COVID-19 Business Support Package – What We Know So Far

Key Points

  • State and Federal Government are jointly funding financial support to businesses affected by the extended lockdown in NSW, including a once-off business grant, saving jobs support programs, and micro business grants.
  • Once-off business grant – the NSW Government is providing a once-off grant to eligible businesses ranging from $7,500 to $15,000, to cover the first three weeks of lockdown. Applications will open on 19 July 2021.
  • Saving jobs support program – from 26 July, as a joint NSW and federal initiative, tax-free business grants of between $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000 per week. Direct cash payments equal to 40% of the NSW payroll of eligible businesses and not-for-profits with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million. Applicants must demonstrate at least a 30% decline in turnover and maintain staffing levels as of 13 July 2021. For non-employing businesses such as sole traders, a fixed payment of $1,000 per week will be available.
  • Microbusinesses – with annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 will be eligible for fixed fortnightly payments of $1,500 per fortnight if they demonstrate a 30% decline in revenues during restrictions. These payments will be backdated to week one of lockdown.
  • Payments to individuals – have been expanded, with those eligible for a Federal Government lump sum grant now receiving up to $600 through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment scheme.
  • 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, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans. Payroll tax liabilities will also be deferred for two months. 
  • Details are still emerging and we will keep you abreast of changes as they happen – and when applications open.

In welcome news for businesses, those affected by Greater Sydney’s ongoing COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders may be eligible for relief payments, with applications opening on 19 July 2021.

Funding is being supported jointly by the NSW State Government and the Federal Government, with Scott Morrison announcing the assistance package on Tuesday ahead of a likely protracted lockdown which has now been extended to at least 30 July.

Payments will be administered by Service NSW rather than the ATO. These grants will be available for the duration of the lockdown, and businesses can register their interest on Service NSW website.

Business grant

Eligible businesses, sole traders and not-for-profits will benefit from payments of up to $15,000 if they can demonstrate a decline in turnover of over 30%.

Businesses will have to show the decline across a two week period during the current lockdown, compared with an equivalent period during June/July 2019. Businesses not operating in 2019 may still be eligible, but will need to contact Service NSW.

Businesses eligible for the payment will need to demonstrate an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million.

Three levels of the business grants are available for eligible businesses, sole traders and not-for-profits with annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million with eligibility based on decline in turnover experienced during current restrictions:

  • $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

To be eligible, businesses will need to retain their staffing levels as of 13 July, including full time, part time and casual.

The package is earmarked to assist with cash flow, allowing affected businesses to retain staff, as well as assisting with rent and utility payments.

Saving jobs support program

Cashflow support is available to SMEs and sole traders affected by NSW current coronavirus restrictions.

Businesses can receive payments of up to 40% of their weekly payroll, between a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $10,000 in weekly payments. Sole traders with no employees will be eligible to apply for weekly payments of $1,000. 

To be eligible, businesses must show that their national turnover has declined by 30% since the stay-at-home orders were announced, as compared to turnover during the equivalent period in June or July 2019. 

Further details regarding the test for decline in turnover have not yet been released – if it is in line with the Business Support Payments then the comparison should be with the comparable period in 2019.

Businesses must also demonstrate that their staffing levels have been maintained at the level they were as of July 13, 2021 to continue receiving the payments.

Businesses will be able to apply at MyServiceNSW with applications open from July 26 and payments are expected to flow from July 30. You can also register your interest in the program to receive email updates.


Microbusinesses have also been extended a grant as part of the jointly-funded program.

Microbusinesses are defined as businesses and sole traders with annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000. These entities may be eligible for an assistance grant of up to $1,500 per fortnight. 

As with small-to-medium sized businesses, micro businesses will need to demonstrate a decline in turnover of at least 30% across a two week period.

Applications for micro business grants are yet to be finalised, with Service NSW flagging the “end of July” for application openings.

Individual payments

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also announced an expansion of the current COVID-19 Disaster Payment package for individuals. The payments will be solely funded by the federal government. 

The announcement expands the payment, which began in June, from $500 up to $600.  

Under the new criteria announced, payments for individuals will increase to $375 for those who have lost between 8 and 20 hours of work per week. The full $600 will be available to individuals losing more than 20 hours of work per week.

The announcement comes amid a raft of concessions for individuals from both state and federal government, including a 60 day moratorium on evictions for those unable to pay rent due to wage loss. 

The team at CharterNet extends our thoughts and positivity to all our clients, colleagues, staff and families currently in the greater Sydney lockdown area. We will continue to bring you important updates as they unfold, including the releasing of application processes for the indicated grants. If you have any queries or concerns we very much welcome you to reach out and discuss further.