Three week wait times for NSW COVID-19 relief payments leave small businesses “desperate”

NSW-business-support

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Source: AAP/Joel Carrett.

Small businesses in Sydney are growing increasingly irritated by the NSW government’s slow delivery of COVID-19 business support payments.

With Sydney’s stay-at-home orders stretching into their seventh week, small businesses owners are frustrated over Service NSW’s inability to get coronavirus relief payments flowing to businesses quickly.

Nikki Bonus, founder of the education company Life Skills Group, applied for the 2021 COVID business grant and JobSaver payments as soon as applications opened in July.

However, she is still waiting to receive any money from both support payments from Service NSW.

Bonus has tried contacting Service NSW’s customer service team but has waited on hold for about two hours without ever being able to speak to a representative.

“Each time we call up, we’re placed on hold and can’t get through. We’ve also had no contact from Service NSW,” she tells SmartCompany.

Last week, NSW Premier Gladys Berejilian said 400 additional staff were hired to help Service NSW manage the backlog of enquiries and applications it had received.

Berejiklian said applications should be processed faster from this week onward. 

In a press conference yesterday, the NSW Premier told reporters that she was sorry about the delay in application processing times and that Service NSW was working hard to process applications as quickly as possible.

“I’m advised by the end of next week at the very latest, the backlog will be dealt with. I appreciate how frustrating it has been for businesses,” Berejiklian said.

The owner of a digital design studio based in Sydney told SmartCompany he had received part of his 2021 COVID business grant but is still waiting on his JobSaver payments.

The business owner, who does not wish to be named, applied for a $15,000 COVID hardship grant three weeks ago and JobSaver payments of $1,000 a week two and a half weeks ago.

“So far I have received $10,500 of the hardship grant, god knows when or how I’ll get the remaining $4,500,” he says.

“It really shouldn’t take this long, businesses are desperate for this money.”

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John
John
1 month ago

Why wasn’t the tier 3 payment made in full?

Sean
Sean
6 days ago

We still haven’t received our subsequent payments despite qualifying for it. We received our first payment and then nothing else. We were told it was a system issue and payments will come through. 6 weeks later still nothing. I am on the phone to Service NSW every two days chasing this up and keep getting told it’s being escalated. How are we supposed to survive and keep paying staff?!