Lock-downs: What help is available for business? Updated for NSW 19 July 2021

New South Wales

The NSW and Federal Governments have announced a series of new measures to support business during extended lockdowns of four weeks or more.

·       Up to $15,000 through the expanded NSW 2021 COVID-19 business grants program

·       Up to $10,000 cashflow support per week

·       NSW micro business grants

·       NSW payroll tax deferrals and a 25% payroll tax waiver

·       NSW Rent protections and grants

·       NSW Sector support for the arts and accommodation sector

You can streamline the process of applying for business support by ensuring:

·       Your business and contact details are up to date on the Australian Business Register

·       Your personal and business details are up to date and you have a MyServiceNSW account with a business profile

2021 COVID-19 Business Grant of up to $15,000

The previously announced small business grants have been increased to up to $15,000 and expanded to eligible businesses (including not-for-profits and sole traders) with annual wages of up to $10 million.

The value of the grant is determined by the impact of the lockdown on your turnover. Your business will need to prove a decline in turnover across a minimum 2 week period after the commencement of the major restrictions.

Decline in turnoverGrant
50% or more$10,500
30% or more$7,500

How to apply

Applications are made online through ServiceNSW. Applications close at 11:59pm on 13 September 2021.


The 2021 COVID-19 business grant is available if you:

·         Have an active ABN; and

·         Can demonstrate that your business was operating in NSW as at 1 June 2021; and

·         Have had total annual Australian wages of $10m or less as at 1 July 2020; and

·         Have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50m (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020; and

·         Have business costs for which there is no other government support available; and

·         Maintain employee headcount as at 13 July 2021; and

·         Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.

Businesses that are not able to meet all the eligibility criteria can still potentially qualify for the grant, but will need to contact ServiceNSW to discuss the situation before applying.

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations on the NSW border with Victoria impacted by the lockdown orders that began on 27 May 2021 may use a different comparison period to demonstrate a decline in turnover. For each of the 3 grant amounts, these businesses must demonstrate a decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 27 May 2021 to 26 July 2021.

Non-employing businesses are not eligible to apply if persons associated with the business, and who derive income from it, have applied for, or are receiving, the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

We can work with you to help assess your eligibility and apply for the grant!

Cashflow Support of up to $10,000

A cashflow payment between a minimum of $1,500 and maximum of $10,000 per week based on 40% of the NSW payroll payments of your business (including not-for-profits).

Businesses without employees that meet the eligibility criteria such as sole traders, will be able to access a payment of $1,000 per week.

The cashflow support will cease when lockdown restrictions are eased or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed.

The cashflow support payments will be made weekly.


·       Annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million

·       Demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover

·       Maintain your full time, part time and long term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021

·       Impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions

The full eligibility details, including how the decline in turnover test and how the headcount will work have not been released as yet.

How to apply

Applications for the cashflow support have not yet opened but you can register your interest through ServiceNSW.

$1,500 Micro Business Grants

A new grant for micro businesses (including sole traders) providing $1,500 per fortnight while lockdown restrictions apply. The grants are available from week one of the lockdown until restrictions are eased.


·       Annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000

·       Demonstrate a 30% decline in turnover

·         The business provides the primary income source for a person associated with the business

·       Impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions

How to apply

Applications for the cashflow support have not yet opened but you can register your interest from 14 July 2021 through ServiceNSW.

Payroll tax relief

Payroll tax and lodgement deadline deferred

NSW payroll tax has been deferred for July and August 2021 until 7 October 2021 for all businesses.

The due date for the 2020-21 annual reconciliation has also been deferred until 7 October 2021.

Previous payroll tax deferrals and payment arrangements for 2020-21 due in July 2021 have not been deferred.

25% payroll tax waiver for businesses between $1.2m and $10m

Businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover, will be provided with a 25% payroll tax waiver in 2021-22. Further details of the reduction will be available by the end of August from RevenueNSW.

Rent protections and grants

Commercial and retail rent protections will be reinstituted.

Eviction moratorium

Legislative amendments will be introduced shortly providing a short-term eviction moratorium for rental arrears where a residential tenant suffers loss of income of 25% due to COVID-19 and meets certain other criteria.

Commercial and retail landlords will need to attempt mediation before recovering a security bond, or locking-out or evicting a tenant impacted by Public Health Orders.

Land tax relief

Land tax relief equal to the value of rent reductions provided by commercial, retail and residential landlords to financially distressed tenants will be available for up to 100% of the 2021 land tax liability.

Specific sector based support

Arts community

A $75 million support package will be provided to the performing arts sector to be administered by Create NSW.

The package will be delivered in two stages:

·       Immediate support to provide relief to eligible organisations who were staging performances during the period covered by the Public Health Orders.

·       Funding available to support eligible organisations to reschedule performances once it is safe for restrictions to ease.

Eligible organisations include performing arts organisations with heavy reliance on box office income, including not-for-profit performing arts companies who were staging, or scheduled to stage performances during the lockdown period, commercial producers and some live music venues.

Organisations will need to provide evidence of performances scheduled, venues and average ticket prices.

CreateNSW will open applications from 23 July 2021.

Accommodation sector

A $26 million support package for eligible tourism accommodation providers that have lost business during the school holiday period. Assistance will be based on the number of cancelled ‘room nights’ of:

·         $2,000 for up to 10 room nights

·         $5,000 for 11 or more room nights

To be eligible, you will need to be able to show evidence of cancellations for lost room nights between 25 June and 11 July 2021.

Northern Territory

The Territory Business Lockdown Payment Program provides a payment of $1,000 to eligible Territory enterprises with less than 20 full time equivalent staff.  Applications close on 16 July 2021.


A Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant of between $2,000 and $10,000 is available to eligible regional Queensland businesses. The grant requires your business to have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30% because of COVID-19 for at least one month since 23 March 2020. The grant is accessible to businesses with less than 20 staff.


Grants and other business support programs are available targeting specific industries such as live events, hospitality, and the employment of priority jobseekers. See Business Victoria.

Western Australia

A second round of Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants of $3,000 are available to eligible businesses in Perth, Peel and regional WA impacted by recent lockdowns. Applications are not yet open but you can register for updates. Specific industry assistance is also available.

Direct grants and funding to South Australian and ACT businesses are applicable when extended lock-downs are imposed.

How to contact us

We’re available to assist you with the lockdown support for your business.

Many of the details required to apply for grants and funding, such as full eligibility and decline in turnover details, are not yet available. We will keep you up to date.

In the interim, you can contact us on (02) 9541 1744 &/or [email protected].

The material and contents provided in this article are informative in nature only & subject to change. It is not intended to be advice and you should not act specifically on the basis of this information alone. If expert assistance is required, professional advice should be obtained.