NSW COVID Support Package: Businesses still unsure of eligibility says BDO Australia

12 August 2021

Leading Australian professional services firm, BDO Australia, has found that many small businesses are still unsure if they are eligible for the JobSaver COVID Support package in New South Wales.

James Trainor, Tax Partner at BDO in Australia said eligibility requirements were proving difficult to navigate for many small business owners and sole traders.

“We surveyed our client audience and found that more than 30% were still not sure if they were eligible,” James said.

 “The ongoing lockdown is having a huge impact on businesses and they desperately need to be able to access these grants and payments to keep them afloat.

“It has been almost two months since lockdown began and the end of August will be a very difficult time for cash flow.”

“There are some issues with the support measures. For example, some businesses have made a decision on their eligibility based on the original announcement, but that decision may now be wrong because the rules have since changed. Businesses would benefit from more publicity about those changes.

For businesses who do not satisfy the standard conditions, such as new businesses, there is limited guidance on how they can be eligible. The only option for many of these businesses is to contact Services NSW to discuss their circumstances, which slows the application process. In comparison, when the JobKeeper wage subsidy was available the Australian Taxation Office released detailed information about how businesses could meet the eligibility criteria if they did not meet the standard conditions.”

More than 220 business owners and operators attended the BDO webinar. Key findings were:

  • More than 60% are still yet to apply for JobSaver assistance
  • 38% felt the support was sufficient for this point in time, 26% felt it was not enough and 36% were unsure
  • 78% had previously accessed COVID-19 support measures
  • 38% of business operators are finding the current New South Wales support measures are sufficient for the time being.

Background:

  • NSW business owners and operator who have been affected by the current lockdowns can apply for grants and payments. The grant program offers one-off payments of $7,500 to $15,000 to businesses depending on how much their revenue declines.
  • Businesses can also apply for the JobSaver cash flow payment that offers eligible businesses fortnightly payments of up to 40% of weekly payroll, with a maximum payment of $100,000 per week or $1,000 per week for sole traders.
  • Businesses must maintain their employee headcount as at July 13 to be eligible as well as experience a decline in turnover of 30% or more, and have recorded annual aggregated turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million.

For more information visit: www.bdo.com.au/en-au/sydney