It has been hard on all of us and here at Van Cotter Partners, our staff have been going above and beyond to help make it easier on our business clients. 

We finally have a ray of good news shining through the clouds because earlier today the NSW Government has finally provided further details in relation to the lockdown support as applications open up tomorrow. 

Unlike Jobkeeper and the Cash Flow Boost where we applied on your behalf, you will have to apply directly with Services NSW.  However, we are here to assist, and we are required to provide documents and confirmation to assist your applications.  I will go further into this later.

For those not in NSW please note that JobSaver will be available to all States that experience lockdowns of four weeks or more and will be administered by the relevant authority agency within that State.

If your business has a turnover of less than $75,000 please see the COVID-19 Micro Business Grant below for further details that relate to your circumstances.

The support that will be available via Services NSW contains the following:

Sydney COVID-Support Grant – Applications open 19 July 2021

Originally this was up to $10K but with the first extension this was increased to a top cap of $15K.

This is for business with a turnover of $75,000 to $10 million that are impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.  There will be three different grant amounts to cover the first phase of the lockdown depending on the decline in turnover test during the restrictions. These being:

Level 1 – $7,500 for a decline of 30% up to 50%

Level 2 – $10,500 for a decline of 50% up to 70%

Level 3 – $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

The fine print provided by Service NSW as at 18 July 2021 are:

To be eligible for the grant, you must:

  • have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • demonstrate your business was operating in NSW as at 1 June 2021
  • have had total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2020
  • have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • have business costs for which there is no other government support available
  • maintain your employee headcount as at 13 July 2021. 
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Orders over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019;
  • The Grant will help eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with business costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 18 July 2021 (when JobSaver commences) – ie you can’t distribute this as a loan or distribution to related parties.

How to apply, you must:

  1. submit evidence that they experienced the required decline in turnover over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019 (a letter from an accountant, Tax Agent or BAS Agent);
  2. declare they have eligible expenses for which no other government support is available. They will not be required to provide evidence of costs on application (e.g. invoices) but will need to keep evidence of costs for a possible future audit;
  3. declare their employee headcount at 13 July 2021;
  4. declare they will maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 for the period for which the business is receiving payments under this Grant and the JobSaver scheme;
  5. submit an Australian Income Tax Return (or Notice of Assessment) or other documentation to demonstrate their business had an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020; and
  6. lodge other supporting documents as required to demonstrate that they meet the eligibility criteria.

For those on the ‘highly impacted industries list’ you have more lenient requirements being:

  1. for Level 1 and 2, you only have to declare, not submit evidence, that they experienced the required decline in turnover due to the Public Health Orders over a minimum 2-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019
  2. for Level 3, you must submit evidence to get the final $4,500 of the $15,000 grant (you top out at Level 2 if you don’t submit evidence).
  3. All levels are to provide details of their qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent for possible compliance checking;

Alternative circumstances:

  1. Businesses operating in New South Wales with their ABN registered elsewhere should contact Service NSW. They will be able to apply if they can provide evidence their business was operating in New South Wales as at 1 June 2021. Evidence to demonstrate this includes commercial rates notices or lease agreements. Where a rates notice or lease agreement is not available, Service NSW may accept a combination of the following:
  • utility bills
  • insurance papers
  • supply invoices
  • registration papers
  • contractor licences.
  1. Businesses that cannot demonstrate the minimum $75,000 aggregated annual turnover or the minimum decline in turnover should contact Service NSW as they may still be eligible to apply if they:
  • were not operating for the full year to 30 June 2020 (e.g. they are a new business) but can demonstrate income consistent with $75,000 per annum over a shorter period prior to 26 June 2021, and they can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the Public Health Orders, or
  • their turnover in June/July 2019 was not representative of their usual or average turnover (e.g. due to drought or bushfires) which is usually $75,000 per annum or more, and they can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the Public Health Orders.
  1. Where a business does not submit a BAS to the Australian Tax Office, the business should contact Service NSW to discuss further.

We have a few clients that fall into the 2nd alternate category and we will be working on getting the answers as soon as possible but if any of you contact Service NSW and get the answer before us, please let us know as soon as you can. 

Southern Border COVID-Support Grant – Applications open 19 July 2021

For those in the NSW Southern Border Region, the only change for you from those relating to Sydney is the turnover period is from 27 May 2021 to 26 July 2021 compared to the same period in May and/or June and/or July 2019.

JobSaver – Applications open in late July

As of today (18 July 2021), the JobSaver scheme has been structured in a similar way to the original Cash Flow Boost but instead of mirroring the tax withheld, it is fortnightly payments to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) at the following rates:

  • Employing businesses: 40% of weekly payroll, with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum payment of $10,000 per week
  • Non-employing business: $1,000 per week

Eligibility

  • A revenue decline of 30% or more
  • Turnover between $75,000 and $50 million

We envisage that those that are accepted into COVID-Support Grant are likely to be granted access to the JobSaver scheme.  However, the application criteria have not been released. 

COVID-19 Micro Business Grants – applications open in late July

A fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000

How much

  • $1,500 per fortnight

Eligibility

  • A turnover between $30k and $75k
  • A revenue decline of 30% or more
  • Businesses that provide the primary income source for a person associated with the business.

Other Grants and Support in NSW 

We will discuss with our clients that we identify are eligible for any of the following:

  1. Payroll Tax deferrals
  2. Payroll Tax concessions
  3. Gaming Machine Tax deferrals

As things are developing and changing rapidly, we would appreciate that you first reach out via email to kcotter@vcpg.com.au with all enquiries relating to the lockdown and its impact on your financial affairs to ensure that none of these are missed.  My staff and I will arrange a suitable time to contact you as soon as we can or if possible, address your enquiry via email.  

I will also attempt to keep clients up to date with regular email updates and facebook posts.  If you have not already, please head across to https://www.facebook.com/vancotterpartners to like and follow us to ensure you do not miss any information we disseminate on there. 

Thanks, Kev