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New $20,000 support payments for NSW businesses hit by local lockdowns

The NSW government will provide $20,000 grants to SMEs hit by local lockdowns as part of a new business support package as the state emerges from more than 100 days of lockdown.

The cornerstone of the support package are grants for businesses that lose revenue due to wasted perishables or reduced capacity limits if the government enforces local lockdowns over the summer months.

Premier Dominic Perrottet announced the package on Tuesday morning, saying the payments will give businesses the confidence “to purchase stock and invest for the future knowing their doors will remain open as we get our economy firing again”.

Up to $20,000 in support payments to cover wastage

The SME Summer Holiday Stock Guarantee will be available to businesses with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million.

Businesses selling perishable goods can apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to compensate for loss of stock if a local lockdown occurs and restrictions reduce their capacity to sell goods, while businesses that sell non-perishable items can apply for up to $10,000.

While the NSW government is yet to release the full eligibility requirements, the grants will be for small and medium businesses affected by public health orders between December 1, 2021 and January 31, 2022.

The grants highlight the government may enforce snap restrictions in localised areas of the state over the summer to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the government acknowledges how devastating it is for businesses and their employees when they have to shut due to COVID-19.

“The grants will make it easier for businesses to manage their stock with confidence,” Kean said.

Up to $2000 in fee rebates

The support package will also funnel funds into the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate scheme, increasing the rebate from $1500 to $2000.

Businesses will now be able to continue claiming rebates on some government fees, such as council rates and road user tolls until the end of the financial year.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the expanded rebate scheme will offer confidence and certainty to businesses.

“It hasn’t been an easy ride for businesses across the state and now we are reopening, this should give them some assurance that we will be there for them every step of the way,” Tudehope said.

Restrictions in NSW eased on Monday, as the state passed the 70% double vaccination target. Further restrictions are set to ease when the state passes the 80% double-dose milestone.

This story originally appeared on SmartCompany, and has been republished with permission.

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