While lockdowns have generally ended around the country, most businesses are still impacted by COVID in one way or the other. Detailed below are some of the relief measures currently available in Victoria and NSW:
Commercial rent relief
The Victorian Government has introduced regulations to extend the Commercial Rent Relief Scheme provisions until 15 March 2022. The extended scheme will apply between 16 January 2022 and 15 March 2022 and will be available for those businesses with turnover of less than $10M that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 30%.
Like previous versions of the scheme, eligible businesses can apply to their landlord for rent relief equal to the reduction in their turnover. Rent relief is to be in the form of a minimum 50% rent waiver and the balance in the form of rent deferral.
Reduction in turnover is calculated based on turnover for the month of January 2022 as compared to turnover for the month of January 2020. However, in certain circumstances, reduction in turnover can instead be calculated based on the reduction in turnover between December 2021 and December 2019. There are also alternative reduction in turnover calculations for those businesses that recently started business or restructured their operations.
Further details on the rent relief scheme can be found here https://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/fact-sheets-and-resources/faqs/#commercial-tenancy-relief-scheme-2022-faqs
Commercial rent relief
The NSW Government has extended its commercial rent relief regime from 13 January 2022 until 13 March 2022.
Like the previous version of the scheme, rent relief will be available for those businesses with turnover of under $5M and rent relief is required to be granted equivalent to reduction in turnover (with at least 50% of the rent reduction in the form of rent waiver and the balance in the form of rent deferral).
Further details of the rent relief scheme can be found here https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
Small Business Fees and Charges rebate
Eligible businesses (businesses that have an ABN and have wages of less than $1.2M) can apply through their MyServiceNSW account for rebates of up to $2,000 to assist with funding the cost of various Government fees and charges that they have incurred (such as council rates, liquor licences, event fees etc).
The rebate can be applied for up until 30 June 2022.
Further details of the scheme are contained here https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/small-business-fees-and-charges-rebate#eligibility
Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund
Landlords that have provided rent waivers to eligible tenants and have not otherwise claimed land tax relief for the period 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021 may be eligible to apply for grants of up to $3,000 per month up until 31 March 2022.
Grants will potentially be available to those entities with landholdings of less than $5M that derive at least 50% of their income from rent and that attest that the rent waiver provided will cause financial hardship to them.
Further details of the scheme are contained here https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-commercial-landlord-hardship-grant
2022 Small Business Support Program
The NSW government has recently announced the introduction of a Small Business Support program that will open in mid-February 2022.
Under the program, eligible businesses that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 40% for the month of January 2022 and the first fortnight of February 2022, with turnover of between $75,000 and $50M, will be eligible to receive grants representing 20% of the cost of their payroll for the month of February (capped at $5,000 per week).
Further details of the grant will be released shortly.
If you have any further questions relating to the above, please do not hesitate to contact your client services contact at Banks Group.