COVID-19 lockdowns: A state-by-state guide to business support


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

Three regional council areas in New South Wales have entered a seven-day coronavirus lockdown overnight, as state governments across Australia continue to impose public health restrictions in response to the Delta strain of COVID-19.

From Wednesday, businesses in Cabonne Shire Council, Orange City Council and Blayney Shire Council are facing similar restrictions to small businesses in South Australia and Victoria, with non-essential retailers forced to shutter.

Prior to the end of March, businesses experiencing a decline in turnover due to coronavirus restrictions could rely on the federal government’s $90 billion JobKeeper wage subsidy.

Since then, state governments have supported businesses with grant programs, until the federal government struck an agreement with NSW, after it became evident that Sydney’s lockdown would continue for some time.

With stay-at-home orders currently in three states and varying government assistance available to businesses, SmartCompany has compiled a list of what COVID-19 business support is on offer. 

New South Wales 

COVID-19 business grant  

This grant program offers one-off payments of $7,500 to $15,000 to businesses depending on how much their revenue declines.

To be eligible, businesses must have annual wages less than $10 million and turnover between $75,000 and $50 million. Employers must also maintain their employee headcount as at July 13 and experience a decline in turnover of 30% to 70% over a two-week period during restrictions compared to 2019. New businesses should contact Service NSW to discuss how they can meet the decline in turnover test.

The full criteria and application form is available here

COVID-19 micro-business support grant

Businesses with annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 can apply for $1,500 fortnightly payments as long as restrictions continue.

To be eligible, businesses need to show they experienced a decline in revenue of 30% or more and that a person associated with the business is reliant on the business for income. Applications are set to open here at the end of July. 


This cashflow payment will see businesses receive fortnightly payments of up to 40% of weekly payroll, with a maximum payment of $10,000 per week or $1,000 per week for sole traders.

Businesses must maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July to be eligible as well as experience a decline in turnover of 30% or more, and have recorded annual revenue of between $75,000 and $50 million. Applications will open at the end of the month and you can register your interest online


Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program  

Victoria is currently in a two-week lockdown, following a recent period of restrictions that ran between May and June.

In response to the current lockdown, the Victorian government announced a fresh round of its cash grants through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program. 

Under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund, businesses can receive a one-off payment of $7,200. To be eligible, businesses must be registered for GST, operate a licensed business in Victoria, hold an eligible liquor licence and include a food business.

The Business Costs Assistance Program includes a one-off payment of $4,800. Eligible businesses must be an employing business in Victoria, operate in a sector on the list of eligible ANZSIC classes, have incurred direct costs because of the restrictions and be unable operate remotely. Businesses must also have an annual Victorian payroll of up to $10 million and be registered for GST.

Businesses that successfully applied for these grants in June will automatically receive the payments again. Businesses yet to apply will soon be able to lodge new applications here for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund or the Business Costs Assistance Program

New support for Alpine businesses, events and live performance

In announcing an increase of business support on Wednesday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the federal government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600 or $375 per week of lockdown. 

Alpine hospitality, retail, accommodation and experience operators that were previously eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an extra $3,000 through a fresh $1.2 million injection. 

Eligible public events and suppliers affected by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000 respectively through an extension of the Impacted Public Events Support Program.

A new round of the Live Performance Support programs, with funding of up to $7,000 for presenters and up to $2,000 for suppliers, has also been confirmed.

South Australia

The South Australian government announced a seven-day lockdown earlier this week, requiring all residents to stay at home unless for essential work, health reasons, exercise, compassionate grounds or to obtain essential goods and services. 

On Wednesday, the Premier Steven Marshall announced a new Business Support Package including one-off cash payments of $3,000 for businesses affected by the restrictions. 

The grants will be available to businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million and an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020-21 or 2019-20. Businesses must also prove their turnover reduced by at least 30% over the seven days from July 20 as a result of the lockdown.

Grant applications are expected to open within the next two weeks and businesses can register their interest online

Western Australia

Applications for the Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants program in Western Australia are now open to businesses that were affected by recent restrictions in Perth, Peel and regional Western Australia.

The one-off grants of $3,000 are for the lockdown between June 29 and July 2 and the associated restrictions that continued to July 6. The program is also available to eligible small businesses in regional Western Australia.

Business have until August 31 to apply online via this Small Business WA webpage


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3 days ago

Has anyone had any luck lodging a new application for the Business Costs Assistance Programme? The link provided reverts to a page that indicates applications closed on 24 June. I’ve tried to contact Business Victoria but have been unable to get through on the number provided on the website: 132 215, is hangs up as soon as it rings.