- NSW’s new JobSaver-style scheme is designed to help small businesses which are under financial stress due to Omicron.
- The relief program is applicable only for the month of February.
- The eligible business can submit their applications for the package through Service NSW from mid-February this year.
The New South Wales (NSW) government has launched an economic support package of AU$1 billion to help the businesses which were hit by disruptions due to the Omicron variant. The new AU$700 million JobSaver-style scheme, which will run through Service NSW, is available to small and medium businesses and applies to the losses suffered in the month of February.
The relief program is applicable only in February. There is no provision for retrospective payments for the losses incurred in January.
The JobSaver scheme was first introduced when the Delta variant of COVID-19 brought the entire economy to a standstill due to strict mobility restrictions. The scheme provides cash flow support to impacted businesses to help them amid losses due to halted operations and maintain their employee headcount.
The NSW government has so far allocated over AU$40 billion in economic and social recovery measures since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
How to access the 2022 Small Business Support Program?
In order to avail the relief package, eligible small and medium businesses will have to prove they suffered a 40% loss in January due to the new COVID-19 variant. The businesses will also have to declare if they expect a similar kind of impact in February as well. Only then, they will be entitled to a lump sum payment of 20% of the weekly payroll for February. The grants will be between AU$500 and AU$5,000 a week.
How to apply?
“Eligible businesses with a turnover of between AU$75,000 and AU$50 million that experienced a minimum 40% decline in turnover in January 2022 – and the first fortnight of February 2022 – can apply for support through this program,” according to the scheme.
The business can submit their applications for the package through Service NSW from mid-February. The State Government expects the complete and eligible applications submitted through Service NSW to receive a payment within 5 to 15 days of applying.
The relief package also includes increasing Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate from the existing AU$2,000 limit to AU$3,000. The rebate expansion is expected to subsidise the cost of rapid antigen tests (RATs) by 50%.
Extended Commercial Landlord Hardship grant
The NSW government has also announced an extension of the Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant to 13 March 2022. Under the extended scheme, the eligible landlords will receive up to AU$3,000 per month (per property) to provide rental relief waivers to impacted tenants. The eligible parties can apply for the Commercial Landlord Hardship grant scheme through Service NSW.
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