City News

Government support package welcomed by local small businesses, but eligibility threshold leaves out smallest

Businesses such as Simply Hummus located on Liverpool St, Darlinghurst have welcomed the grants package. Photo: Google Maps

By TESSA PELLE

The NSW Government has announced a brand-new grants package to assist small businesses due to Sydney’s stay at home orders.

The ongoing pandemic has seen multiple small businesses shut their doors due to COVID restrictions and significantly less trade.

Guy is the manager of Simply Hummus in Darlinghurst. He says going into lockdown again has “killed” business trade.

Simply Hummus has been operating within COVID guidelines, but Guy says it has been important for the business to remain open during lockdown.

“It’s hard, we’re trying to do whatever we can, we still have to pay rent and pay staff.”

“Most of my staff at the moment are not rostered on. At the moment, it’s just myself, the owner and one more person. There’s just no need for more people, unfortunately” he says.

Guy says that rent payments and wage subsidies are the business’s biggest expenses. He is happy there will be assistance for this. “Business has dropped around about 30% since lockdown,” he says.

$75000 PA eligibility threshold

Depending on the decline in revenue experienced by businesses in lockdown, three different grants will be made available from 1 July. $10000 for a 70 per cent decline, $7000 for a 50 per cent decline and $5000 for a 30 per cent decline. A turnover of more than $75000 per annum is required to access the grants.

Vice President of the Surry Hills Business Partnership Board, Mike Galvin says that the new government grants are vital for local businesses.

“The grants will be very much welcomed by the business community. There’ll be many businesses however, that won’t be eligible due to their turnover of less than $75000. Many of these businesses are still recovering and rebuilding after 2020,” he says.

“So, I encourage the community to be mindful of this and get behind businesses in any way they can.”

Guy hopes that businesses like Simply Hummus will continue to be assisted through the uncertainty of the current lockdown. The new grant proposals will have a large impact.

“If [the government] is making the decision to lock everyone down and affecting our way of trade then yes, we need the help” he says.

In a press release, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said, “The current restrictions are in place to protect people and keep the community safe, unfortunately businesses continue to incur costs such as rent, power and lost produce, and this will go some way to lessening that financial pain.”

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