NSW Covid-19 Support Packages Update 2022

The NSW Government recently announced a new grants package, and also extended the deadlines for a number of existing packages to support businesses with the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 strain.  This includes:
  1. 2022 Small Business Support Program
  2. Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate
  3. Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant
  4. NSW Performing Arts Relaunch Package
  5. Export Assistance Grant
  6. Payroll Tax Support Payment Arrangement
We provide a summary of the new grant packages below.

1. 2022 Small Business Support Program

Businesses with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50m who experienced a decline in turnover in January 2022 and in the first fortnight of February 2022 will be eligible for the grant equal to 20% of weekly payroll for work performed in NSW, it will be paid as a lump sum payment covering the four-week period of February 2022.

For employing businesses, they will be eligible for a lump sum payment of a minimum $750 per week and a maximum payment of $5,000 per week. For non-employing businesses, you will receive $500 per week. The funding can be used to cover business costs such as salaries and wages, utilities and rent, and any other business related costs.

To be eligible for the small business support program, you must have:

  1. had an ABN and were operating in NSW on 1 January 2021;
  2. had an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50m for the year ended 30 June 2021 or for the year ended 30 June 2020;
  3. experienced a decline in turnover of at least 40% in January 2022 compared to January 2021 or January 2020;
  4. experienced a decline in turnover of at least 40% during the period 1 February 2022 to 14 February 2022 compared to the same fortnight in February 2021 (or February 2020 if this is the comparison year used in c) above); and
  5. maintain the employee headcount from 30 January 2022 through to 28 February 2022.  

The decline in turnover must be due to COVID-19 rather than impacted by other means such as seasonal variations, business closure for renovation etc.

This program covers the four-week period of February only. Businesses will not receive payment for January 2022. The application is open from 14 February 2022 to 31 March 2022.

Businesses will need to provide relevant documents to Service NSW as supporting evidence, which may include employee headcount, income tax returns, business activity statements, payroll reports, accountant letters etc. For more details, please visit Service NSW website.

For businesses that do not satisfy the standard eligibility criteria above, alternative circumstances may be available. Please contact our office and we will be pleased to provide further assistance.

2. Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate

Small business fees and charges rebates will be increased from $2,000 to $3,000 in late March 2022.

Small businesses, including sole traders and not-for-profit organisations, can use the funds to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges, and also up to 50% of the cost of rapid antigen tests (RAT). If you have already registered for this rebate, you will receive an automatic rebate top-up of $1,000. If you have not registered, the registration is now open and you will receive up to $3,000 rebates.

To be eligible for the small business fees and charges rebates, you must:

  • have total Australian wages below the NSW payroll tax threshold of $1.2m; and
  • have an ABN registered in NSW and/or have business premises physically located and operating in NSW.

For more information, please visit Service NSW website.

3. Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant

The commercial landlord hardship grant has been extended to 13 March 2022.

This grant is designed for small commercial or retail landlords who have provided rental waivers to COVID affected tenants.  Eligible landlords will receive up to $3,000 per month (GST-inclusive) per property.

To be eligible for this grant, you must:

  • own a property in NSW with total land holdings valued at $5m or less as at 31 December 2020 (excluding your principal place of residence);
  • have an agreement to provide rental relief to tenants from 13 July 2021 with at least 30% rent reduction;
  • have not claimed, or will not claim, land tax relief between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, otherwise you may only be eligible for rent waived between 14 January 2022 and 13 March 2022;
  • have more than 50% of your total income derived from rental income for the financial year 2020 or 2021; and
  • attest that by providing rent relief it may cause you financial hardship.  

Businesses will need to provide relevant documents to Service NSW as supporting evidence such as proof of rental income, proof of total income, proof of pre-COVID rent and rental reduction etc. For more details, please visit Service NSW website.

4. NSW Performing Arts Relaunch Package

The NSW performing arts relaunch package has been extended to 30 April 2022.

The aim of this package is to relaunch the performing arts sector in line with the NSW Government roadmap to recovery. This package is to provide financial supports for performing arts venues, producers and promoters. Payments will be based on a percentage of the venue capacity and the average ticket price.

To be eligible for this package, the applicant must be an eligible venue, or a producer or a promoter of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at the eligible venue.

For full details of the eligible performance and eligible venues, please visit Create NSW website.

5. Export Assistance Grant

Export assistance grant has been extended to 30 June 2022 or until funds are exhausted.

Eligible businesses will receive up to $10,000 for the purposes of accessing new global markets or re-enter existing ones. Funds can be used for:

  • marketing materials;
  • website internationalisation;
  • pivoting to online delivery (for example, converting face-to-face training content to online content for international audiences);
  • e-commerce development;
  • market research;
  • international tradeshow and trade missions;
  • inbound business support;
  • costs to support compliance/localisation of products for export;
  • costs to protect business in international markets.

For more details of the eligibility criteria, please visit Service NSW website.

6. Payroll Tax Support Payment Arrangement

Businesses have until 28 February 2022 to establish an interest free Support Payment Arrangement with Revenue NSW for payroll tax payable from 2020/21 annual reconciliation and any monthly liabilities for July to December 2021 return periods.

Additional payroll tax support are also available to eligible businesses, please visit Revenue NSW for more information.

Disclaimer
The material contained in this newsletter is in the nature of general comment and information only and neither purports, nor is intended, to be advice on any particular matter. Readers should not act or rely upon any matter or information contained in or implied by this newsletter without taking appropriate professional advice.

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UHY Haines Norton · 11/1 York Street · Sydney NSW 2000 · Australia