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COVID-19 grants and support for small business

These assistance measures are available now to eligible small businesses to help them deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

Carpentry business owner checking notes from clients orders in workshop

COVID-19 business grants  

This is an extension to the previously announced business grants program.  A grant between $7,500 and $15,000 is available to eligible businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations with Australian wages below $10 million depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the first 3 weeks of COVID-19 restrictions (26 June to 17 July 2021). For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit Apply for the 2021 COVID-19 business grant.  


The JobSaver employee retention scheme provides cashflow support to businesses to help them retain staff.  The cash boost will be up to 40% of weekly payroll with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum payment of $10,000 per week, provided staffing levels are maintained at the level as of 13 July 2021. The cash flow provides support to businesses for costs incurred from week 4 of the COVID-19 restrictions (18 July 2021 onwards). Non-employing businesses are eligible for $1,000 per week.  Businesses with a revenue decline of 30% or more, and a turnover between $75,000 and $50 million, will be eligible. For more information and to apply, visit Apply for the JobSaver payment.  

 Micro-businesses grants  

A new grants program for micro businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 which experience a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more. The businesses will be eligible for a $1,500 payment per fortnight of restrictions. For more information and to apply, visit Apply for the 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant.  

Small business fees and charges rebate scheme  

Small businesses are encouraged to take apply of the NSW Government’s $1,500 rebate scheme to help cover the cost of NSW and local government fees and charges. The rebate is open to small businesses that have a total wages bill below the new 2020-21 $1.2 million payroll tax threshold. The rebate is available until 30 June 2022, for eligible fees and charges due and paid from 1 March 2021. See the fees and charges that can be claimed back through the scheme. More information on how to apply and the eligibility criteria, visit apply for the small business fees and charges rebate.   

Payroll tax waivers  

Payroll tax waivers of 25 per cent for businesses with Australian wages bills of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover, as well as payroll tax deferrals and interest free repayment plans. For more information , see Tax relief measures for eligible NSW businesses impacted by COVID-19.  

Commercial lease protections  

The NSW Government has introduced new protections to mandate rent relief for commercial tenants (lessees) impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown and supports for landlords (lessors) who provide that relief.

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 has been amended to mandate rent relief for eligible tenants and the prescribed period extended to 13 January 2022. The Regulation requires landlords to provide rent relief in proportion to their tenant’s decline in turnover. Of the rent relief provided, at least 50 per cent must be in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.

Tenants and landlords unable to reach agreement on rent relief are required to take part in mediation conducted by the NSW Small Business Commission.

The Commission offers an efficient and cost-effective mediation service for commercial lessees and lessors. Either party can apply for mediation, and there is no application fee.  Read more about mediation and the leasing protections.  

Land tax relief is available for eligible lessors who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. Read more about land tax relief.  

Tourism and accommodation support package  

The NSW Government has introduced a tourism support package which includes measures to support jobs in the accommodation, entertainment and tourism sectors. Eligible accommodation businesses with a physical location in the City of Sydney local government area can register for the Stay & Rediscover Accommodation Voucher Scheme.  

COVID Development Grants 

Individual artists and small to medium arts and cultural organisations impacted by COVID-19 restrictions can now apply for COVID Development Grants to support the development of new work. Grants of up to $5,000 for individuals and groups, and up to $10,000 for small to medium organisations can be applied for through Create NSW. Applications for the COVID Development Grants are now open on the Create NSW website.

Support from banks and other financial institutions  

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has announced a national support package for small businesses significantly impacted by 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns or recovery from recent lockdowns. The support includes options to pay in full, make partial payments or access further hardship assistance. Customers will need to contact their financial institutions to discuss the options available to them. Business owners and operators should consider seeking independent legal, financial, taxation or other advice that relates to your unique circumstances. For more information, see Australian Banking Association.  

Assistance for Indigenous businesses  

Indigenous Business Australia (IBA) is providing support to eligible Indigenous businesses impacted by COVID-19, including those that are not existing IBA customers. Assistance may include loan deferrals, grants or a combination of both to help with ongoing fixed costs through the COVID-19 crisis.  For more information, visit Indigenous Business Australia supporting COVID-19.  

Dine & Discover NSW   

The Dine & Discover voucher program has been introduced to encourage NSW residents to go out and spend money to support small and regional businesses most impacted by COVID-19.  The program provides four $25 vouchers to every NSW adult resident to spend at dining, arts and tourism businesses of their choice.  To sign up for the voucher or register your small business for the program, visit Dine & Discover NSW.  

 Small and medium enterprise (SME) guarantee scheme   

The Australian Government will guarantee 50% of the value of eligible business loans to small and medium enterprises impacted by COVID-19.  Maximum loan value is $250,000 and there will be a repayment-free period of six months. Business can apply for 10-year loans of up to $5 million.  For more information about the scheme and the eligibility criteria, visit the SME Recovery Loan Scheme.

 Other small business grants and support   

For other support and grants for small business, see Grants and other financial support for small business.


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