Eligibility for the NSW Small Business COVID-19 Grant

The NSW Government has now opened applications for its Small Business COVID-19 Support Grants of up to $10,000. Applications can be made through the Services NSW website here. 

The Grant is to support highly impacted businesses with expenses such as:

  • utilities  
  • council rates 
  • telecommunication charges 
  • insurance payments 
  • professional advice 
  • wages for an employee not eligible for JobKeeper payments 
  • franchise fees 
  • paying creditors, if your business is closing.

Who is eligible?

Small Business Owners are eligible if they satisfy the following criteria:

  • have between 1-19 employees and an annual turnover of more than $75,000;
  • have total Australian wages below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
  • have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, are based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
  • are highly impacted by the NSW Government Covid-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020, defined as a decline in turnover of 75 per cent compared to the equivalent period (of at least two weeks) in 2019; and
  • have unavoidable business costs not otherwise the subject of other NSW and Commonwealth Government financial assistance measures.

The definition of Small Business includesa business operated by a sole trader, partnership, company or trust and has at least 1 employee and no more than 20 full time employees. This means that sole traders with no employees or other self-employed owners will not be eligible for the Grant.

What is a “Highly Impacted Industry”?

The Grant guidelines set out which industries are considered to be highly impacted by the Public Health Orders.

These include:

  • Clubs (Hospitality)
  • Accommodation
  • Pubs, Taverns and Bars
  • Cafés and Restaurants
  • Catering Services
  • Sports and Physical Recreation Clubs and Sports Professionals
  • Sports and Physical Recreation Instruction
  • Hairdressing and Beauty Services

and many more.

Even if your business is not listed as one of the highly impacted industries, you may still be eligible if you can provide a letter from your accountant with the following:

  • has an annual turnover above $75,000 
  • sits below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000 
  • had a decline in turnover of 75% or more by advising:
  • the turnover for a 2-week period since 30 March 2020 
    • the turnover for the equivalent period in 2019 or a comparable period in 2019/2020 when the equivalent period is not an accurate representation of your usual or average turnover.

How can the Grant be used?

The funding received from the Grant must be used for unavoidable expenses of the business. For example:

  • meeting business costs, including utilities, salaries, rent
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

If a business receives funding from the Grant, there are also requirements to retain receipts and evidence of how the money is spent and the ability for the information to be audited. 

What should I do now?

If you think you may be eligible for the Grant you should:

  1. Check the Guidelines to ensure you meet all of the eligibility criteria;
  2. Speak to your accountant about any supporting information required;
  3. Review the Grant Application process and gather all required information. 

The information contained in this article is general advice only and you should obtain legal advice specific advice to your circumstances.

If you’d like more information about any of the information contained in this article or to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted your business you can get in contact via email or contact Principal Lawyer, Emilia Cardillo on 0414 964 205.

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