With Victoria only coming out of the full lockdown recently and NSW looking at an extended period of the lockdown, both State Governments have been negotiating with the Federal Government for further support. Here is a summary of what has been changed recently: –
New South Wales
– The JobSaver program has been increased with the weekly payments ranging between a minimum of $1,500 per week and a maximum of $100,000. The payments are for 40% of the payroll for eligible businesses who maintain their staffing levels and suffer a 30% reduction in turnover compared to a two week period in 2019. Businesses with turnovers up to $250 million are now eligible.
– Non-employing businesses like sole traders are eligible for $1,000 per week if they have satisfied the 30% reduction in turnover requirement.
– $5,000 grants for businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits as a result of COVID restrictions such as gyms, cafes, restaurants and hairdressers. Those located in the CBD will also receive an additional $2,000 as a result of decreasing foot traffic through the area. These businesses must have been eligible under the previous Business Cost Assistance Program.
– New grants of up to $20 million for businesses eligible to the Licensed Hospital Venue Fund with another $2,000 available for those in the CBD.
– The reintroduction of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme which will offer rent relief to eligible commercial tenants and provide payments to commercial landlords.
– A new Small Business COVID Hardship Fund to provide support for those businesses who have been ineligible for support in previous measures. Details are yet to be formally released but grants of up to $5,000 will be available for businesses with payroll up to $10 million who have suffered a 70% or greater reduction in turnover.
The Federal Government has announced an increase in the COVID-19 Disaster Payment for those who have suffered a reduction of working hours as a result of lockdowns. Those who have seen a reduction in hours of 20 or more per week will be eligible for $750 per week and those who suffered a reduction of less than 20 hours will be eligible for $450 per week. The rates apply from 2 August and will be available from day 1 of any lockdown in the future.
Finally, the Federal Government has confirmed that this COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be tax free to recipients, which is a change of policy from the JobKeeper/JobSeeker payments previously.
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