A new Hardship Review Panel announced last week will consider financial support for NSW businesses experiencing financial hardship that do not qualify for COVID-19 business support measures.
The Panel will assess businesses that did not meet the eligibility requirements for the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant, Micro-business Grant and JobSaver payments on a case-by-case basis.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the Review Panel would help those businesses experiencing genuine financial hardship that were previously ineligible for support payments and grants.
“COVID-19 has affected so many businesses in NSW, and even though we have a number of support measures in place, there are still some businesses under severe financial strain that aren’t eligible for assistance for a number of reasons. We want to plug that gap as much as we can,” he said.
The Review Panel will include representatives from Revenue NSW, NSW Treasury and Service NSW and will recommend businesses’ eligibility for relevant support payments and grants.
It will consider a broad range of factors in determining whether a business has experienced financial hardship, with the Chief Commissioner of Revenue NSW ultimately responsible and making the final determination for applications.
Factors that the hardship panel will consider include, for example, whether the business is an employer, in a highly impacted industry, in an LGA of concern or has unavoidable costs for which no other support is available.
Businesses will be back-paid to the fortnight where they can demonstrate the required decline in turnover with the Panel. Hardship applications for JobSaver are now open with hardship COVID business grants and Microbusiness grants to open later this month.
To apply for COVID-19 business support hardship review, go to the Service NSW website.
How brokers can help small businesses in NSW
Nick Reily, National Channel & Partnerships Manager at OnDeck, is pleased the Hardship Review Panel will provide support to those small businesses who have fallen between any cracks between the COVID-19 Business Grant, the Micro-business Grant and the JobSaver payments.
“Brokers can play a part too by continuing to work with their small business clients to let them know about the extra financial assistance available from the NSW Government.
“For example, last week, the NSW Government announced it would go it alone and finance an extension of the JobSaver program to help NSW businesses re-open their doors and get people back into employment as the state starts to ease restrictions.”
When NSW reaches the 80% double vaccination rate, the joint Commonwealth and NSW Government JobSaver payments will cease, and the Commonwealth will end its contributions. At that time, the NSW Government will continue to fund its 50% contribution to JobSaver payments. At this point, JobSaver payments will be tapered from 30% to 15% of weekly payroll[i].
As a dedicated small business lender OnDeck Australia will continue to do its bit by making it easy for brokers to help their SME clients rebound from the latest round of restrictions. “OnDeck has recently launched Lightning Loans, which are unsecured up to $100,000. As the name says, Lightning Loans are super-fast,” said Nick Reily.
“Finance can be approved in as fast as two hours, believed to be the speediest in the market.
“It’s great news for small businesses looking to seize opportunities as they emerge from the restrictions in NSW and a big plus for brokers who can get the deal done sooner.”
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