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Sydney Lockdown: What Support Can My Business Get?

As Australia’s Greater Sydney area remains in lockdown, the NSW government has updated the support on offer to affected businesses.

The type of help you can get varies depending on your business, so we’ve outlined what’s on offer and the eligibility criteria below so you can get the support you need, whether you’re a small business, a start-up or a sole trader.

Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant

This is a one-off grant for businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisations in NSW that have been impacted by the recent Covid restrictions, meaning they’ve experienced reduced demand or have had to close. If you’re eligible, you’ll be entitled to a one-off grant of up to $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000, depending on the amount of income you’ve lost during the lockdown.

This grant is designed to support businesses with cash flow for the first three weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown, which started on 26 June 2021, and it can be used for costs your business has incurred such as:

  • Utilities, rent and wages
  • Financial, legal or any other advice to support your business continuity planning
  • Marketing and communications activities
  • The cost of perishable goods that you can no longer use due to closure
  • Other activities to support the running of your business

Who’s eligible?

Businesses must have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered in NSW as of 1 June 2021. Additionally, you must have spent a total of $10 million or less on wages annually as of 1 July 2020, maintain your employee headcount as of 13 July 2021, and have an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for the financial year up to 30 June 2020.

The amount you’re eligible for depends on the decline in turnover during the period between 26 June and 17 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

How to apply

You can apply online through Service NSW, submitting the required information.

JobSaver

Jointly funded by the NSW and Commonwealth governments, JobSaver is a grant to help small and medium-sized businesses maintain the employment of their staff if they’ve been impacted by the current restrictions.

Who’s eligible?

You can apply if your business has a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million, and can demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover compared with the same period in 2019.

If you employ staff, you’ll be required to maintain all full time, part-time and long-term casual staff at the same levels as of 13 July 2021, and you’ll be entitled to payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on your payroll. There’s a maximum payout of 40% of your payroll, and payments will be made from week 4 of lockdown, commencing on 27 July.

If you’re a sole trader with no payroll, you may be eligible for a weekly payment of $1,000, made fortnightly.

How to apply

You can apply through Service NSW from 26 July. Note that payments will stop when the current lockdown restrictions do, or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed from the area.

Micro Business Grant

Micro businesses – that is, small businesses, sole traders, or not-for-profit organisations – may be eligible for a grant if you’ve been affected by the current Greater Sydney restrictions.

Who’s eligible?

Your business should have an annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000, and you must be able to demonstrate that you’ve seen a 30% decline in turnover compared to the same period in 2019. Additionally, you must have an ABN registered in NSW, and the business that you’re making the grant application for must be your main source of income.

If eligible, you’ll receive payments of $1,500 per fortnight, backdated to the start of the lockdown.

How to apply

From 26 July, you can apply through Service NSW.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

If you’re a sole trader (or an employee) and unable to earn because of the lockdown, you may be able to apply for a weekly payment for any weeks where your hours or days were reduced.

Who’s eligible?

To apply for the grant, you must:

  • Be unable to attend work and have lost income on or after day 8 of the lockdown
  • Not have access to any paid leave entitlements through an employer
  • Not be getting an income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay
  • Not be getting a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • Have worked at least 8 hours per week before the lockdown

If eligible, you could get a payment of $600 if you’ve lost over 20 hours of work ($500 for weeks 2 and 3) or a payment of $375 per week for between 8 and 20 hours lost ($325 for weeks 2 and 3).

How to apply

You can apply through MyGov.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

If you’re a sole trader and have to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone who is self-isolating due to COVID-19, and are therefore unable to work, you can apply for a lump-sum payment of $1,500.

Who’s eligible?

You must meet all of the following criteria to apply:

  • You’re at least 17 years old
  • You live in New South Wales
  • You’re an Australian resident or have a visa that allows you to work in Australia
  • You can’t go to work and earn an income
  • You have no leave entitlements from an employer

How to apply

If you’re eligible, you can apply at MyGov.

Worried about your business’s cash flow during lockdown? Unsure if you need a grant? Try out Float for free for 14-days for a cash flow forecast to help guide you through lockdown.

Dylan Burgess

Partner Relationship Manager