for people struggling in a time frame, but we do well or we do normal, and then it drops of really quickly afterwards and it no longer is in the time frame. If we can do the dates from now moving forward, we would definitely use the grant, we can use as much help as we can get.”

The Prime Minister and Premier have formally announced the package which includes:

  • The extension of the existing NSW Business Grants package for a third lockdown week,
  • A cash boost for businesses across NSW with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million which can demonstrate a 30 per cent reduction in this turnover during lockdown. The cash boost will be 40 per cent of weekly payroll with a payment amount between $1500 to a maximum of $10,000 per week from week four onwards, provided staffing levels are maintained,
  • Micro businesses with turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 which can demonstrate a 30 per cent reduction in turnover where the business is the primary source of income are eligible for $1500 fortnightly grants.
  • A payroll tax deferral this quarter for all businesses, and a waiver for this quarter if you can demonstrate a 30 per cent reduction in turnover and you have a payroll of between $1.2 and $10 million,
  • Increase in the payment amount for stood down workers from $500 to $600 per week for those who lost more than 20 hours, and to $375 for those who lost between eight and 20 hours, and for it to be available to workers outside of Sydney lockdown areas,
  • Several provisions around residential, commercial, and retail leases, including no lockouts and forced evictions, and those landlords who provide rent relief will be given land tax reduction incentives.

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