NSW budget: Here are 10 key measures for small businesses

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Source: AAP/Mick Tsikas.

New South Wales Treasurer Dominic Perrottet delivered his fifth budget on Tuesday, announcing a range of recent and new measures for small and medium businesses in the state.

From a new payment terms policy that will see small suppliers paid faster to continuing payroll tax relief, the budget includes a raft of initiatives aimed at supporting the state’s 800,000 small businesses that employ 1.6 million people.

Here are the key measures for businesses.

Continuing payroll tax cuts

The payroll tax rate will remain at 4.85% for another year, and the payroll tax free threshold will stay at $1.2 million. 

Shorter payment times for small business suppliers

The Small Business Shorter Payment Terms Policy will require large businesses that contract to supply goods or services to NSW government agencies to pay their small business subcontractors within 20 business days.

The policy, which starts from July 1, will apply to goods and services contracts valued at more than $7.5 million.

Boost for small and regional business procurement

Along with faster payment times, the NSW budget includes an updated policy designed to increase the number of small and regional businesses state government agencies procure from.

The refreshed Small and Medium Enterprise and Regional Procurement Policy will increase the current exemption of $50,000 for small businesses to $150,000 for SMEs and regional business.

Additionally, agencies will first have to consider SMEs for procurements up to $3 million, and require suppliers that tender for contracts larger than $3 million to submit a binding SME and local participation plan.

$1500 fees and charges rebates

The fees and charges rebate scheme that was established in April to help small businesses cover the cost of both NSW and local government fees and charges will continue.

Small businesses with a total wages bill below the 2020-21 $1.2 million payroll tax threshold are eligible to apply for a $1500 rebate on NSW state and local government fees.

Dine & Discover voucher extension

The NSW government has extended the existing Dine & Discover program until the end of July.

The one month extension is an attempt to encourage more residents to use their vouchers, after the NSW government revealed only about 40% of vouchers had been redeemed as part of the $500 million program.

New CBD Friday vouchers

The NSW budget includes a new $50 million CBD Friday voucher program that will offer residents four $25 vouchers to use in participating hospitality and entertainment venues. The Thank God It’s Friday voucher scheme is set to kick off in summer. 

Accommodation vouchers

City hotels will benefit from a $20 million voucher program, with $100 on offer to NSW residents to use on a Sydney holiday in the CBD over winter.

Commercial refrigerator rebates

Commercial refrigerator rebates will continue for small businesses that buy or lease commercial fridges and freezers.

Businesses can receive up to $1,490 per fridge, and each business can claim up to five rebates under the program.

Events sector

The government will try to entice major arts and tourism events to NSW with a $200 million investment over four years.

The investment includes a $15 million plan to transform the Cahill Expressway into a modern nightlife area inspired by the Manhattan High Line. Traffic will be blocked between December 31 and January 6 and the street will hold a series of events celebrating New Year’s Eve and the opening of next year’s Sydney Festival.

Funding for the NSW Small Business Commission

The NSW Small Business Commission will receive $13 million to continue assisting the state’s small businesses. The funding will be spent on more customer service and mediation staff to support the low-cost resolution of commercial tenancy and business-to-business disputes. The tender support program at TAFE NSW will receive a $5 million injection, allowing small businesses to continue accessing government procurement training. 

Delivering the budget on Tuesday, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said while last year’s recession was the deepest in almost 80 years, the state’s economic recovery has exceeded expectations.

NSW Treasury forecasts a surplus of $466 million in 2024-25, while net debt is expected to reach more than $100 billion by mid-2024. The forecasts are based on NSW remaining largely free of restrictions, with no return to capacity limits on restaurants, cafes, weddings, or theatres.

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