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Support for Small Businesses and Organisations

Learn about the latest changes that may affect your small business or organisation. If your operations are affected by the coronavirus and you need assistance, view the types of support offered by the Australian government.

Latest Updates

COVID-19 NSW border entry permit (NEW)

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19.

From 8 July, a border entry permit is needed to travel from Victoria to NSW (exceptions apply). Visit the Service NSW website to apply, and view the media release for more information.

A new permit will be available Thursday 9 July to allow people to travel between NSW and VIC for work. Workers whose employer has a COVID-19 safety plan will not be required to self-isolate.

In the meantime, Freight and Transport workers will still require the current critical services permit to enter NSW, but will not be required to self-isolate if their employer has a COVID-19 safety plan. Visit the Border restrictions page on the NSW Government website for more information.

Support for employers to assist injured workers (UPDATED)

09 July update

SIRA’s Support4work grant for small business provides financial assistance of $4,000 paid in two payments, to help a small business manage the recovery at work of an injured person, while the business recovers from the economic impact COVID-19. Visit the SIRA website for more information.

Business Connect: free advisors and online workshops (UPDATED)

9 July update

Business Connect has a range of pre-recorded webinars available to support small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Business Connect website for more information.

Loan repayments deferment to help business owners (UPDATED)

9 July update

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has confirmed banks will extend deferred repayments on loans for up to four months for customers continuing to experience financial difficulty and reduced income as a result of COVID-19. For more information, please visit the ABA website

Support for community sporting clubs and associations (New)

A one-off grant of up to $1,000 will be provided to close to 12,500 local sporting clubs and associations across NSW to assist clubs when sport resumes on 1 July. The grant is part of NSW Government’s $27.3 million Community Sport Recovery Package to help the sector get back on its feet.

View the media release and visit the NSW Office of Sport website for more information.

EASING OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS: INFORMATION FOR SMALL BUSINESSES (UPDATED)

16 June update

Changes from 1 July impacting businesses:

  • The number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centres. All activity must be seated only.
  • Cultural and sporting events at outdoor venues with a maximum capacity of 40,000 will be allowed up to 25 percent of their normal capacity. Events must be ticketed and seated and follow strict guidelines.

View more information on the 1 July changesFor more information on current restrictions, click here.

Information for businesses about protecting customers and staff (Updated)

15 June update

A small business planning tool is available from SafeWork Australia to help businesses manage work health and safety during COVID-19, and as restrictions ease. The tool outlines key steps and considerations for small business when operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit the SafeWork Australia website for more information and view the new planning tool.

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch (New)

A new grant of up to $3,000 will help NSW small businesses in industries highly impacted by COVID-19 to safely re-launch their operations. Applications will open by 1 July 2020.

View the media release for more information.

Export assistance grant (New)

A $10,000 Export Assistance Grant will be available for up to 1,000 export ready or export capable NSW businesses, helping them access new markets or re-enter old ones where business has ceased. The grant is part of a $13 million package to boost regional business.

View the media release for more information.

NSW Government launches COVID Safe Check for business

10 June update

Businesses will be able to check, test and promote their COVID Safe credentials with the launch of the NSW Government’s online COVID Safe Check.

When businesses complete their COVID-Safe Plan online and self-declare, they are registered as COVID Safe. They will receive collateral (posters, stickers and digital assets for use in their premises and online) allowing customers to know that their business is COVID Safe.

Customers are invited to provide feedback on how successfully the business is achieving a COVID Safe environment. Customer feedback will be kept private and stored securely, and will be combined with overall feedback and provided to the business as statistics. This feedback will assist business owners with the knowledge and awareness to operate in an increasingly COVID Safe way.

View the media release and visit the NSW Government website for more information.

Business Connect: Free advisors and online workshops

10 June update

New Business Connect advisors are being deployed in NSW (in both metropolitan and regional areas) to help provide valuable advice and guidance.

Among the 40 new advisors are those who have experience running their own businesses in industries impacted by COVID-19, including the arts and creative industries, retail and tourism. Advisory sessions with Business Connect are currently free of charge.

