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COVID-19 – Financial Assistance for NSW Businesses

NSW businesses may be able to access one or more of the financial assistance packages offered by the NSW Government (excluding relief already provided by the Commonwealth) including:


In brief, energy businesses servicing NSW are expected to:

  • offer payment plans/hardship arrangements to all residential and small business customers under financial stress
  • not disconnect any customers under financial stress without their agreement before 31 July 2020 (and potentially later)
  • not disconnect any large business customers without their agreement if the customer is on-selling to residential and small business customers
  • delay debt collection until 31 July 2020
  • modify existing payment plans
  • waive fees such as disconnection, reconnection and contract break fees for small business that have ceased operation until at least 31 July 2020
  • prioritise safety of customers who require life support
  • maintain up-to-date communications with customers regarding the above
  • minimise outages

What you can do when you are under financial distress:

  • negotiate with your energy provider to defer payment (without interest if possible)
  • if your electricity or gas has been disconnected, review the reasons for disconnection and discuss the situation with your retailer or a different retailer in light of the above expectations

Land Tax

Commercial and residential landlords in NSW are entitled to a reduction of up to 25% off their 2020 land tax if:

  • the land is used for business or residential purposes
  • the land is currently leased to a residential or business tenant with a turnover under $50 million
  • the residential or business tenant is in financial distress because of COVID-19 and can evidence a 30% drop in revenue for a business tenant or a 25% drop in household income for a residential tenant
  • landlords agree to reduce the rent of the residential or business tenant by (at least) the land tax reduction amount
  • land tax is directly related to the property for which rent has been reduced

Fee and Licence Relief

The following fees will be waived for 12 months from 1 April 2020 to 15 April 2020 (most new applications will not be charged):

  • liquor – liquor licence base fees (for all), trading hours risk loading fees (for most), new liquor licence application fees (for all), pro-rata liquor licence fees (for most), and compliance risk loading fees (deferred but not waived)
  • construction (from 15 April 2020) – home building contractor licences, trade or specialist contractor licences, demolition licences, asbestos removal and asbestos assessor licences
  • other businesses – paintball venue permits, tattoo parlour operator licences, pyrotechnician licences, and registration permits for amusement devices

$10,000 Grant

The eligibility criteria are:

  • having 1-19 employees
  • having a turnover of more than $75,000
  • having a payroll below $900,000
  • having an ABN as at 1 March 2020
  • being a business based in NSW
  • employing staff as at 1 March 2020
  • being highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020
  • using the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice

DISCLAIMER: This article is provided to readers for their general information and on a complimentary basis. It contains a brief summary only and should not be relied upon or used as a definitive or complete statement of the relevant law. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.