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Victoria and NSW extend business support payments

The NSW and Victorian governments both announced on Thursday they would continue to support businesses with financial support despite the federal government announcement it would be phasing out JobKeeper and JobSeeker COVID packages.

Victoria and NSW extend business support payments
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  • Keeli Cambourne
  • October 01, 2021
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In Victoria, a joint funding package between the state and federal governments will continue for at least another six weeks when it is predicted the vaccination target will reach 80 per cent.

The $2.27 billion funding package will support businesses most affected by restrictions as Victoria reaches the 70 per cent, then 80 per cent fully vaccinated thresholds on the state’s Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan.

The package will provide support for more than 160,000 businesses, ranging from retailers and gyms to hairdressers and hotels – mostly through automatic deposits into their bank accounts.

Of these, around 124,000 eligible businesses will receive automatic Business Costs Assistance Program grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,400 per week, rising according to payroll, until the end of October. Businesses that remain closed or severely restricted over the first two weeks of November will also receive automatic payments for that period.

More than 9,000 eligible cafes, restaurants, hotels and bars across Victoria will receive automatic Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5,000 and $20,000 per week until the end of October.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments will continue for the first half of November, set at reduced rates to reflect lower restrictions in place at that stage under Victoria’s Roadmap.

The package will also enable a further 30,000 businesses to receive a one-off $20,000 payment through the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, taking the number of recipients to 65,000.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas said the funding will ensure businesses have the best chance of sustaining the final weeks of lockdown and recovering strongly.

“We know that the bills don’t stop just because revenue does and we are proud to stand with the businesses that form the backbone of our economy,” he said.

The Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula, said the funding for business was an important part of a comprehensive plan for reopening.

Meanwhile, NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, on Thursday announced the state will fund an extension of the JobSaver program to help NSW businesses reopen their doors.

The Premier said when NSW reaches the 70 per cent double-vaccination rate JobSaver payments will be tapered from 40 per cent to 30 per cent of weekly payroll and when the state reaches the 80 per cent double-vaccination rate, the joint Commonwealth and NSW government JobSaver payments will cease and the Commonwealth will end its contributions.

However, at that time, the NSW government will continue to fund its 50 per cent contribution to JobSaver payments.

At this point JobSaver payments will be tapered from 30 per cent to 15 per cent of weekly payroll. JobSaver payments will end on 30 November, coinciding with the further relaxation of restrictions.

“The continuation of JobSaver over the next two months will give businesses across NSW the financial boost they need to get them through the challenge of re-opening their doors,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said pivoting JobSaver from support to recovery would put businesses on the front foot as restrictions are eased and the economy is restarted.

“We are sticking by businesses and giving them the support they need to get back on the road to prosperity with the State only a few weeks away from re-opening,” he said.

After NSW reaches the 80 per cent double-vaccination target the Micro-Business Grant will continue to be available at a rate of $750 a fortnight, before ceasing on 30 November.

The NSW government will announce its comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan in early October, designed to boost business confidence and jobs growth and inject stimulus as restrictions ease across the state.

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