Covid

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Last updated : 23 September 2021

Lockdown Support

Business

New South Wales

Nsw

JobSaver Program

A new business support payment, JobSaver, has been introduced to provide cashflow support to businesses impacted by the significant restrictions facing New South Wales to help them maintain their employee headcount.

  • JobSaver provides fortnightly payments to eligible businesses in New South Wales backdated to cover costs incurred from week 4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown (from 18th July 2021 onwards).
  • JobSaver is being delivered by Service NSW and Revenue NSW. To apply go to the  Service NSW Website.
  • The payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
    • Eligible firms receive 40% of weekly payroll with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum of $10,000 per week.
    • Weekly payroll should generally be determined by referring to the most recent Business Activity Statement (BAS) provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) before 26th June 2021 for the 2020–21 financial year.
  • Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
    • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
  • Eligible businesses can use JobSaver to cover business costs incurred from 18th July 2021. These costs may include:
    • salaries and wages
    • utilities and rent
    • financial, legal, or other advice
    • marketing and communications
    • perishable goods
    • other business costs.

For more information see the Service NSW Website.

Note: JobSaver payments will now be available to businesses with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million, up from $50 million, which have experienced a revenue decline of 30 per cent or more.
The maximum weekly payment has also been substantially increased, with employing businesses that maintain their employee headcount now able receive between $1,500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000, with payments based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll.

Eligibility criteria

  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Demonstrate your business was operating in NSW as at 1st June 2021
  • Have had a national aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30th June 2020.
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2 week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26th June) compared to the same period in 2019.
  • For employing businesses, maintain your employee headcount on 13th July 2021 while you continue to receive JobSaver payments.
  • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, show that the business is the primary income source for the associated person. If you have more than one non-employing business, you can only claim payments for one business.
  • Certain entities, such as those earning passive income (rents, interest, or dividends), government agencies, local governments, banks, and universities are not eligible for JobSaver.
  • Non-employing businesses are not eligible for the JobSaver payment if anyone associated with the business or who derives income from it, has received a Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment since 18th July 2021.

Micro Business Support Grants

Small businesses, sole traders, or not-for-profit organisations with aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible to apply for a fortnightly payment of $1,500 to cover business expenses for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown.

Eligibility criteria

  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in, or demonstrate your business was primarily operating in, NSW as at 1st June 2021.
  • Have had aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 for the year ended 30th June 2020.
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health orders over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26th June 2021 and due to end 30th July 2021), compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Have business costs for which no other government support is available (Businesses that received the $1,500 small business fees and charges rebate can apply for this grant.
  • Have not applied for either the 2021 COVID-19 business grant or the JobSaver payment.
  • Maintain your employee headcount as of 13th July 2021 while receiving payments from this grant if you’re an employing business.
  • Have this business as your primary income source if you’re a non-employing business such as a sole trader.
  • For employing businesses, your employees can receive Commonwealth COVID-19 disaster payments if you receive this grant.

👉 Reconfirmation Process 

If your business currently receives payments under the NSW JobSaver or Micro-business Grant schemes, you will now need to reconfirm your eligibility each fortnight to continue receiving payments.

What needs to be confirmed?

Each fortnight, your business will need to reconfirm that it:

  • Continues to experience a decline in turnover of 30% or more; and
  • Has maintained employee headcount stated in the application. Note that if your headcount changes, you are obliged to notify Service NSW.

Measuring decline in Turnover

There are two main approaches to validate your decline in turnover depending on whether the business has traded during the relevant fortnight:

  • If your business was not trading during the relevant fortnight

There is no requirement to perform a decline in turnover calculation. You can simply select ‘yes’ on the confirmation screen to indicate that your business has continued to experience a decline in turnover of at least 30%.

  • If your business was trading during the relevant fortnight

You will need to determine if your business continues to meet the 30% or more decline in turnover eligibility criteria. There are three potential methods you can use but whichever method you use, you will need to use the same method for each subsequent fortnight.

Method 1 – 2019 or 2020 comparison period using testing period fortnight

If your initial comparison period was in 2019 or 2020, then you can use the same year but adjust the comparison period to match the current fortnight being tested.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period is 13 September to 26 September 2019.

  Test period Comparison period
Application       26 July – 8 Aug 2021 26 July – 8 Aug 2019
Retesting       13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021 13 Sept – 26 Sept 2019

You cannot use 13 September to 26 September 2020 as your comparison period in this example.

Method 2 – 2019 or 2020 comparison period using original testing period

If the initial comparison period was in 2019 or 2020, then you can use the same year and comparison period that you used in your original application.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 26 July to 8 August 2019, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 26 July to 8 August 2019. This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods. 

