NSW government unveils new SME support package: Everything you need to know

Sydney small business support

Source: Unsplash/Nico Smit.

The New South Wales government has unveiled a new $1 billion funding package designed to help support businesses hardest hit by the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the state.

Businesses across NSW and other states are battling what has been called a ‘shadow lockdown’. As the virus spreads, would-be consumers are staying at home due to isolation requirements or to protect their health.

Isolation requirements and a shortage of rapid antigen tests (RATs) has also led to devastating staff shortages.

“By ensuring businesses keep their doors open and their employees paid, we are confident our economy will bounce back strongly as it did last year,” NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said in a statement.

Kean also reportedly called out the federal government for “stepping aside” and failing to support Aussie businesses at this time.

His comments come as Labor leader Anthony Albanese took aim at the Morrison government over the weekend, saying they are suffering a “void of leadership”.

Here’s everything businesses in NSW need to know about the latest support package.

What’s available?

Small Business Support Program

For the month of February, eligible employing businesses can apply for payments equivalent to 20% of their weekly payroll.

The minimum payments will be $750 per week, and the maximum will be $5000 per week.

Non-employing businesses and sole traders will be eligible to receive $500 per week.

Payments are available for the month of February only, and will be paid in one lump sum.

That means a sole trader will be eligible for a one-off $2000 payment, for example. The maximum payment available for a business will be $20,000.

Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebates

The existing Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate scheme is also being increased from $2000 to $3000.

Businesses with employees will also now be able to claim rebates on the cost of RATs for staff.

The scheme is already available to help offset the cost of food authority licences, liquor licences, tradesperson licences, event fees, outdoor seating fees, council rates and road user tolls for business use.

Performing Arts Package

Support for businesses in the performing arts sector has also been extended to April 2022, reportedly at a cost of $80 million.

This scheme is intended to help underwrite lost ticket sales.

Under the Performing Arts Package, the funding available per performance will be calculated based on the number of tickets available for sale, up to 10,000, and an ‘agreed percentage’.

Funding ranges from 15% to 50% of the total value of potential ticket sales.

Who’s eligible?

Small Business Support Program

The small business support program is available to businesses with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ending June 30, 2021.

Businesses must have seen a 40% decline in revenue in January 2022 due to public health orders or the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak, compared to January 2020 or 2021.

Businesses must also have also seen a decline in turnover of 40% or more, due to the Omicron outbreak, between February 1 and 14, compared to the same period in 2020 or 2021.

Finally, businesses must have retained their employee headcount as of the announcement of the scheme on January 30 2022.

Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebates

To apply for the rebates scheme, businesses must have total Australian wages below the NSW 2020-21 payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million.

Performing Arts Package

In order to be eligible for the performing arts package, businesses must be an eligible performing arts venue, or a producer or promoter of an eligible performance at an eligible venue.

Funding is available for performances due to be staged between September 19, 2021 and April 30, 2022.

How can I apply?

Small Business Support Program

Applications for this program are expected to open in mid-February. Businesses will be able to apply through Service NSW.

Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebates

Businesses that are already registered for the scheme will automatically be issued a $1000 top-up payment.

Businesses can apply online for the rebate scheme here.

Performing Arts Package

You can find more information about the Performing Arts Package, including a list of eligible venues and how to apply, here.

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