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NSW COVID-19 Lockdown: Can Your Business Get Financial Support?

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By Tim Scott

July 22, 2021

Since the outbreak of new infections in NSW which began on June 16, 2021 the resulting lockdown has been putting a massive financial strain on a lot of our favourite hospitality businesses. They have been forced to shut their doors for more than a month now and need all the financial support they can get.

Luckily, the NSW Government has introduced new grants and extended some of its existing schemes to support businesses through their financial hardship.

We have broken down all the grants and initiatives the NSW Government is offering to support hospitality businesses get through this tough period:

You may be eligible for more than one of these grants and schemes, so be sure to read through what is available and the eligibility requirements for businesses and individuals.

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COVID-19 Business Grant

If you are a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation in NSW and you have been impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions, you could be eligible for a one-off grant of $7500, $10,500 or $15,000.

This is a tax-exempt grant that is available to NSW tourism and hospitality businesses which have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) with a turnover of more than $75,000 and an annual wage bill of below $10 million, while operating in NSW from June 1, 2021. 

The grants can be used to cover utilities, wages and rent, or other activities to support the operation of the business for which no other Government support is available.

Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions: $7500, $10,500, and $15,000.

Eligibility

The different grant amounts available depend on the decline in turnover experienced since the lockdown began on June 16, compared to the same period in 2019:

  • $7500 for a decline of 30% of turnover or more.

  • $10,500 for a decline of 50% of turnover or more.

  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% of turnover or more.

How to Apply

Applications will be available from late July 2021.

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Micro Business Grant

If you operate as a micro business (small business, or sole trader with annual turnover of more than $30,000 and under $75,000) and you have been impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions, you may be able to apply for a grant offering your business $1500 payment per fortnight.

This is another tax-exempt grant the NSW Government will be offering as financial support for businesses, or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

Eligibility

  • A turnover between $30,000 and $75,000. 
  • A revenue decline of 30% or more. 
  • Businesses that provide the primary income source for a person associated with the business.

How to Apply 

Applications will be available from late July 2021.

Tax Deferrals and Waivers

Deferrals, waivers and interest-free repayment arrangements have all been added to the tax relief package. Payroll tax payments (due in July 2021) can be deferred until August 9 if a business chooses to do so.

Businesses might also qualify for a payroll tax waiver of 25%. This is accessible to companies with annual salary costs of $1.2 million to $10 million, which have had a 30% drop in turnover.

On a case-by-case basis, the Chief Commissioner of State Revenue can make appropriate repayment arrangements.

How to Apply

For a payroll tax deferral, call the Payroll Tax team on 1300 139 815 or email payrolltax@revenue.nsw.gov.au.

To defer your June quarter gaming tax, call the Tax Debt team on 1300 368 710 or email taxdebt@revenue.nsw.gov.au.

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Dine & Discover

The Dine & Discover scheme set up in March 2021 provides Victorians with help to cover the cost of dining out, attractions, or excursions in regional Victoria and encourage them to explore their state.

Eligible residents of NSW will receive four $25 vouchers, two for dining out at bars, restaurants and cafés and two for amusement and leisure at locations like theatres, art galleries and live music venues.

The Scheme has now been extended (again) to August 31.

The Government has also recently made it possible to use Dine & Discover vouchers for takeaway, which may be delivered to your home, or picked up from a venue after using the QR code check-in. This does not apply to third-party delivery providers like Deliveroo, UberEats, Menulog etc.

Eligibility

To qualify for the Dine & Discover programme, businesses must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an active ABN. 

  • Operate in NSW.

  • Be registered for GST.

  • Be registered as COVID Safe and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

  • Operate in an eligible industry.

How to Apply

If you want your business to participate in the Dine & Discover scheme, you can apply online here.

COVID Disaster Payments

For all those affected by the NSW lockdown, the NSW Government aims to assist by offering the COVID Disaster Payment scheme. This offers payments of either $375, or $600 based on each qualifying individual.

It can be seen as a substitute to the JobKeeper scheme but will be a recurrent payment if you're in a declared COVID-19 hot spot, where the lockdown limitations stay in effect, removing the previous need to re-apply week by week.

Eligibility

  • Meet the general eligibility rules.
  • Have seen your weekly hours reduced by 20 hours to receive a $600 payment.
  • Live or work in the following local government areas: 

City of Sydney

Waverley

Randwick 

Canada Bay 

Inner West 

Bayside 

Woollahra 

Greater Sydney 

Blue Mountains 

Central Coast 

Wollongong 

Shellharbour

How to Claim COVID Disaster Payments

Australian residents working in hospitality can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment online via their myGov account (provided it is linked to a Centrelink online account). Working Visa holders can also apply by calling 180 22 66, or 131 202 if you need a multilingual phone service.

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JobSaver Employee Retention Scheme

The NSW Government has also introduced a new JobSaver employee retention scheme for helping businesses retain their staff. Eligible businesses can get a cash infusion of up to 40% of their weekly payroll expenditures, with payments ranging from $1500 to $10,000 each week.

Eligibility

  • Businesses must show a 30% drop in turnover compared to an equivalent two-week period in 2019.
  • Businesses must maintain their fulltime, part-time and long-term casual staffing levels as of July 13, 2021.
  • Full eligibility will be available soon.

How to Apply

Applications aren’t currently open, however, businesses can register their interest from July 14, 2021.

Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate

You may be eligible for a $1500 small business fees and charges rebate if you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business, or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW. This rebate helps businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing the cost of running a business.

Eligible businesses or not-for-profits only need to apply for the rebate once but can submit multiple claims until the full value of $1500 is reached.

The funds can be used to defray the expenses of eligible NSW and local government taxes and levies which are due and payable beginning March 1, 2021. Among them include, but are not limited to:


Food authority licences.

Liquor licences.

Tradesperson licence.

Event fees.

Outdoor seating fees.

Council rates.

Eligibility

  • Total wages below the NSW Government 2020-2021 payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million.
  • Have an ABN registered in NSW and/or have business premises physically located and operating in NSW.

How to Apply

Check the eligibility criteria on the Service NSW Government website and select the ‘Apply online’ button at the bottom of the page. If you are unable to apply online, please call 13 77 88.

Grants, Loans and Financial Assistance


The NSW Government is looking into offering further major grant packages to help tens of thousands of small businesses and individuals across NSW impacted by the current COVID-19 restrictions. Keep an eye out by visiting the Grants, loans and financial assistance page on Service NSW website.

Hopefully, these grants assist your business stay afloat as we all wait patiently hoping this is the lockdown to end all lockdowns. 

About WOWAPPS

WOWAPPS is an all-Australian tech company, dedicated to anticipating the ever-evolving needs of restaurants and their diners. We are committed to helping Australian Restaurants reap the rewards of additional revenue and brand advocacy, providing seamless customer experiences that are more delightful and convenient.

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