  Test period Comparison period
Application       26 July – 8 Aug 2021 26 July – 8 Aug 2019
Retesting       13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021 26 July – 8 Aug 2019

 Method 3 – 12 June to 25 June 2021 comparison period

If 12 June to 25 June 2021 was used as your initial comparison period, then you must use the same period as your initial application when reconfirming eligibility.

For example, if you initially compared the period of 26 July to 8 August 2021 to 12 June to 25 June 2021, and you are now reconfirming your eligibility for the period of 13 September to 26 September 2021, then your comparison period remains 12 June to 25 June 2021. This comparison period will remain fixed for all future periods.

  Test period Comparison period
Application       26 July – 8 Aug 2021 12 June – 25 June 2021
Retesting       13 Sept – 26 Sept 2021 12 June – 25 June 2021

No further documentation required

Service NSW states that you will not need to provide any additional evidence or attach any documentation when reconfirming your eligibility. However, it is essential that you maintain adequate records to show evidence of your eligibility in the event of an audit.

Comparison period FAQs

I had a three week comparison period. How do I do the comparison?

If the comparison period used in your initial application was more than 2 weeks (for example, a 3 week period), the turnover amount for the comparison period must be converted to a fortnightly amount for comparison purposes to the current turnover by dividing by the number of days in the period and multiplying by 14.

What happens if the business is ineligible one fortnight but eligible the next?

The reconfirmation only tests the relevant fortnight. Becoming ineligible for one fortnight does not disqualify your business from becoming eligible again in a future. Some businesses may be eligible one fortnight and not eligible the next if their decline in turnover decreases again.

Can I delay confirming eligibility?

Yes, but your business will not receive payment until confirmation of eligibility has been received. Some businesses might prefer to wait until month-end accounting records are finalised to confirm eligibility. Service NSW states that payments will be made within 5 days of your business reconfirming its eligibility.

Reconfirming headcount

Your employee headcount was noted on your original application. This was the number of people you employed in NSW including full time, part time and long-term casuals that had been employed by the business for more than 12 months at the time of the application.

JobSaver requires your business to maintain this same headcount to qualify to receive payments unless the employee is no longer employed due to circumstances outside of your control, such as resignation, death or where you have fairly terminated the employee because of misconduct.

If your full time, part time or long-term casual employees, have been stood down, they are still included in the headcount. During a stand down the employment relationship remains (their role has not been terminated), the employee is not paid (unless they are taking paid leave), and they continue to accrue annual leave. See the FairWork website to clarify how and when an employer can stand down employees and the documentation requirements.

Payment amounts

JobSaver

40% of the weekly payroll for work performed in NSW:

  Per week
Non-employing entity $1,000
Minimum $1,500
Maximum $100,00

 

For large tourism, hospitality and recreation businesses:

Aggregated annual turnover Per week*
More than $250m to $500m $300k
More than $500 to $1bn $500k

*maximum per week

Micro-business Grant

Payments of $1,500 per fortnight are made to those eligible for the Micro-business Grant.

How to reconfirm your eligibility

You can reconfirm the eligibility of your business for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant by logging into your Service NSW business profile.

You should also receive reminders from Service NSW to confirm the eligibility of your business. For security, it is best to go straight to your business profiles rather than clicking on any email links.

What do I do if I no longer need assistance?

Log into your Service NSW business profile and request a withdrawal.

Other Support Measures

NSW Government has announced a deferral of payroll tax until 7th October 2021, and 25 per cent reduction in payroll tax for the 2021/22 financial year for eligible customers. More information on tax relief is available at Service NSW.

  • Businesses are eligible for the payroll tax waiver of 25 per cent if they have a national payroll of between $1.2 million and $10 million and have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover.

Commercial landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession of up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability where they reduce the rent of financially distressed tenants. More information on commercial lease support is available at Service NSW.

  • The land tax reduction will be the lesser of:
    • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1st July 2021 and 31st December 2021, or
    • 100% of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants

One-off payment of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000 to help eligible businesses affected during first 3 weeks of lockdown.

Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26th June 2021 to 17th July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more.
  • $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more.
  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

Eligibility criteria

  • An ABN
  • Demonstrate business was operating in NSW as at 1st June 2021
  • A revenue decline of 30% or more
  • Annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for year ended 30th June 2020
  • Total annual Australian wage of $10 million or less as at 1st July 2020
  • Have business costs for which there is no other government support available
  • Maintain headcount as at 13th July 2021
  • For more information see the Service NSW Website.

Victoria

Vic

21st July 2021 Top-Up Payment

All business that received payments through the Business Cost assistance program round two or the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive $2,800 or $4,200. These payments will be processed automatically.

