Business support during COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, Council is working to ensure the local business community is supported, well informed and knows where to access advice and financial support. Council has established a COVID-19 business assistance support team focused on supporting local businesses. This team has developed a small business relief package which offers approximately $1 million per month in financial relief.

We are also liaising with the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce to understand business needs as the situation evolves. We encourage those who have  specific needs or practical ideas or suggestions to please email us at business@waverley.nsw.gov.au. 

If you are wanting information about government assistance that's available for individuals and households, please see here.The Australian Government has also launched a COVID-19 app which provides a trusted source of information and updates on the developing situation. Updates from the government are also available via WhatsApp

Talk to us

As this situation evolves, we want to hear from you. Council wants to know what your issues or concerns are and if you have any ideas on how we can support small business in this time. Please email us at business@waverley.nsw.gov.au and we will get back to you.

Support from Waverley Council

To help businesses in Waverley, Council has developed a $1 million per month relief package with immediate short-term support measures to assist small businesses operating in the local government area.

Measures in the package include:

  1. Relaxed conditions of consent for restaurants to enable trade as takeaway-only services.
  2. Footpath seating fees will be waived as these paths are no longer able to be used.
  3. Health, hygiene, licensing and fire safety inspections fees will be waived to all small business in the local government area. Inspections will still be carried out.
  4. Fee waivers will be applied to outdoor fitness permits and to community markets (such as Bondi Junction Mall, Carl Jeppesen Place and Roscoe St Mall).
  5. On-street parking in commercial centres will focus on infringements where community safety access is a risk.
  6. Mobile vendor licence fees will be waived.
  7. Commercial waste fees and charges to be adjusted to level of service. Customers can also apply for extended credit terms during the pandemic period.
  8. Commercial rent support for small businesses who operated out of Council-owned assets. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
  9. Council will pay its small business suppliers promptly within 15 days payment terms.
  10. Extended credit on certain fees and charges small businesses owe to Council with a suspension of interest charges.
  11. Financial hardship policy which will review and implement a process for considering applications for other forms of assistance, including deferred rate payments with no interest charge.
  12. Relaxed operating hours for all supermarkets and grocers to ensure a continual supply and restock of products.
  13. Continuation of Council’s current capital works program of over $50 million per annum through to June 2021 to support employment in the construction sector.
  14. Council procurement from local suppliers if consistent with statutory procurement regulations and prescribed delegations.

Keep it Local campaign

Waverley Council and the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce have launched a Keep it Local campaign to encourage the community to shop locally where possible. As part of this, the Chamber has created a dedicated database online for businesses to list information about what they're offering and how the community can support them. This webpage is free for businesses to register and each business will be able to manage their own listing for ongoing updates.

We’re strongly encouraging all local businesses in operation to register their details so that they can be part of this important initiative. It only takes a few minutes to register your business. Sign up and make sure your voice is heard by the community.

Business Support Program

Council has established a Business Support Program that provides financial relief to small businesses experiencing hardship. We're encouraging eligible small businesses operating in the Waverley Local Government Area to apply for assistance. The program is open to small businesses as defined by the Australian Tax Office. The COVID-19 Business Support Program provides assistance in the form of:

  • Extended credit terms
  • Commercial rent (small businesses only)
  • Residential leases
  • Licensed sporting groups (if pre-paid)
  • External hirers of Community Venues
  • Other forms of support not listed

For more information and to apply, please see here.

Support from the Federal Government

The Federal Government Economic Stimulus Package is focused on keeping Australians in jobs and helping small businesses stay in business.

JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access a subsidy from the government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. For information on eligibility and how to apply, see here.

Other measures of the government's stimulus package include:

  • Boosting cash flow for employers: Up to $100,000 (previously $25,000) to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. Small and medium sized business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme: A guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans up to the value of $250,000 to be used for working capital. Click here for terms.
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees: If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Increasing the Instant Asset write-off: This threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 up to value from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Backing Business Investment: A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Deduction of 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses: A temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. This includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent. Click here for details of the package.
  • Support for existing government program participants and applicants: If you're an existing government program grantee and have been impacted by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to seek additional time to meet your reporting obligations or to complete your project. Click here for more information.

