Deadlines loom for SMEs to apply for state business support payments

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Small business closes doors during COVID-19. Source: Unsplash/Anastasiia Chepinska.

As the end of September draws near, SMEs across the country are reminded that applications for a number of state-based business support payments will close this week. 

Applications for the NSW COVID Business Grant will close this Friday, on October 1, 2021, and confirmed changes to the application process for the JobSaver and micro business grant will mean that some SMEs will also need to re-confirm their eligibility as soon as possible. 

In advice provided to the professional accounting bodies, the NSW government said JobSaver recipients will need to re-confirm their eligibility for the fortnight between September 13 and September 26.

If businesses fail to do so, they won’t then be able to re-confirm their eligibility for following fortnights and will therefore not receive payments for fortnights after September. 

For the micro business grants, businesses will be required to re-confirm eligibility for the fortnight between September 20 and October 3. 

NSW businesses that are no longer eligible for either the JobSaver payment or the micro business grant are being asked to notify Service NSW. The NSW government has indicated it may seek to recover any JobSaver overpayments that are inadvertently made to ineligible businesses. 

Meanwhile in Victoria, to access backdated rent relief under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, businesses will need to make a written request and provide evidence to their landlord by Thursday, September 30. 

Requests made after this date can only be made for rent relief from the date of application. 

Thursday is also the closing date for applications for the South Australian COVID-19 Business Support Grant and the Western Australian Tourism and Travel Agent Support Fund

Applications for Queensland’s current COVID-19 Business Support Grants close on November 16 for employing businesses and November 30 for non-employing sole traders. 

Gavan Ord, manager of business and investment policy at CPA Australia, says it is worthwhile for small businesses to set aside time this week to check the closing dates for the various state support programs. 

“There’s a question mark over the availability of future rounds of business support,” Ord tells SmartCompany

This means it is important for businesses not to miss out on applying for the current programs while they are still available. The cut-offs are also usually strictly applied.

The end of some of these business support program raises important questions about “what will fill the void for businesses which are still struggling in the aftermath of lockdowns”, adds Ord. 

“Even when restrictions ease, it may be some time before businesses see their trading volumes return to normal,” he says. 

“We think the government should taper business support for a couple of weeks post-lockdown to soften the negative effects of withdrawing support.”

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