Cash grants ‘lifeline’ for SA small businesses and income support payments for regional workers

Tens of thousands of South Australian small and medium-sized businesses that suffer a significant loss of income or have been forced to close as a result of the state’s 7-day lockdown will be offered a $3,000 emergency cash grant as part of a major financial assistance package announced today by the Marshall Liberal Government.

The new Business Support Package – worth about $100 million – will assist an estimated 50,000 eligible* SMEs across the state, from gyms, hairdressers and nail salons to restaurants, cafes, and hotels, affected by the new necessary heightened restrictions to help stop the spread of the highly-contagious COVID-19 Delta variant.

It will help businesses cover ongoing operating costs such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw material costs and other fees, and be able to re-open when restrictions ease.

The major support package also includes a new $1,000 cash grant for eligible** small businesses who don’t employ staff (eg non-employing sole traders).

This is an immediate lifeline for small and medium businesses that are the lifeblood of our community and underpin our economy,” said Treasurer Rob Lucas.

“We know this is an incredibly difficult time for many employers and their staff, which is why we are doing everything in our power to help as many businesses as possible get through to the other side of this short lockdown.

“The $3,000 grants will provide an immediate cash injection to eligible businesses affected by the restrictions, by improving cash flow and helping cover costs such as commercial rent and utility bills or supplier fees for raw materials.”

Modelled on similar schemes in Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia, the SA grants apply to those businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million, with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more (in 2020-21 or 2019-20) and whose turnover is reduced by at least 30 per cent over the 7 days from 20 July 2021 as a result of the lockdown.

Mr Lucas said the Government would consider the potential for further support if the lockdown is extended beyond 7 days.

“While we have no information to suggest that will be the case, we will consider what further assistance might be provided to businesses if the lockdown is extended beyond the current 7 days,” Mr Lucas said.

In another major announcement today, the State Government will provide:

  • Fully-funded income support payments of up to $600 per week for eligible^ workers in regional SA, who live or work outside of the Commonwealth-declared ‘Hotspot’ local government areas (and, therefore, not entitled to the Federal Government’s $375 or $600 per week support payments).

The Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment scheme provides $375 per week for those workers who have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours’ work, or have lost a full day of work, and $600 per week if a person has lost over 20 hours’ work.

Mr Lucas said the State Government will match the income support payments for workers outside the declared Commonwealth ‘Hotspots’ of Adelaide metro, Hills and Gawler areas.

“Our commitment will ensure South Australian workers whose hours are affected by the current lockdown will be supported, regardless of whether they work in Mitcham or Mount Gambier, Norwood or Nuriootpa, West Beach or Whyalla,” said Mr Lucas.

The Government has been advised, and is seeking to confirm with the Commonwealth Government, that the vast majority of microbusinesses not registered for GST will be eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600/$375 per seven-day period.

Furthermore, Mr Lucas said if the lockdown continues beyond two weeks, the Commonwealth Government has indicated it would contribute to the cost of further business support.

“We welcome the ongoing support of the Federal Government as we work together to get on top of the current COVID cluster and drive the state’s strong ongoing economic and jobs recovery and return to the lifestyle that’s earned us a growing global reputation as one of the most liveable cities in the world,” Mr Lucas said.

Mr Lucas said, as was the case throughout last year, the State Government will continue to monitor the situation and consider the potential for further additional targeted support for individual industry sectors.

Information about Government support will be available on the SA Treasury website today (https://treasury.sa.gov.au/sbg) and to register interest in business support cash grants, South Australian businesses are encouraged to email smallbusinessgrant@sa.gov.au

Applications for the grant are expected to open within the next two weeks via the Treasury website and grants will be processed as quickly as possible.

*To be eligible for the one-off $3,000 emergency cash grant, a business must, as at 12:01am Tuesday 20 July 2021:

  • Be located within South Australia
  • Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020-21 or 2019-20, and be registered for GST
  • Employ people in South Australia
  • Have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20
  • Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction (compared to the week prior) in turnover due to the restricted trading conditions

**To be eligible for the one-off $1,000 emergency cash grant, a non-employing business must meet the criteria listed above excluding the requirement to employ people.

^The payments will be paid in arrears for the lockdown and anyone affected can apply through myGOV from Wednesday, 28 July. More information, including how to claim the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment (including the matching income support payment for eligible SA individuals outside the Commonwealth declared hotspots) will be available on the Services Australia website soon at:

https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment

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