Businesses, workers, and the performing arts across NSW are all set to benefit from a major financial support package of more than $1 billion to help those that have been hardest hit by the Omicron COVID wave.
The package includes financial support for small business to buy rapid antigen tests (RATs) to help keep their workers safe and a new Small Business Support Program to assist businesses to help keep their workers employed.
While case numbers are now declining, the government is determined to support those businesses that have been most affected during this wave of the pandemic.
As part of the package, the government is introducing the Small Business Support Program to help support businesses that experienced the worst effects of the Omicron wave.
The Small Business Support Program helps businesses with annual turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 40 per cent by providing a payment covering up to 20 per cent of their weekly payroll.
The Small Business Support Program provides eligible businesses a minimum payment of $500 per week and a maximum payment of $5,000 per week.
The government is also providing support to business to help reimburse the cost of rapid antigen tests for their workers, extending the Commercial Landlord Hardship Grant, and delivering additional funding for the performing arts sector.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said the support package would provide a statewide response to the Omicron wave of the pandemic, targeting those businesses that need it the most.
“Our regions have felt the impacts of Omicron, and it’s critical we give them a helping hand to recover and get local economies humming again,” Mr Toole said.
“This package shows that the NSW Government continues to have the back of residents and businesses in the bush with practical measures to ensure they keep their workers safe and businesses open.”
“By ensuring businesses keep their doors open and their employees paid, we are confident our economy will bounce back strongly as it did last year.”
In addition, the existing Small Business Fees, Charges and RAT Rebate will be increased by 50% from the current $2,000 limit to $3,000 and employing businesses will be able to use the rebate to obtain RATs.
This will support worker availability by helping reduce costs to small businesses and enabling healthy staff who have been exposed to COVID-19, but test negative, to return to work.
For more information please visit nsw.gov.au.