View the media release and visit the NSW Government website or call 1300 134 359 for more information.
Resources to support healthy workplaces as restrictions ease

3 June update

Commercial tenancy leases during COVID-19

28 May update

Content has been added to the Service NSW website outlining steps for tenants to negotiate commercial rents.

View lease negotiation steps.

Fee waivers for small business     

28 May update

Premium rates for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer (which is managed by icare and covers many businesses and workers) will remain unchanged from 30 June 2020.

Customers can contact icare on 13 44 22 to discuss their individual business circumstances. Further details on COVID-19 measures and impacts are available on the icare website

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses

1 July update 

  • The upper limit of 50 people in cafes and restaurants has been removed. The maximum number of people at a premise is subject to a one person per four-square-metre rule. 
  • Individual groups of up to 20 persons are still allowed on other premises (unless otherwise restricted).
  • If a premise is less than 200 square metres, then the entire premise must be included in the calculations.

View the updated Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 4) 2020 for detailed information. 

Information on the NSW Government website helps businesses get back to work in a COVID-safe way, covering topics such as:

Changes have been made to the list of premises required to have a COVID Safety Plan. COVID Safety Plans can be accessed here. This includes plans for the following industries:

Financial support available to assist small-medium arts, cultural and screen organisations impacted by COVID-19  

Funding will be available to NSW not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations assessed as being in financial distress across NSW on a case-by-case basis, in a new $50 million package announced by NSW Government.

The Rescue and Restart package will be delivered in two stages:

  • Funding available now to enable NSW not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations to hibernate temporarily
  • Funding available in the coming months to enable NSW not-for-profit arts and cultural organisations to restart operations after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Resources

Service NSW

The NSW Government is providing financial support to ease the pressures on small business as a result of COVID-19.

If your small business or non-profit organisation has experienced a significant decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the small business support grant of up to $10,000. Find out more on the Service NSW website

A stimulus package is available for small businesses and covers taxes, rents and parking, and licence, registration and permit fee waivers. Other support initiatives include JobKeeper payments, small and medium enterprise guarantee scheme, access to superannuation for sole traders, instant asset write-off, boosting cash flow for employers and backing business incentives. 

NSW workers and businesses can also access a range of advice and support on non-health related COVID-19 enquiries via the Service NSW contact centre on 13 77 88.

NSW SMall Business Commission

Businesses struggling with cashflow and making usual payments such as rent and a lease can contact the NSW Small Business Commission for advice. The Commission offers a confidential dispute resolution service and can also assist small businesses with issues in relation to insurance and regulatory concerns. 

Find out more about:

SafeWork NSW

SafeWork NSW has launched a new web portal to support business and help them provide a mentally healthy workplace for all employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the portal

Business Connect

Business Connect is now offering free online workshops and free advice. Their website contains over 60 workshops and webinars covering cash flow, emergency planning, pivoting a business model, setting up e-commerce and more. 

All advice is now free advice – the client contribution has been waived. The cap on hours is also waived, and businesses who have previously accessed the maximum volume of services can now access more support if needed. 

To find events specific to the coronavirus, visit their website and search for "COVID-19".  

JobKeeper Subsidy

This subsidy helps eligible employers and employees stay connected. A payment of $1,500 per fortnight (before tax) will be paid to eligible employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020. 

First payments are expected to be received by eligible employers in the first week of May. Eligible employers can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via the Australian Tax Office website.

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

If you are experiencing difficulties meeting your obligations to the ASIC due to COVID-19, you have the option of discussing payment plans and applying for fee waivers. Visit the ASIC website for more information.

Communities & Justice

The NSW Government has The Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors Grant is a one-off grant open to eligible organisations who can provide programs that help seniors aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal people aged 55 years and over, engage with others to reduce social isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak. Applications close 26 April 2020. Find out more.

Further Information

Visit The Treasury for more information including guidelines on employer and employee eligibility. For more information on services that support small businesses, visit our Support Services page.

Last updated on 10 July 2020