The newest COVID-19 relief payments for individuals and businesses: are you eligible?

The newest COVID-19 relief payments for individuals and businesses: are you eligible?

Co-authored by Allyce Silm.

KEY TAKE-OUTS:

On 13 July 2021, the NSW Government announced further economic support packages for businesses and individuals suffering from the current COVID-19 lockdown.  If your business or not-for-profit organisation has been impacted by the ongoing restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for the new grants from 19 July 2021.

The Premier’s media release announcing the support package can be found here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/covid-19-fighting-fund-to-protect-businesses-save-jobs-and-support-nsw-through

The full eligibility criteria are yet to be announced and are said to be available soon.


Along with the announcement of the extension of the lockdown until 30 July 2021, the NSW Government has announced a further funding program that will now be up to $5.1 billion to support individuals and businesses affecting by the lockdowns.

Changes for individuals

  • Under the new changes, the disaster payment amounts have been increased as follows:
    • from $325 to $375 for people who have lost between 8 and 20 hours per week as a result of the lockdown; and
    • from $500 to $600 for people who have lost over 20 hours per week. This also applies to individuals affected who are from areas outside designated hotspots.
  • There are various eligibility tests that must be met, which can be found here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment/who-can-get-it/general-eligibility-rules
  • Residential landlords, who agree to decrease rent for impacted tenants, can apply for a grant of up to $1,500, or land tax reductions or exemptions depending on their circumstances; and
  • Commercial and retail landlords now need to attempt mediation before “cashing in” on a security bond, or, locking out of evicting a tenant that is impacted by the lockdown.

Changes for businesses

  • A new grants program for “micro-businesses” (businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000) and suffered a decline of 30%. Eligible ‘micro-businesses’ may be able to claim a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions.
  • Although announced recently and not a ‘new grant’, it is important to note a business with Australian wages below $10 million can claim grants between $7,500 – $15,000 to cover the first three weeks of restrictions. There are three separate grant categories, depending on the decline in turnover:
    • $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
  • Non-employing and employing entities can apply for support payments if they meet the criteria for being a small to medium business, meaning having an annual turnover between $75,000 to $50 million.
  • Payroll tax waivers of 25% for businesses within wages between $1.2 million and $10 million and have experienced a 30% decline in turnover. This also includes payroll tax deferrals and interest-free payment plans.
  • Although the full eligibility criteria are yet to be released for these grants, it is understood an eligible entity is a business that has had a 30% reduction in two-week turnover, compared to an equivalent two-week period in 2019
  • Further, to be considered as eligible for these payments, businesses must retain all of their staff, including full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing levels as of 13 July 2021.

As noted above, the full eligibility criteria are yet to be announced and are said to be available soon. Coutts will keep across the announcement of the full eligibility criteria and any further information as it becomes available which will be located on our website.

If you have any questions about these changes and how they may affect you or your business, please do not hesitate to contact us and we would be happy to assist.


ABOUT ELYSE STRAHAN:

Elyse is a lawyer at Coutts Lawyers and Conveyancers and has recently been admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Elyse studied Law and Psychological Science at UNSW and graduated in 2021. Whilst she studied, she continued to work with the Coutts team as a paralegal assisting in the areas of Commercial LawProperty LawDisputes and Wills and Estates.


For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Elyse Strahan
Lawyer
elyse@couttslegal.com.au
1300 268 887


ABOUT ALLYCE SILM:

Allyce Silm

Allyce Silm is a senior lawyer within our commercial, dispute resolution and employment law. She has previously acted for a diverse range of clients, from young individuals, parents, families, investors, and owners of small to medium businesses. She has experience in a range of commercial areas including dispute resolution, employment law, commercial litigation and building, and construction law.


For further information please don’t hesitate to contact:

Allyce Silm
Senior Lawyer
allyce@couttslegal.com.au
1300 268 887

Contact Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers office today.

This blog is merely general and non-specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.