Business Support 2021 NSW Covid – JObSaver, Micro Grant and 2021 NSW Business GRant
NSW Business Support details current at 3 October 10am. Current Greater Sydney lockdown continues. Schools will start to go back to in-person learning from 18 October, but not all teachers will be vaccinated and therefore your child may not have their usual teachers. Vaccinated people ONLY may be freed sometime from 11th October when the 70% adult double vaccinated target gets hit). NSW regional some areas are in lockdown. Expect lockdowns to continue potentially for years to come until the Government is confident the health system can cope at any given time. This is likely if more virulent strains hit our shores as time passes and travel is more freely allowed.
Clickable links are in purple through this page. Please note this page addresses business support and does not cover permit and authorised worker requirements. Please look on Service NSW and at the underlying Public Health Order for those.
NSW was kind of cruising along and then BAM, in June 2021 we unfortunately got hit by the Covid-19 Delta variant. This has resulted in lockdowns I think we in NSW thought wouldn’t really happen again to such a large extent. In response there has been the release of various payments of business support for businesses impacted by the NSW Government imposed lockdowns. Please note there ARE MANY individual circumstances. Here we simply cover the facts released by Service NSW (WHICH ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE) regarding the JobSaver, Micro Business Grant (MBG), the 2021 Covid Business Grant (2021CBG) and the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate.
Please note we are not financial advisors. We provide this information so you have the facts to help in your discussions with your financial advisors. Business Support Payments on this page are administered by Service NSW. So any queries should be directed to Service NSW in the first instance and then your accountant. Phone 13 77 88. Service NSW Business Concierge call back request. Alternatively try messaging them on Facebook.
Latest NSW Business Support Updates – including a need to reconfirm fortnightly your eligibility for JobSaver and Micro-Business Grant
30 September = JobSaver extended but is being phased out. Refer the press release on our Facebook page put up on 1 October for full detail. From 11 October (or 70% double vaccination freedoms come into force), JobSaver payments will drop from 40% of pre lockdown pay to 30%, or $1125 minimum in lieu of $1500, or $750 in lieu of $1000 for non-employers. It will drop again when 80% double dose reached, and on 30 November ceases altogether. You will still need to reconfirm eligibility each fortnight, and if you’re not 30% down in a fortnight, you will receive no assistance that fortnight. You can still receive money the following fortnight if then eligible again. The same sort of reduction is likely to apply to the Micro Business Grant, and the Covid Disaster Payment from Services Australia is also being reduced.
17 September – although sticking with the requirement to reconfirm, Service NSW have indicated businesses will receive September payments regardless. Therefore the fortnight of 27 September to 10 October will be the first lack of confirmation will see your payment suspended.
10 September – JobSaver and the Micro-Business Grant now require fortnightly reconfirmation to continue getting. You need to confirm you remain 30% down on turnover and are maintaining your employee headcount if an employing business. Check your emails, with your accountant or the Service NSW website for the JobSaver or Micro-Business Grant for more details.
The ‘matter of policy’ has thankfully been changed. This means you can stop Covid Disaster Payments (CDP) and claim JobSaver instead if applicable and eligible. The simplest is to stop one period and apply for JobSaver the next (but you’d be foregoing the higher JobSaver payments for prior periods).
You may even be able to repay in full the CDP money to Services Australia if that would mean you are JUST in time if eligible for the 2021 Covid Business Grant which was a lump sum for the first 3 weeks only, or JobSaver would provide you a lot more. The Service NSW website still shows applications for the 2021 Covid Business Grant lump sum must be in by Monday 13th September 2021 at 11.59pm (though some accountants believed this was to be extended). If you’re under $75k turnover there is probably little point in changing from CDP (as the current amounts paid are now the same as the Micro-Business Grant), but speak to your accountant about your scenario.
Backdating now only goes back to the fortnight you nominate so make sure to choose the earliest impacted fortnight if you are only now applying for business support. Also make sure you check your bank account details multiple times before submitting! It causes a substantial paymetn delay when the account is wrong and it’s not that easy to fix it!
17 August – commercial lease assistance to be reintroduced but we will await full details before publishing. It appears this year small commercial landlords will be able to claim up to $3000 per month if they pass that on to their tenants.
16 August – news commented roughly 60,000 of 245,000 (ROUGH NUMBERS can’t remember exactly what they said!) NSW business support applications were still to be processed (around 25%). Note JobSaver is being processed quicker than the grant.
6 August – additional eligibility criteria added for comparative turnover periods to make it easier for many businesses to claim.
28 July – additional support measures announced later in the day including changes to JobSaver, increasing payment cap to $100,000 per week and business turnover up to $250million.
Do you have one of these issues when applying for business support? Jump to the answer by clicking on your issue in this list…
You should be able to call Service NSW but expect delays after changes announced
Check our page here and blog for answers, or ask questions like ‘have you received payments’ in your social media groups. There are over 735,000 small businesses in NSW. At 16 August apparently around 245,000 businesses have applied for NSW business support – or a third of all businesses. If half of them make phone calls you’re looking at OVER 100,000 businesses making calls! Many of the calls people are making are asking where a payment is. I know you’re desperate, but so too are many thousands of others.
It is clear the NSW Government underestimated the work required to get this in place, handle the queries and alternative circumstances, and process the payments. They are delayed and unfortunately the lack of communication is compounding the problem. So please if you can, be patient. I am aware of some people’s grant applications disappearing from the system, for those you may want to call.
Also be sure to check your bank account as payments for grants and JobSaver have started to be paid. They’re being paid without any notification, and in some cases the system still say in progress even with the money paid.
What size business are you by turnover?
The first question for business support options. Why is it not business structure? Because it is irrelevant this time around – any standard small business – sole trader, partnership, company and not-for-profits may utilise this business support if eligible.
If your normal turnover per annum pre-Covid* was:
below $30k – you are not eligible for business support
– you should contact Services Australia for their Covid Disaster Payment
$30k – $75k – you may be eligible for the Micro Business Grant (MBG)
$75k – $50m (JobSaver $250m) – you may be eligible for the 2021 Covid Business Grant (CBG) AND
“Larger businesses in the hospitality, tourism and recreation industries with a turnover more than $250 million and up to $1 billion may be eligible for a larger weekly payment under the extension to the JobSaver scheme. For more information, visit JobSaver payment – large tourism, hospitality and recreation businesses.” from Service NSW apply for JobSaver webpage.
Wages under $1.2m per annum – Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate (one off claim for $1500 rebate)
The turnover reduction calculation comparison period has now (as at 6 August 2021) been modified for JobSaver, CBG and Micro Business Grant. Instead of a single comparison date giving eligibility, there are now 3 prior period options to compare your 2 Covid lockdown weeks to. Same period in 2019, same period in 2020 or 12 June – 25 June 2021 (note the date was corrected by Service NSW from 11th June which was actually 15 days not 14). This means if you meet one of these dates and meet all other criteria, you are no longer subject to alternative circumstances.
*Standard proof of turnover will be your financial year ending June 2020 tax return. If your 2019/2020 didn’t exist because you’re a newer business, or because you were sick or injured then do not panic! You may still be eligible under Alternative Circumstances within the guidelines of each type of business support. Those two specific examples are clearly included. Previously all alternative circumstances had to contact Service NSW on 13 77 88. Now some standard scenarios have been added as an appendix to each support’s guidelines page. Please check that first.
How is turnover determined?
Turnover is calculated on the same as your BAS if lodged (cash or accrual (on invoice) methods). If no BAS you can choose, but must be consistent. Turnover is ‘GST turnover’ which means all Government support (such as last year’s JobKeeper) is to be excluded from your calculations.
What NSW support can employee company directors access? Plus Q and A
And much more … If you are confused, the video below covers many of the key issues. Recorded live on 30 July 2021. If you want to see the timestamps so you can jump ahead you can either check out the video on YouTube or check out the blog which includes a transcript and time stamps.
Please note many businesses fall outside the standard criteria. Does this mean all is lost? ABSOLUTELY NOT! The criteria is not designed to knock genuinely impacted people out, but rather give ways to measure situations and stop any random applying.
New business – as long as your ABN was registered before 1 June 2021, you may be eligible. You will need to prove your annualised turnover forecast pre-lockdown and the lockdown has reduced your business turnover for at least two weeks compared to the same period in 2019, 2020 or from 12 June – 25 June 2021.
Growing business – this one is not specifically mentioned, but Gladys stated again 26 July very clearly in her 11am press conference, that if you are a business who experienced loss due to Covid ‘you will be covered’ so it is expected this scenario is covered and will simply need a supporting letter from your accountant or registered BAS Agent. Again the change announced 6 August 2021 means many of you will now be eligible. However, if your turnover growth has changed eligibility (i.e. moved you up above $30k or $75k), you will still need the extra alternative circumstance information.
Receipts came in after work done?
Normal invoicing practices must be followed, and you should apply cash or accrual accounting methods per normal. This may mean although shutdown you receive money. Therefore you will need to wait until you can prove you have experienced a two week reduction in income, which may mean you can’t claim for an extra week or so. Currently all payments are being backdated to the respective start dates anyway which seems a little odd if you weren’t impacted initially (remember we all collectively will be paying the billions back through future fees and taxes!).
Turnover moved from below $75k to above $75k per annum? If your 2019/2020 financial year was below $75k, but your 2020/2021 was above $75k or for instance a recent quarterly BAS annualised is above $75k, you will be able to show the higher turnover under alternative circumstances. If your last tax return or BAS when annualised will take you over $75k you will need your accountant to write a letter proving this. Refer the letter templates within each grant/payment.
Are you an employing business?
Whether employing or not doesn’t really impact which business support payments and grants you can apply for, but it will impact the amount and some of the criteria, terms and conditions. For instance, for non-employing businesses the business owner may not be in receipt of Covid Disaster Payments (CDP) from Services Australia (Centrelink). You cannot double dip.
There is some grey area we are still trying to get answers from Service NSW with regards to employing business owners, particularly if they’re a sole trader. You will be asked by Services Australia if YOU are claiming a state small business payment. As an employing sole trader the answer would have to be yes making you ineligible. With the increased CDP this matches anyway for businesses under $75k revenue. However, for a company the legal entity receiving the payment is the business, so it looks like you can claim as an employee of a company in certain situations. Refer the video and blog below.
Employees not linked to the business owner can claim a Covid-19 disaster payment from Services Australia if eligible
Note all employees not linked to the business owner can claim a Covid-19 disaster payment from Services Australia (Centrelink) if eligible (e.g. where they have lost at least 8 hours work a week). This will not impact your rights to claim as a business owner. Non-employing business owners can not double dip – you cannot claim both (as you are not a discrete individual employee).
Sole traders in no circumstance can claim both CDP and business support (regardless of employing or not). Currently the NSW Treasury advises as a ‘matter of policy’ you can’t switch. Realising the devastating impact of this policy, this decision is under review. If you have not claimed CDP, don’t! Apply for Business Support.
For business owners who are also employees, please refer the video above or blog as we have covered all the different scenarios which explains why some people are getting yes, no and maybe answers.
JobSaver increased – announced 28 July 2021
It was announced 28 July 2021 that for JobSaver businesses that it applies to is increasing with turnover up to $250m in lieu of $50m. The maximum amounts also increase from $10,000 per week to $100,000. These were updated on the Service NSW site 6 August 2021.
Did you get an Application Submission Error?
Unfortunately this seems to be happening to a number of people. Don’t panic. The information should have saved – at least for JobSaver. Walk away, have a cup of tea and come back and calmly retry (or give it a few hours and resubmit then). Don’t add to the problem by chucking your laptop across the room!
If you are doing it tough you may want to grab our FREE guide on how to reduce your expenses
By joining our mailing list you will get access to this guide – 30 pages packed with 74 ways to reduce your business expenses (and in some cases personal expenses). Some things are no brainers like stopping paying for things you no longer even use, checking if your electricity supplier will drop their rates or increase their discount. So many options – and so many are easy to do!
The MBG is for any business structure with annual turnover $30k – $75k who have suffered a 30% drop in turnover over a 2 week period (changed 6/8/21 so it’s versus same period 2019, 2020 or 12-25 June 2021).
Eligible businesses will receive $1500 per fortnight to cover business expenses not covered by other grants. From 13 Sep 2021 you must reconfirm eligibility fortnightly.
For a non-employing business the business must be the owner’s primary source of income, and you must not be claiming Covid-19 disaster payment from Centrelink. In this non-employing case you can not switch CDP to MBG. As announced 28 July 2021 this is not a problem as the business owner can now get $750 CDP (up from $600 initially advised). Can only claim for one non-employing business per ABN/person. Read the guidelines and T&C! Can be backdated to later of 26 June 2021 or the first fortnight impacted.
The small business fees and charges rebates is for any business structure, any size, with a wages bill under $1.2m p.a. Basically it’s for NSW and Local Government charges you pay like licences, DAs, long service leave levy for cleaning and construction … The list is long!
Eligible businesses will claim an amount of $1500 as a one-off rebate amount per ABN. There is no turnover reduction check. They can drawdown multiple times up to the $1500 limit. Read the eligible fees PDF, guidelines and T&C!
The CBG is for businesses with pre-Covid annual turnover of $75k to $50m. You can be any business type including a sole trader, partnership, company or NFP. This ‘grant’ is ONLY for businesses impacted during weeks 1 to 3 (before construction went into temporary lockdown).
Eligible businesses can claim a one-off grant of $7,500 (30% drop), $10,500 (50%) or $15,000 (70%) to cover the first 3 weeks of lockdown. You must agree to maintain headcount (refer below JobSaver about this).
Read the guidelines and T&C including Alternative Circumstances if it appears on first glance you’re not eligible. Applications close unless extended on Monday 13th September 2021 at 11.59pm.
Additional notes on the 2021 Covid-19 Business Grant
Earlier businesses who applied for the $15,000, only received up to $10,500, with the balance to come a bit later. Please note the money hits the bank account with no notification. This may be because, even if on the highly impacted industry list, you must provide additional supporting proof of the 70% reduction in turnover, plus the sheer volume of applications. As at 16 August the remaining payments seem to be hitting bank accounts. Later applicants got paid the $15,000 if approved in one hit BUT it seems to be getting lower priority to JobSaver applications. Therefore DO NOT wait for the grant to be approved, wait 2 weeks and apply for JobSaver as Service NSW suggested. That may help them (makes processing easier) BUT you will end up waiting MUCH longer for any money as JobSaver is getting priority processing. People applying for both at the same time (sure it takes more work for you as you need to upload all the information twice) are getting JobSaver in under a week and waiting for the grant to be approved.
The loss must be able to be proved for a minimum 2 week period from 26 June to 17 July 2021. Note this was shortened from an earlier 26 July to specifically exclude the construction closedown starting 18 July who are covered by JobSaver instead. 18 July was the start of week 4 of lockdown, so if only impacted from week 4 you had no need for this week 1 – 3 grant. The grant was meant to get money to people quicker while Service NSW sorted out the more complex JobSaver. Remember the NSW State Government business support took a while to be announced. Unfortunately for many people this money has NOT been processed quickly.
JobSaver limits increased – announced 28 July 2021
It was announced 28 July 2021 that for JobSaver businesses that it applies to is increasing with turnover up to $250m in lieu of $50m. The maximum amounts also increase from $10,000 per week to $100,000. The Service NSW site was updated 6 August 2021.
Rather than ONLY comparing to 2019, you now have 3 choices to compare turnover to as standard – the same 2 weeks in 2019, the same 2 weeks in 2020 OR the 2 weeks immediately prior to lockdown (12th June to 25th June 2021 – note this was initially put on the website incorrectly as 11th June but that would make a 15 day period).
The JobSaver payment is for businesses with pre-Covid annual turnover of $75k to $50m. You can be any business type including a sole trader, partnership, company or NFP. We have made notes here.
JobSaver kicks in from week 4 of the lockdown or 18th July 2021. This is the earliest can backdate to, but it will now be based on the fortnight you nominate when you can show the 30% turnover reduction. You can claim both this and the CBG if eligible if your turnover was down before week 4.
Eligible employing businesses can claim 40% of their pre lockdown total weekly wage bill as determined off their BAS (1). A minimum of $1500 per week to $100,000 per week will be calculated and paid fortnightly. From 13th September 2021 you will need to reconfirm your turnover reduction and, if applicable, your employee headcount.
Non-employing businesses will get $1000 per week if primary income and can only claim one business.
Read the guidelines and T&C! Also read the impending changes at the top of this page in latest updates.
JobSaver weekly payroll calculation
Note 1. The weekly payroll is calculated based on your last BAS submitted before 26 June 2021, so for most this will be the March quarter BAS or the May monthly BAS. There is a formula contained in the guidelines in point 2 available funding. There are a number of lines from the BAS which are to be excluded. Please review the guidelines. Please note enter $0 in wages for non-employing businesses (sole traders, partnerships, directors not taking a salary AND no employees).
Maintain employee headcount
You must agree to maintain employee headcount as at 13 July 2021. You can stand down or leave employees stood down. You can not fire or terminate an employee (unless it was a matter outside your control e.g. you could still sack an employee for theft). Note not all employees are counted and contractors definitely not. Refer the guidelines.
This does NOT mean you need to pay salaries or wages to employees, or top ups of these. They can claim from Services Australia. However if you have excess money after paying all your other allowed business expenses (not covered by things like the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate), then you may want to top up employees otherwise you may not be entitled to that money. Plus it’s a good thing to do for employee morale and loyalty. Watch the amount though if they no longer lose the amounts for the Covid Disaster Payment (minimum 8 hours for the lower payment and 20 hours for the upper payment of hours lost).
Highly impacted list and connected ABN invalid error
Those on the highly impacted industry list do not need an accountant letter for JobSaver if they fit the standard criteria (including the revised dates for comparison). If you’re not on that list you will need an accountant’s letter to support your reduction in turnover claim. Note there is a template on the Service NSW website and the accountant must confirm you have not changed your invoicing patterns.
Please note your ANZSIC Code attached to your ABN must match one of the highly impacted industries (codes are in the list). If you get an ABN error this may be why. You will need to go to the ABR register not just view the public website to see your ANZSIC Code and change it if necessary. Note you may need to advise the ATO too.
To assist in your understanding we have gone through the JobSaver application page and pointed out bits you need to note.
Audits may be conducted – keep good records!
You may be audited. Please ensure you keep good records including of the business expenses paid, including owner drawings if not an employee.
Still lost and confused about 2021 Sydney NSW lockdown business support?
As these payments are administered by Service NSW please contact them in the first assistance 13 77 88. We were communicating with NSW Treasury and Service NSW directly but they have cut us off!! All good we will still continue to push for changes by working with the Chamber Alliance and some accountants and bookkeepers.
All FAQ Business Training is currently online due to Covid-19
If you have time on your hands, please check out our Upcoming Events tab to see when we’re speaking next. All our face to face workshops are now online due to Coronavirus. Although this can open up the audience, it doesn’t mean all courses are accessible to everyone due to arrangements with third party funding. Please note the restrictions. Also make sure you like our Facebook page where we do Facebook Lives for everyone including our Tea Time Tips Series, and Instagram for our edutaining Reels (educational and entertaining rolled into one).
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