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If you’re a small business owner living and working in New South Wales, you’ve probably heard about the state government’s two new crisis payments – the COVID-19 Business Grant and the JobSaver scheme.

These payments may seem simple on the surface, but there are complex regulations about how you can obtain and spend them. In this article, we’ll go into depth about both schemes and explain how – if you’re eligible for the payment – How you can use your grant money.

If you have any questions or concerns while reading this article, the Pherrus team can provide clarification. Call us on 02 9099 9109 or contact us online for clear guidance.

What is the COVID-19 Business Grant?

On the 7th of July 2021, the Premier of New South Wales announced an extension of the state’s restrictions. Across Greater Sydney, stay-at-home restrictions are in place and certain businesses are unable to open their doors.

For small business owners, this forced closure has been challenging.

The 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant was available for the first three weeks of Greater Sydney’s lockdown—from June 26th to July 17th. From the 18th of July, businesses can instead take advantage of the JobSaver scheme.

The goal behind the Business Grant is to help businesses through the lockdown, allowing owners to support the economy and employment once restrictions end.

Essentially, you can spend your grant money to cover business expenses—but only when no other government support options are available.

For eligible businesses, there are three funding tiers available. These tiers are:

– Tier 1 ($7,500)
– Tier 2 ($10,500)
– Tier 3 ($15,000)

As a business owner, you can only apply for one of these tiers and submit one application per ABN. If you have multiple businesses under one ABN, you may only submit one application.

What is the JobSaver scheme?

The JobSaver scheme serves a similar purpose to the COVID-19 Business Grant, although the focus lies on maintaining employment. By saving jobs, businesses can continue to support the NSW economy after restrictions end.

On behalf of the Commonwealth and NSW Governments, Revenue NSW and Service NSW will deliver the JobSaver payment to eligible businesses.

To apply for the scheme, business owners must understand their application could be audited by the NSW Government or any representatives, and Revenue NSW or Service NSW could use their data from other government agencies for determining JobSaver eligibility. You must agree to participate in these processes to proceed with your application.

For any businesses not following these guidelines, members of the public can put forward a complaint to the appropriate public reporting channel.

There are different payments available for eligible businesses depending on certain circumstances, for example:

• If you run a not-for-profit or business with employees, you’ll receive the equivalent of 40% of your weekly payroll (for any work performed in NSW).
• The minimum payment is $1,500 per week and the maximum is $100,000 per week. With the payment made fortnightly.
• If you have no employees, your eligible business or not-for-profit will receive $1,000 per week.

You can determine your weekly payroll by referring to your most recent Business Activity Statement. You must have provided the BAS to the Australian Tax Office before the 26th of June 2021 as part of the 2020-21 financial year.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

For the COVID-19 Business Grant, NSW businesses must meet distinct eligibility requirements for each tier. For example, to be eligible for the tier one grant, your business or not-for-profit must have Australian wages of AUD$10 million or less and show a percentage decline as per current guidelines.

To be eligible for the JobSaver payment, your business or not-for-profit must meet multiple criteria require a decline in turnover of at least 30% in order to be eligible and employee status.

To find out if your business is eligible for either of these payments, visit the ServiceNSW website for details.

How can I spend my grant money?

For both the COVID-19 Business Grant and the JobSaver scheme, there are specific restrictions about how you can spend the money.

Let’s start with the Business Grant. You can use this money to assist with most business costs you incurred between the 1st of June 2021 and the 17th of July 2021. These costs may include:

– Marketing and communications
– Perishable goods
– Wages and salaries
– Rent and utilities
– Financial or legal advice
– Other business costs

Keep in mind you can only use the COVID-19 Grant to cover expenses when other kinds of government support are unavailable. For example, you can’t use the money to pay for government fees covered by the NSW small business fees and charges rebate.

For JobSaver, you can essentially use the money to cover business costs you incurred after the 18th of July 2021. These costs are the same as those outlined above.

While you can use JobSaver to cover the same costs as the Business Grant, the focus behind this payment is to help businesses maintain employee relationships and continue to trade once restrictions lift.

Need extra help?

If you’re unsure whether your business or not-for-profit is eligible for either of these payments—or if you’re wondering whether certain costs are covered—a Pherrus Financial expert can help.

Get in touch with the friendly team at Pherrus for assistance with the COVID-19 Business Grant, the JobSaver scheme, and other government payments.

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