FREE OF CHARGE ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY LOCKDOWN

Small businesses affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions are encouraged to seek free-of-charge advice from the NSW Government’s business advisory service Business Connect.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said Business Connect had advisors across the state who were ready to help businesses navigate the current situation.

“We know many small businesses across NSW and particularly in the Sydney metropolitan area are doing it tough at the moment,” Mr Tudehope said.

“While some businesses have had to shut their doors to comply with the Public Health Orders, others are experiencing reduced foot traffic and challenges with cashflow, paying rent and wages.

“But Government support is available, including Business Connect. All of the advisors have previously owned small businesses and they can advise business owners on ways to make it through this health pandemic and plan for the future. All advice provided is free of charge if it relates to COVID-19.”

Mr Tudehope said Business Connect had helped more than 40,000 businesses since the program started in 2017 and the service had more than 60 free-of-charge webinars available for small businesses coming up, through to September 2021.

“There are new webinar topics addressing issues being faced by business owners during this difficult period, including dealing with disputes, starting your own online store, cash flow essentials and building a more resilient business,” Mr Tudehope said.

“The webinars are a great way for all small business owners to upskill and learn from experts, with other key day-to-day topics, from cyber security to social media marketing.”

In addition to helping small businesses, Business Connect can also assist medium enterprises and in some circumstances, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations, if eligible.

Mr Tudehope said other Government support measures that could benefit small businesses through the current COVID-19 lockdown include:

  • The 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant is available to eligible NSW businesses that have a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive), and a total Australian wages bill of $10 million or less. They can claim grants between $7,500 and $15,000 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions. Businesses can apply now by visiting nsw.gov.au;
  • The JobSaver scheme, to be delivered together with the Commonwealth, will provide cash flow support to help eligible businesses retain staff. This will be up to 40 per cent of weekly payroll with a payment of between $1,500 to a maximum of $10,000 per week, provided staffing levels are maintained at the level as of 13 July 2021. Eligible non-employing businesses will receive $1,000 per week;
  • The Micro Business COVID-19 Support Grant is available for eligible businesses with a turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 that experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more. Eligible businesses will receive $1,500, tax-free, per fortnight of restrictions;
  • Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants, up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability;
  • Residential landlords who decrease rent for impacted tenants can apply for a grant of up to $1,500 or land tax relief depending on their circumstances.
  • Introduction of legislative amendments to ensure a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25 per cent due to COVID-19 and meets a range of criteria;
  • No recovery of security bonds, or lockouts or evictions of impacted retail and commercial tenants prior to mediation.

For more on Business Connect visit www.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect

For more information on the support measures for businesses visit https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses