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NSW Government COVID-19 Lockdown support packages

The NSW Government has announced various support packages to help businesses and individuals across the state impacted by the current COVID-19 lockdown. Summary of the packages are as follows:

Support for Business

>> Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant

Small businesses (including sole traders) and not-for-profits will be eligible for the 2021 Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant if they meet the criteria below.


Entities will be eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • have an ABN registered in NSW or can demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in NSW as at 1 June 2021. Only one grant is available for a single ABN,
  • have total Australian annual wages below $10,000,000 as at 1 July 2020,
  • had an aggregated annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020,
  • have not applied for, or received, the Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Support Grant (see below),
  • maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 for the period of the Public Health Order (i.e. commenced on 26 June 2021) and
  • incurred Eligible Expenses such as utilities, wages, rent, cost of perishable goods, financial, legal advice, marketing and communications expenses etc.., for which there was or is no other government support available.

Grant Amount

Eligible businesses receiving either the Small Business Grant or the Hospitality and Tourism Grant can receive:

  • $15,000 for a decline in turnover of 70%, or more
  • $10,500 for a decline in turnover of 50%, or more
  • $7,500 for a decline in turnover of 30%, or more

The decline in turnover is calculated by comparing the business's turnover over a minimum two-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019*.

In the case that the business's turnover in June/July 2019 was not representative of their usual or average turnover (e.g. due to drought or bushfires) and they can demonstrate they have been significantly impacted by the 2021 Public Health Orders, the business may still be to apply.

How to Apply for the Grant

Applications for the Grant can be made through the Service NSW website from 19 July 2021 until 13 September 2021 with payments expected to be made to eligible businesses in four days from application.


>> 2021 Small and medium business Payment (JobSaver)

The Commonwealth and NSW Governments will jointly fund a new Small to Medium Business Support payment to eligible (non-employing and employing) entities in NSW, including not-for-profits.


Entities will be eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Their turnover is 30 per cent lower than an equivalent two-week period in 2019
  • Their annual turnover is between $75,000 and $50 million for the year ended 30 June 2020.
  • They maintain their full time, part time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July 2021 

Payment Amount

  • Eligible entities will receive 40% of their NSW payroll payments, at a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 per week
  • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week

The payments will cover the period from week four of the lockdown (i.e. week commencing Sunday 18 July) until the current lockdown restrictions are eased or when the Commonwealth hotspot declaration is removed. It is expected the payments will be paid fortnightly to eligible entities.

How to Apply

Businesses can register their interest from 14 July 2021 on the Service NSW website with applications open on 26 July 2021.

*Detailed information regarding the eligible employees and eligibility of businesses is not yet available. We will update this information as soon as details are released.

>> 2021 Micro business Payment


Entities will be eligible if they meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have annual turnover of between $30,000 to $75,000,
  • Can show a decline in turnover of at least 30%
  • Are the businesses that provide the primary income source for a person associated with the business.

Grant Amount

Eligible businesses will receive up to $1500 per fortnight.

How to Apply for the Grant

Applications for the Grant can be made through the Service NSW website from 26 July 2021.

Detailed information regarding business eligibility is not yet available. We will update this information as soon as details are released.

>> Payroll Tax Deferral and Relief

Businesses subject to payroll tax in NSW will be able to defer payment of their liability.

  • Payments due in the 2020-21 annual return may be deferred until 7 October 2021.
  • Payments due on July and August monthly wages may also be deferred until 7 October 2021
  • Interest free repayment plans for up to 12 months may also be negotiated. More information on how to establish these payment arrangements will be provided by Revenue NSW by the end of August 2021.

Payroll Tax Relief

Businesses with annual payrolls between $1.2m and $10m will be eligible for a payroll tax relief of 25% of the business' annual liability.


Entities will be eligible if they:

  • Can show a decline in turnover of 30% – calculation method to be confirmed but assumed to be linked to eligibility under the Small and Medium Business Support Payments set out above, and
  • Receive a payment under the Small and Medium Business Support Payments or NSW business support grants set out above.

How to apply

Payment deferrals will be automatically applied. More information on the 25 per cent reduction will be provided by Revenue NSW before the end of August.

Support for Individuals

>> Covid Disaster Payment


Individuals will be eligible if they are:

  • Australian resident or eligible working visa,
  • 17 years of age or older,
  • Not in receipt of income support payments, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Dad and Partner Pay or Parental Leave Pay and Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment,
  • Live in, work from or visited a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot,
  • Have liquid assets of less than $10,000 if you're claiming for the period 1 to 7 July 2021,
  • Cannot attend work on or after day 8 of the lockdown* and
  • Lost income on or after day 8 of the lockdown and don't have any appropriate paid leave entitlements

Payment Amount

Depending on eligibility dates, lockdown period and loss of hours, payments can range between the following per week:

  • Loss of 20 hours or more: $500-600
  • Loss of between 8 and 20 hours: $325-375

 *Day 8 of lockdown changes depending on your area in NSW. For most of Greater Sydney it is 4 July 2021.

How to apply

If you are an Australian resident

Australian residents must claim online.

To claim online you need a myGov account linked to a Centrelink online account. If you don't have a myGov account, you can create one.

If you're an eligible working visa holder

Eligible working visa holders need to call NSW Services on the Emergency information line where they can take your claim.

Support for Landlords

>> Land Tax Relief

Land Tax relief of up to 100% of the land tax liability will be available to residential and commercial landlords that reduce rents for their tenants.


Landlords will be eligible is they provide relief by way of reduced lease/rent to 'financially distressed' tenants.  To be eligible, the reduction must not be required to be paid back at a later date.

A landowner providing a reduction in rent to a tenant between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021 can receive a reduction in land tax payable for the relevant parcel of land. The land tax reduction will be the lesser of:

  • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, or
  • 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

Qualifying criteria for a 'financially distressed' tenant' are:

  • Commercial tenants – who has an annual turnover of up to $50 million and is eligible to be approved for the Micro-business COVID-19 Support Grant, the 2021 COVID-19 NSW Business Grant and/or the JobSaver scheme.
  • Residential tenants – who have had a reduction in household income of 25 per cent (or more) as a result of COVID-19 and in respect of which are not claiming the Residential Tenancy Support Payment.

How to apply

Details not yet available.

>> Grants

For residential landlords that reduce the rent for COVID-19 impacted tenants from 14 July 2021 and not liable to land tax, a grant of up to $1,500 may be available on application if qualifying criteria are met. 

The amount available to each landlord will be capped at the reduction that is passed onto the tenants, or $1500, whichever is the lower.

Landlords cannot ask tenants to repay the reduced amount of rent.

How to apply

A landlord can claim either this payment or the COVID-19 land tax benefit (which is an offset of the land tax liability equal to the rent reduction granted), but not both.

Applications will need to be made online, details are not yet available.

COVID-19 & Government help for businesses

Australian economic stimulus package in response to coronavirus - tax and cash measures

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Government released its economic response to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The ATO also released a series of administrative concessions for taxpayers.

Tax incentives for business investment

 Instant asset write-off increased

For new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use from 12 March until 30 June 2020, the instant asset write-off threshold will be increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from the current $50 million threshold). The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets. The threshold will revert to $1,000 for small businesses (turnover less than $10 million) from 1 July 2020, however businesses not entitled to the instant asset write off from 1 July 2020 may be entitled to the 50% investment incentive as below.

Backing business investment incentive

The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million per annum will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset upon installation, provided it was acquired after 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. There is no asset value threshold for this 50% investment incentive. Existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost.

Cash flow assistance for businesses

Boosting cash flow for employers

Up to a $25,000 tax-free payment to small and medium-sized businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $50 million that employ workers, between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020. These eligible businesses will receive a payment equal to 50% of their PAYG withheld, delivered as a credit in their BAS from March to June 2020, with a minimum $2,000 payment and up to a cap of $25,000.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

Eligible small business employers will be able to apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice's or trainee's (in training as at 1 March 2020) wage for up to 9 months from 1 January to 30 September 2020, up to $21,000 per apprentice. Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020 with final claims for payment due by 31 December 2020.

Non-tax measures

Stimulus payments

A one-off $750 payment will be available from 31 March 2020 to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession cardholders including pensioners. There will be one payment per eligible recipient.

Assistance for severely affected regions

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

ATO relief

On 12 March 2020, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced a series of administrative concessions to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, which include:

  • deferring by up to 4 months the payment of tax amounts due through the BAS (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise by affected businesses;
  • allowing affected businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting to get quicker access to any GST refunds;
  • allowing affected businesses to vary PAYG instalment amounts to zero for the April 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters;
  • remitting any interest and penalties, incurred by affected businesses on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to tax liabilities; and
  • allowing affected businesses to enter into low-interest payment plans for their existing and ongoing tax liabilities.

 The ATO assistance is not automatic, taxpayers must first contact the ATO to request assistance, and if eligible, the ATO will 'tailor the assistance package for the relevant taxpayer.


Legislation to give effect to these measures will be introduced into Parliament, which resumes on 23 March 2020. It is expected that it will be passed urgently. As certain incentives in the economic package will only be available for a short period of time, businesses should consider taking action as soon as practicable. 

State Government assistance

State Governments are also anticipated to release their own stimulus packages in the coming weeks.