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NSW COVID-19 Business Grant

NSW COVID-19 Business Grant

Simon Alford

The NSW Government has introduced a number of measures to support businesses affected by the recent COVID-19 restrictions. One of the key measures is the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant. The grant is provided to assist eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with business costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 17 July 2021. The JobSaver scheme applies from 18 July 2021.
 
Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses. The amount of the grant depends on the decline in turnover due to the Public Health Orders experienced during a two week period between 26 June 2021 and 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019:
  • $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.
See below for further details on determining your decline in turnover.
 
Eligibility
 
Businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have been impacted by the Public Health Orders may be eligible for the grant if they:
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and were operating in New South Wales as at 1 June 2021;
  • have total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2020;
  • had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020;
  • have incurred business costs between 1 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 for which no other government support is available;
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Orders over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019; and
  • maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 for the period for which the business is receiving payments under this grant and the JobSaver scheme.
 
Employee headcount for the purposes of this grant and the JobSaver scheme is defined in the guidelines as the number of persons who are employed in New South Wales and who are permanent (full-time or part-time), or casual staff that have been employed by the business for more than 12 months.
 
The following businesses are ineligible for the grant:
  • the Major Bank Levy was imposed on the entity or a member of its consolidated group for any quarter before 1 July 2021
  • the entity is an Australian government agency (within the meaning of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997)
  • the entity is a local governing body
  • the entity is wholly owned by an Australian government agency or local governing body
  • the entity is a sovereign entity or owned by a sovereign entity
  • the entity is a company in liquidation or provisional liquidation
  • the entity is an individual who has entered bankruptcy
  • the entity has been found to have been engaged in fraud
  • the entity primarily earns passive income (rents, interest, or dividends).
We are aware that there are currently some ambiguities and/or inconsistencies between the application form, the Guidelines and the Terms and Conditions for the grant. We are able to guide you through these issues where required.
 
Evidence and Declarations required
Depending on the amount of the grant and whether or not the business is on the “highly impacted industries list”, businesses will need to provide the following declarations/ evidence:

 
  Businesses on highly impacted list Businesses not on highly impacted list
$7,500 & $10,500 grant $15,000 grant All grants
Declaration/ Evidence of drop in turnover Businesses must declare they experienced the required decline in turnover (30% or 50%) over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019. This payment will be delivered in two tranches.
 
In order to receive the first tranche of $10,500, businesses must declare they experienced a decline in turnover of 70% or more over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019.
 
To receive the remaining $4,500, eligible business will be required to submit evidence of the 70% decline over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019 which includes a letter from a qualified accountant or tax professional (external to your business) providing details of the decline in turnover and total annual Australian wages.
Businesses must submit evidence that they experienced the required decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019 which includes a letter from a qualified accountant or tax professional (external to your business) providing details of the decline in turnover and total annual Australian wages.
For Southern Border businesses, the turnover period is from 27 May 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in May and/or June and/or July 2019.
Eligible expenses Businesses must declare they have eligible expenses for which no other government support is available. They will not be required to provide evidence of costs on application (e.g. invoices) but will need to keep evidence of costs for a possible future audit.
Employee headcount Businesses must declare their employee headcount at 13 July 2021. Furthermore, they must declare that they will maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 for the period for which the business is receiving payments under this Grant and the JobSaver scheme.
Accountant/ Tax agent requirements Businesses must provide details of their qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent for possible compliance checking.
2020 Income tax return Businesses must submit an Australian Income Tax Return (or Notice of Assessment) or other documentation to demonstrate their business had an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020.
Other supporting documents Businesses may be required to submit further documents to support.


For a list of impacted businesses, refer to Service NSW’s website.
 
At the time of application, in order to demonstrate the business is located and operating in NSW, businesses must provide a rates notice or lease agreement (documents must be within the last three months) or at least two of the following documents:
  • utility bills
  • insurance papers
  • supply invoices
  • registration papers
  • contractor licences.
Applications are made through Service NSW using your MyServiceNSW account.and close at 11:59pm on 13 September 2021.
 
JobSaver Scheme
The JobSaver scheme applies from 18 July, and applications are now open and are due to close at 11:59pm on 18 October 2021. Details of the JobSaver scheme and other support measures announced in recent weeks can be accessed on our website in the following articles:
Micro Business Support Grant
In addition to the measures above, smaller businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 who have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more may be eligible for the 2021 COVID-19 Micro Business Support Grant. The Micro Business Support Grant provides a fortnightly payment of $1,500. Applications for the Micro Business Support Grant are now open and are due to close at 11:59pm on 18 October 2021.
 
While business owners should apply for the grant directly through Service NSW, we are able to assist you by reviewing your eligibility for the grant, provide you with a letter specifying your decline in turnover and assist with determining your eligibility for the scheme. If you would like us to assist with this process, please contact us.