The NSW Government has unveiled its much-anticipated Roadmap to Freedom, which hinges on the state reaching the 70% double dose vaccine target.
The plan has given more small businesses such as hairdressers, retailers, and gyms an insight into what the restrictions will look like once the state passes the vaccination objective.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the easing of restrictions would come as a considerable relief to struggling businesses and workers who want to get their lives back on track safely.
“This roadmap gives us the light at the end of the tunnel we all want and will enable our economy to start firing again, driving our state back to prosperity.”
The knock-on effect of the roadmap for small business
The freedoms for vaccinated adults will come into effect on the Monday immediately after NSW hits the 70% double dose target and the implications for small businesses include:
- Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking is permitted outside.
- Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only access critical retail such as banks, grocers, supermarkets).
- Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
- Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
- Sporting facilities, including swimming pools, can reopen.
The Government also indicated that domestic travel, including trips to regional NSW, will be permitted, which is great news for small businesses operating in accommodation, tourism, and other related travel sectors. Caravan parks and camping grounds can also open once the state hits the double vaccination target.
The Treasurer continued, “This announcement instils confidence in businesses and families right across the state of what the future looks like as we get closer to 70%.”
On the vexed matter of whether the 12 LGAs of concern will receive the same freedoms as the rest of the state, the Treasurer indicated targeted restrictions would be enforced in areas where infections escalated.
The Treasurer also acknowledged that as restrictions ease, many businesses will still have impediments to their work and that the government would continue to provide financial support.
This support includes the recent decision to waiver payroll tax for this financial quarter for all businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million. He also confirmed that JobSaver, the joint Federal/NSW Government initiative, would remain in place.
Businesses can apply for support payments and other forms of state-based relief via the Service NSW website.
How brokers can support the Roadmap to Freedom
Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck, said the leading online small business lender is doing its bit to support brokers and their clients prepare their roadmaps to freedom.
In September, OnDeck is giving its new and renewal loan customers a 4-week repayment holiday for loans booked through September.
“Our customers won’t pay any charges during the 4-week repayment vacation, and business owners in NSW can use this time to prepare for the lifting of restrictions when the state passes the 70% double vaccination target or to explore COVID support schemes offered by our governments.
“Brokers should remind their clients that OnDeck’s Lightning Loans can deliver up to $100,000 in unsecured funding in as fast as two hours with only minimal requirements, letting brokers help their small business clients with their cash flow needs – or prepare to reopen their cafes, gyms or hairdressers,” Cameron Poolman added.
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