The New South Wales (NSW) government has announced new financial support measures to help build confidence in small businesses to invest in re-opening from lockdowns fully.
Eligible businesses with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million will be able to claim a grant of up to $20,000 for perishable goods or $10,000 for non-perishable items if possible future lockdowns impact their capacity to sell goods.
In addition, small businesses that don’t qualify for payroll tax will now be able to claim more road user toll fees, which has been increased from $1,500 to $2,000.
“Today’s announcement is all about confidence,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said. “Last year, as we came through the pandemic, business confidence was key—was crucial—to driving economic growth, to ensuring that businesses continued to employ and bring people on.”
Perrottet said the grant would give small businesses confidence to “buy up big” for the summer months and Christmas trade without concern for the impact of potential lockdowns.
“I know there have been concerns in relation to lockdowns. I’ve made it very, very clear—that is a last resort, not a first resort,” Perrottet said.
Treasurer Matt Kean said the government had the back of small businesses to re-open, invest for the future, and get ready for the summer season.
“Day two of re-opening, and we’re telling small business that we’ve got your back,” Kean said.
Kean expects the summer to be a bumper season for businesses as NSW residents seek to relieve their pent-up demand after spending over 100 days in lockdown.
“NSW is the engine room of the national economy, and small business is the engine room of the NSW economy, so the sooner we get small businesses back on their feet, the sooner we can get our economy roaring,” Kean said.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the increase in the toll rebate would make a “massive difference” for many small business owners who use vehicles for work.
“It hasn’t been an easy ride for businesses across the state, and now we are re-opening this should give them some assurance that we will be there for them every step of the way,” Tudehope said.
Meanwhile, the number of daily COVID-19 cases have continued to drop sharply. The first day of re-opening, Oct. 11, recorded 360 cases, while 74 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.`