Businesses that did not apply through previous rounds of these payments may still be eligible for the 21st July Top-Up Payment.

  • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will re-open for applications by the end of July. Further information on the process will be available soon on the Business Victoria website.

For more information see the Business Victoria website.

Business Continuity Fund

A $156 million Business Continuity Fund will be established to deliver $5,000 grants to up to around 30,000 businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by necessary public health restrictions.

Twenty-four eligible sectors are covered by the fund for businesses including gyms, cafes, restaurants, catering services and hairdressers.

Recognising businesses located in the CBD will continue to be impacted due to restrictions on the number of staff allowed in office buildings, they will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000.

To receive this funding, businesses must have received or be eligible for the Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a $70 million boost, with grants of up to $20,000 to support licensed venues as their operations continue to be impacted by current restrictions.

These grants recognise that larger venues depend more on dine-in and have higher operating costs, so need more support than smaller operations. An additional $2,000 will also be made available to the business if it is located within the CBD.

To receive this funding, venues will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

The reintroduced Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will ease pressure by providing rent relief for eligible tenants, while separate support will be provided to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants.

The Scheme, fully funded by the Victorian Government, will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus.

Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business’s reduction in turnover. A mediation service for tenants and landlords will further support fair tenancy negotiations.

Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement. Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict tenants without a determination from the VSBC.

Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, which will be applied from today to ensure rent relief can start immediately.

An $80 million hardship fund for landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants will be created, with further details to be confirmed in due course.

Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

A new $85 million fund will be established to support small businesses who have not been eligible under existing business support funds.

Small businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million who have experienced a 70 per cent or greater reduction in revenue will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000.

Alpine Business Support Program

Alpine Business Support will receive a further $9.8 million to deliver grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to 430 Alpine-based businesses in recognition of restricted inter and intra-state travel during the peak winter season.

The funding also includes an additional $5 million support to alpine resort operators and management boards.

South Australia

Sa

Business Support Package

One-off emergency cash grant to assist businesses during current lockdown:

  • $3,000 for employing SME businesses
  • $1,000 for non-employing SMEs

Eligibility Criteria

Be located within South Australia

Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020 21 or 2019 20, and be registered for GST

Employ people in South Australia

Have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in 2019–20

Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)

Experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction (compared to the week prior) in turnover due to the restricted trading conditions

For more information at the SA Treasury website.

Individuals

Government has announced on the 28th of July that any future lockdowns, the payments will be increased to $750 for people who lost more than 20 hours work and $450 if lost between 8 and 20 hours. As well, people on welfare who have lost more than 8 hours of work a week will get a special disaster supplement of $200 a week.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available for people in the states currently experiencing lockdowns (NSW, South Australia, and Victoria).

  • The amount payable is increased to $450 per week of lockdown for individuals who have lost between 8 hours and less than 20 hours or a full day of work, where this is less than 8 hours.
  • If a person has lost 20 hours or more of work, the amount payable increased to $750 per week.

Services Australia is delivering the payment. The easiest way to claim is through the myGov website. Eligible visa holders should call Services Australia on 180 22 66. More information can be found on the Services Australia website.

New South Wales

Nsw

People who have been subject to lockdown restrictions in a Commonwealth-declared hotspot for the last few weeks are already able to claim the payment.

People in the rest of the state whose paid work has been impacted by the restrictions, are able to apply for the payment from 18th July through myGov.

Victoria

Vic

The Payment is available for the period of the Victorian lockdown. The Payment is available retrospectively from 23rd July.

South Australia

Sa

The Payment will be available for the period of the South Australian lockdown. The Payment will be made available retrospectively from 28th July.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the payment an individual must either:

Live or work in a local government area subject to lockdown in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and be unable to work and earn their usual income, OR

Have been in a local government area subject to lockdown in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and have now travelled elsewhere and are subject to restrictions in that area and are unable to work and earn their usual income, OR

Live or work anywhere in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and are unable to earn their usual income because of the lockdown in other parts of the state.

Unable to work and earn includes being stood down, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home.

Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if they are unable to operate their business from home.

Individuals must also meet additional criteria, including:

Be an Australia citizen, resident or holder of a visa permitted to work in Australia.

Be at least 17 years old.

Not receiving an income support payment.

  • Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.

Not receiving COVID-19-related paid leave, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state/territory based pandemic payment for individuals or businesses.

Not have access to appropriate paid leave entitlements.

  • Appropriate leave includes special pandemic paid leave, paid sick/carers leave only when you are sick or injured or need to care for an immediate family/household member who is sick or injured, or for an emergency.
  • Appropriate leave does not include annual leave, unpaid leave, or any leave you are not able to access when you have been stood down without pay by your employer under the Fair Work Act.

 

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