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$45 million for southern border small businesses

Published: 22 August 2020
Released by: The Premier

NSW small businesses will benefit from a new $45 million grant program designed to cushion the economic impacts of the southern border closure. 
 

NSW small businesses will benefit from a new $45 million grant program designed to cushion the economic impacts of the southern border closure. 
 
Businesses in 13 Local Government Areas along the NSW and Victorian border will be able to apply for $5000 and $10,000 grants through Service NSW from Tuesday 8 September. 
 
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Southern Border Small Business Support Grant is designed to support small businesses doing it tough through the current border restrictions. 
 
“Thank you again to the border communities for your patience during this very difficult time,” Ms Berejiklian said.  
 
“We know people in border communities like Albury-Wodonga, Yarrawonga-Mulwala and Echuca-Moama usually move between towns, with closures having a significant impact on day-to-day business. 
 
“The NSW Government is investing in targeted relief to help ease the pressures and costs of keeping businesses open while borders remain closed.” 
 
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the $45 million grant program includes two tiers of targeted support. 
 
“While we are in these unprecedented times, we are committed to keeping local jobs in local communities,” Mr Barilaro said. 
 
“The first tier of $5000 is for employing and non-employing small businesses, such as non-employing sole traders, that have suffered at least a 30 per cent decline in turnover as a result of the border closure. 
 
“The second tier of $10,000 is for employing small businesses that have suffered at least a 75 per cent decline as a result of the closure.” 
 
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the grants would help keep people in jobs and businesses in business while Victoria battles its second wave of COVID-19. 
 
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities, with many grocery stores and mechanics being independently owned,” Mr Perrottet said. 
 
“The grants can be used to pay for unavoidable expenses such as utilities, as well as to develop marketing and communication materials or to diversify their offerings to help businesses adapt to the new environment.” 
 
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the grants would be available from Tuesday 8 September for six weeks until Sunday 18 October 2020 and small business owners could apply via the Service NSW website. 
 
“The NSW Government has worked hard over the past four months to roll out the Small Business Support Grant and the Small Business Recovery Grant, with more than $593 million worth of grants paid out to-date across the two programs,” Mr Tudehope said. 
 
“Businesses can also access support from a specialised Business Connect advisor, free of charge, to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19.” 
 
Member for Albury Justin Clancy has welcomed the Southern Border Small Business Support Grant. 
 
“This is a step in the right direction and acknowledges the impact on our border businesses in this challenging time,” Mr Clancy said. 
 
Eligible LGAs: 
 

  • Albury
  • Balranald
  • Berrigan
  • Bega Valley
  • Edward River
  • Federation
  • Greater Hume Shire 
  • Hay
  • Murray River
  • Murrumbidgee
  • Snowy Monaro
  • Snowy Valleys
  • Wentworth

The Southern Border Small Business Support Grant can only be used for eligible expenses incurred following the introduction of the NSW and Victoria border permit scheme on 8 July 2020. 
 
The Grant must only be used for expenses for which no other government support is available. For example, this grant cannot be used to pay wages for staff eligible for JobKeeper. 
 
More information on the new grant is available on the Service NSW website and information on Business Connect is available online.


Eligibility

Tier 1: $5000 grant eligibility:

  • Non-employing businesses or businesses that employ less than 20 full-time equivalent (FTE) staff
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) as at 1 March 2020 registered in an eligible Local Government Area (LGA)
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent since 8 July 2020 compared to a period of at least two weeks between 30 March 2020 – 7 July 2020 inclusive
  • Have total Australian wages below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000 as at 1 March 2020
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 as at 1 March 2020
  • Have costs from 8 July 2020 associated with surviving or adapting to the new business environment, for which there is no other government support available.

Tier 2: $10,000 grant eligibility:

  • Meet all the eligibility criteria for the $5000 (tier one) grant, except they must:
    • Be an employing small business with less than 20 FTE staff, but more than the minimum employment requirement of 0.5 FTE staff
    • Have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 75 per cent since 8 July 2020 compared to a period of at least two weeks between 30 March 2020 – 7 July 2020 inclusive. Applicants must submit evidence to show they have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 75 per cent.

Grant use

The Southern Border Small Business Support Grant will provide eligible small businesses and not-for-profits with support to help meet the costs of surviving or adapting to new business conditions that arise from the New South Wales and Victoria border closure.

Examples of eligible costs to help cushion small business impacts due the New South Wales and Victoria border closure include, but are not limited to:

  • meeting unavoidable operating expenses, including utilities, salaries and rent
  • seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning
  • developing the business through marketing and communications activities
  • other supporting activities relating to the operation of the business.

Examples of eligible cost to help businesses adapt to the New South Wales and Victoria border closure include:

  • digital solutions (e.g. e-commerce, business websites, online sales platform)
  • seeking professional advice on strategies to reach more customers
  • digital solutions (e.g. e-commerce)
  • human capital (e.g. digital skills, export training and consulting)
  • permanent physical improvements (e.g. to improve efficiencies or customer experience)
  • diversification of markets and supply chains. 

Related information

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