Article supplied by Business Australia
Thousands of small businesses across NSW struggling to cope with the COVID-19 shutdown will receive grants of up to $10,000 under a new assistance scheme announced today by Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope.
The NSW Government will put $750 million into the Small Business Support Fund as the centrepiece of a third wave of support measures to keep small businesses afloat.
Ms Berejiklian said the new fund was based on the hugely successful scheme rolled-out during the recent NSW bushfires, which provided $42 million to 4,200 businesses within the first ten days of launching.
“This is about getting cash into small businesses when they are struggling right now in the face of an unprecedented situation,” Ms Berejiklian said.
These grants will provide a big boost, and we will make the application process easy to ensure small businesses can receive some cash-flow as soon as possible to meet pressing needs.”
Eligible businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for a grant of up to $10,000.
“This is another generous initiative from the NSW Government which is trying to support businesses and their employees as best they can through these unparalleled times,” said Business NSW Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.
“While previous announcements from the NSW Government have centred around concessions for those businesses that are large enough to pay Payroll Tax, this latest fund is aimed at small ‘mum and dad’ businesses with a couple of employees who may have had to close or vastly reduce their operating hours as the pandemic took hold,” Mr Cartwright said.
“This latest initiative is particularly important for the survival of these smaller businesses and has been something that Business NSW has been championing since the start of the crisis. We were concerned that this important cohort of businesses were falling through the cracks and missing out on the various types of government support packages.
This grant, together with the JobKeeper program announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week, might be enough to keep their doors open and keep their staff in work.
“What is also vital is that these businesses will be permitted to use a portion of this grant to receive proper financial advice, because SMEs are struggling to make sense of all of the State and Federal Government support packages, and the business environment is rapidly changing.
“It’s important that small businesses seek the advice of professionals who can advise on the specifics of their particular business, including its industry type, location, demographics and customer base.
“What has been very clear is that employers hold on to their staff for as long as they can, and laying them off has been, and will remain, the absolute last resort.
“Keeping the doors open and staff employed will put businesses in NSW in the best possible position to resume normal trading as soon as the all clear is given by health authorities and the Government, and this is vital for rebuilding our economy as quickly as possible after the crisis passes,” Mr Cartwright said.