Small and medium-sized businesses that have suffered economically as a result of the Omicron wave in New South Wales may be eligible for support through a new $1bn package unveiled by the state government yesterday.

The package will provide support for businesses with a turnover of less than $50m, and that have suffered a 40 per cent decline in turnover in January. Businesses will be able to apply for help through the $700m Small Business Support Package from mid-February. They will need to prove they have suffered the 40 per cent loss in January and state that they expect to suffer similar losses in February.

The package will provide a payment of 20 per cent of weekly payroll, up to $5000 per week.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said: “As we continue to protect the health and safety of our community, we have to ensure our economy is resilient and our businesses are supported so they bounce back from this most recent phase of the pandemic.”

Kean said that the package would be directed towards “those parts of the economy that are really struggling”.

He added: “Those businesses that ply their trade through face-to-face trading, things like hairdressers, nail salons, the tourist industry and also hospitality and bricks and mortar retail.”

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said the support package was being put in place even though the state was performing better than expected through Omicron and that confidence was coming back.

“And as we did with earlier recoveries, we will come through this recent challenge stronger than ever,” he said.

“We’ve got the backs of businesses, as we have throughout this entire pandemic.”

The Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will also be increased from $2000 to $3000 as part of the package.

The funding from the package has come solely from the state government, with Treasurer Kean calling out his federal counterparts for not supporting the move.

“I was hoping to make this announcement standing beside the Prime Minister today and the Treasurer Frydenberg, but they’re not to be found,” Kean said.

“These are not just New South Wales businesses, they’re Australian businesses, Australians that pay their taxes to the Commonwealth government.

“So what we want to see is rather than the Commonwealth government stepping aside we want to see the Commonwealth government stepping in.”

The Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, hit back, telling Sky News: “The Morrison government has handed billions and billions out (during the pandemic). Drops in the ocean all add up.

“You can’t just keep putting things on the credit card over and over and over again.”

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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