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COVID-19 assistance

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Introduction

If you’re a micro-business (small business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation with aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000) impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible to apply for a fortnightly payment of $1,500.

The 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant provides cash flow support for micro-businesses in New South Wales who have had their work impacted by the restrictions while continuing to incur business costs.

Eligible businesses will need to nominate the 2-week period in which they first experienced the required decline in turnover, on or after the commencement of the micro-business grant on 26 June. Once approved, payments will begin from that nominated fortnight. Payments will be made in arrears.

Note: Following the extension of the 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant, you'll need to reconfirm your eligibility each fortnight to continue receiving your payments. This means you'll need to confirm that you experienced a turnover decline of 30% or more in the past fortnight due to the impact of the public health order, and that you are maintaining your employee headcount. You must notify Service NSW if your headcount has declined over the payment period.

Eligible applicants can use the grant for business costs incurred due to the impacts of the public health order in NSW and for which no other government support is available, including:

  • salaries and wages
  • utilities and rent
  • financial, legal or other advice
  • marketing and communications
  • perishable goods
  • other business costs.

A qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent may apply for the grant on behalf of your business.

Your accountant will need to provide a letter of authority from you to show that they are authorised to act on behalf of your business if they are not listed as an associate on the Australian Business Register.

Applications will close after 11:59pm on 18 October 2021.

Use our guide to compare the 2021 COVID-19 support grants and work out which one suits your situation.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the grant, you must:

  • have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in, or demonstrate your business was primarily operating in, NSW as at 1 June 2021
  • have had an aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health order over a minimum 2-week period within the period of restrictions (commenced 26 June 2021), compared to:
    • the same period in 2019, or
    • the same period in 2020, or
    • the 2 weeks immediately prior to any restrictions of 12 June to 25 June 2021 (inclusive).
  • have business costs for which no other government support is available
  • have not applied for either the 2021 COVID-19 business grant or the JobSaver payment
  • for employing businesses, maintain your employee headcount from 13 July 2021, if you receive payments from the commencement of the micro-business grant, or from the day immediately prior to the fortnight you first experienced the required decline in turnover, for the period you are receiving grant payments; businesses that do not maintain their headcount agree to notify Service NSW
  • have this business as your primary income source (50% or more of total income), if you're a non-employing business such as a sole trader.

Businesses that received the $1,500 small business fees and charges rebate can apply for this grant.

Alternative circumstances 

If your micro-business does not meet all the eligibility criteria, you may still be able to apply for the grant. See the alternative circumstances outlined in the guidelines.

Ineligible businesses

If a business or not-for-profit organisation is not eligible for this grant, but is suffering financial hardship, they may be eligible to apply through the hardship review pathway.

Certain entities, including those primarily earning passive income (such as rents, interest or dividends) that is more than 50% of the business' income, government agencies, local governments, banks and universities are not eligible for the micro-business grant.

If passive income is more than 50% but the business is actively providing services that relate to the passive income, call us on 13 77 88.

The full list of ineligible businesses is at Attachment A of the guidelines.

Non-employing businesses are not eligible to apply for this grant if anyone associated with the business and deriving income from it has received the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment for the same period.

What you need

  • a MyServiceNSW Account
  • your proof of identity
  • your valid ABN/ACN number
  • your business banking details for payment
  • a business activity statement (BAS)
  • Australian income tax return.

Evidence to support eligibility

If your business is on the highly impacted industries list, you'll be required to: 

  • declare your business meets the eligibility criteria 
  • submit evidence your business had an aggregated annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 for the year ended 30 June 2020
  • lodge other supporting documents, as required, to demonstrate that your business meets the eligibility criteria.

If your business is not on the highly impacted industries list, in addition to the above, you'll also be required to:

  • submit evidence your business:
    • has experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health order in the specified period, and
    • had an aggregated annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $75,000 for the year ended 30 June 2020.

See the guidelines for more information.

Auditing requirements

Successful applications may be subject to an audit. Service NSW can request a combination of the following documents to support its determination of eligibility and use of funds under this grant's Terms and Conditions:

  • accountant’s letter 
  • prior business activity statements 
  • Australian tax returns
  • profit and loss statements prepared by a qualified accountant
  • receipts and invoices from sales
  • business bank account statements.

You'll need to keep all documentary evidence used for your application for a minimum of 5 years.

Proof of identity

Two proof of identity documents are required. They may include:

  • Australian driver licence
  • Medicare card
  • Australian passport
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian travel visa
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • Australian certificate of registration by descent
  • Australian ImmiCard.

How to apply

  1. Check you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Have your documentation and evidence ready for uploading.
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
    Note: You cannot save and resume your application once you’ve started.
  4. Log in, or create your MyServiceNSW Account.
  5. Select and verify your identity documents.
  6. When your identity is verified, select ‘Continue’.
  7. Confirm your personal details.
  8. Enter your business details and answer the eligibility questions, then select ‘Next’.
  9. Provide information about your decline in turnover and upload your supporting documents, then select ‘Next’.
  10. Enter your bank details, then select ‘Next’.
  11. Review your application.
  12. Check the declaration boxes.
  13. Select ‘Submit’ to complete your application.

When you submit your application, you’ll receive a confirmation email with your application reference number. If you do not receive this email within 5 minutes after completing your application, please check your junk mail folder, and then call 13 77 88 if you're still unable to locate the email.

After your application is received, it will be reviewed by Service NSW. We’ll contact you if we need additional information to support your application. If your application is approved, we’ll transfer funds to your specified bank account within 5 to 7 business days from the approval date.

If you’re not able to complete your application online, please call us on 13 77 88

Common questions

If you have questions about the application process, eligibility, required evidence or alternative circumstances, see our answers to the most commonly asked questions about the 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant.

More information

  • Only one application can be submitted for a single ABN.
  • Only one application is permitted where there are multiple businesses under a single ABN.
  • The 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant cannot be used to cover expenses for which other government support is available, such as government fees and charges that would be covered by the small business fees and charges rebate.
  • Employees can receive Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payments if their employer is receiving this grant.
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