The NSW Government announced a financial support package to assist businesses that have been affected by the Omicron Wave.

Below is a summary of the package. To apply for these payments, applications should be made through Service NSW from Mid February.

KEY FACTS

· Small Business Support Program

· Includes support for eligible businesses that:

o had an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2021; and

o experienced a decline in turnover of 40 per cent or more due to Public Health Orders or the impacts of the Omicron COVID-19 strain during the month of January 2022, compared to January 2021 or January 2020; and

o experienced a decline in turnover of 40 per cent or more due to the impacts of the Omicron COVID-19 strain from 1-14 February 2022, compared to the same fortnight in February in the comparison year used for the above criterion; and

o maintain their employee headcount from the date of the announcement of the scheme.

· Eligible businesses will receive 20 per cent of weekly payroll as a lump sum for the month of February, with a minimum payment of $750 per week and a maximum payment of $5,000 per week. Non-employing businesses will receive $500 per week (paid as a lump sum of $2,000).

· The 2022 Small Business Support Program is for the month of February. Businesses will be able to apply through Service NSW from mid-February.

· Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebate

o The rebate has been increased from $2,000 to $3,000. In addition, eligible employing small businesses will be able to use the rebate to cover half the cost of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).

o The funds can be used not only to offset the cost of RATs, but also other Government fees and charges such as food authority licences, liquor licences, tradesperson licences, event fees, outdoor seating fees, council rates and road user tolls for business use.

o Already registered businesses will receive an automatic top up of $1,000 and newly registering businesses will receive a rebate of $3,000.

· Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant

o The protections under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 (the Regulation) for small retail and commercial tenants will be extended for an additional two months, until 13 March 2022.

o Grants of up to $3,000 per month (GST inclusive), per property, are available for eligible landlords who have provided rental relief waivers to affected tenants. Rent relief waived must comprise at least half of any rental reduction provided.

o Program is expanded in 2022 to landlords who claimed the 2021 land tax relief.

o The Regulation prohibits certain actions by landlords (such as lock out or eviction) unless they have first renegotiated rent with eligible tenants and attempted mediation.

o Performing Arts Package

o This package provides financial support to relaunch the performing arts sector in line with the NSW Government roadmap to recovery, which has been extended to April 2022.

o To be eligible for funding, the applicant MUST be one of the following:

o An eligible venue (list published by Create NSW)

o A producer of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues

o A promoter of an eligible performance scheduled to perform at one of the eligible venues. o Eligible venues have been identified through sector-wide consultation, review of online marketing material of venues, and through assessment of tickets on sale through major ticket selling agencies

o Eligible performances must be evidenced by marketing collateral (website, social media etc) and have ticket sales managed through one of the eligible ticketing systems (list published by Create NSW)

o Funding is then provided to eligible performances staged between 19 September 2021 to 30 April 2022

o The funding amount per performance will be calculated using a formula of average ticket price multiplied by the number of tickets available for sale (capped at 10,000) and a specified percentage (“Agreed Percentage”) as detailed below (up to a maximum of $12.5m).