COVID restrictions extended to 30 July in regional NSW

Financial support for businesses has been increased following the extension of COVID restrictions in regional NSW. Photo: Emma Darbin.

 

COVID-19 restrictions in regional NSW have been extended until Friday 30 July, with residents to continue wearing face masks and signing in with a NSW Government QR code at all indoor businesses.

To support local businesses and their employees with the continuing COVID-19 regional restrictions the NSW Government has announced a $5.1 billion economic support package to help businesses and people across NSW.

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The package aims to protect businesses, save and keep jobs through the lockdown and ensure people have support during this uncertain and difficult time.

Key features of the support package include:

  • Expanded business grants program with grants between $7,500 and $15,000 available to eligible businesses with annual wages up to $10 million, to cover the first three weeks of restrictions.
  • Introduction of a new grant program for smaller micro businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 that experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent. (These businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions)
  • Protection for thousands of employees with NSW committing half of a new $2.1 billion business and employee support program to be delivered together with the Commonwealth.
  • Payroll tax waivers of 25 per cent for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
  • Greater protection for residential tenants faced with eviction orders.
  • Compulsory mediation for commercial and retail landlords before recovering a security bond, or locking out or evicting a tenant impacted by the Public Health Order.
  • Land tax concession or grants of up to $1,500 offered to commercial, retail and residential landlords who reduce the rent of impacted tenants.

The NSW Government will also cover the disaster recovery payments for areas outside the Commonwealth declared hotspot from week four of the NSW lockdown providing support across the State.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the support package had three key aims – protecting business, saving and keeping jobs through the lockdown and ensuring people had support during an uncertain and difficult time.

“We have always said we will do whatever it takes to protect the people of NSW and keep our economy strong, and that is exactly what we are doing,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“While our health and medical staff are fighting COVID-19 on the frontline, this comprehensive support package is aimed at saving jobs and protecting businesses until the lockdown is over.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the Government was offering support in as many areas as possible, with payroll tax cuts for eligible businesses, up to $75 million in support for the performing arts sector and $26 million for the accommodation industry.

“We saw last year during the first lockdown the importance of protecting jobs and ensuring people remained connected with their workplace,” Mr Perrottet said.

“The value of our business grants package is now up to $2.1 billion with a 50 per cent increase, there is also a new grant for those smaller businesses turning over between $30,000 and $75,000, and payroll tax waivers for eligible businesses with a payroll up to $10 million that suffer a 30 per cent reduction in turnover.

“This is a mighty package aimed at ensuring the NSW economy bends in the storm but doesn’t snap.”

The NSW Government has also announced:

  • $12 million in additional funding for temporary accommodation for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness.
  • $5.1 million in NSW funding to support mental health.

Businesses adversely affected by the latest COVID-19 restrictions should visit Service NSW for financial support and affected employees should visit Services Australia.

 

By Emma DARBIN

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