For more information about federal government support, please see here.

Commercial tenancies code of conduct to help businesses and landlords

The Australian Government has released a Commonwealth Code of Conduct to help businesses and landlords manage commercial tenancies through “good faith leasing principals” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Code, agreed by all states and territories, came into effect on 7 April and provides a guide to help all parties share the financial risk and cashflow impact of COVID-19 in a proportionate, measured manner.

The Code applies to all commercial tenancies that are:

  • Suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Eligible for the JobKeeper program
  • Have an annual turnover of up to $50 million

Key principles of the Code include:

  • A proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover
  • Tenants and landlords can agree on tailored, bespoke and appropriate temporary arrangements that take account of their particular circumstances and to equally share the burden
  • Australian and foreign banks and financial institutions are expected to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility
  • The Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants
  • Where landlords and tenants cannot reach agreement on COVID-19 leasing arrangements the matter should be referred to the NSW Small Business Commission.

For more information see here.

Support from the State Government

The NSW Government has announced a variety of measures to support jobs and businesses in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep people in jobs and help businesses stay afloat, the state government have introduced:

  • The creation of a $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees. The fund is already being put into action with 1000 new staff for Service NSW announced this week to be funded by the program. Register your interest.
  • Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred). Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package. These businesses will now get an additional three-month deferral as well. Check eligibility criteria.
  • Deferral of gaming machine tax for clubs, pubs and hotels for six months, which includes payments due for the most recent quarter and payments due for the coming quarter. Deferral of duty on lotteries and keno for six months. These deferrals will include payments due from April 2020 to September 2020.
  • Deferral of the parking space levy for six months.
  • Deferral of rents for six-months for commercial and not-for-profit tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.
  • $1.6 billion in tax relief for small businesses to help save jobs as the state braces for the economic impact of the virus
  • $450 million to waive payroll tax for the next three months for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million.
  • $80 million to waiver range of fees and charges for small businesses including bars, cafes, restaurants and trades people.

Small Business Support Fund

The NSW Government recently announced a small business support fund, which will allow small businesses to receive grants of up to $10,000. Applications close at 11:59pm on Tuesday 30 June.  To apply, see here.

To be eligible, business will need to:

  • Have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000;
  • A payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000;
  • Have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020;
  • Be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020;
  • Use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice;
  • Provide appropriate documentation upon application. Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW within a fortnight and remain open until 1 June 2020.

For more information about the Small Business Support Fund, please click here.

Business Connect

Business Connect is supporting businesses through webinars, advice and other resources. To find out more and access resources click here.

Free TAFE NSW short course

Following an overwhelming response to the initial suite of free short courses announced by TAFE earlier this month,13 new fee-free short courses are available online to assist anyone across the state who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSW Government will use these new courses to replace those which have reached enrolment capacity to ensure there are still 21 accredited courses available for people to study through TAFE NSW.

The 13 new short courses include:

  • Leading Teams
  • Digital Security Basics
  • Build your Digital Literacy with Coding
  • Create a Brand Presentation
  • Undertaking Projects and Managing Risk

For further information, please see here.

Support from non-private and non-governmental organisations

Business Council of Australia

The Business Council of Australia has listed how some of their members are assisting small businesses and individuals. Find their support here.

For FAQs on consumer and business rights during COVID-19:

  • Event cancellations
  • Travel cancellations
  • Pricing and price gouging
  • Availability of ordered and/or stock items
  • Rental issues overseas students
  • Health and travel advice

For more information, click here.

New Business Assistance with NEIS

The Federal Government self-employment initiative, New Business Assistance with NEIS, helps eligible individuals setup and run their own small business. This opportunity is open to everyone, people curious about business, looking for guidance with their business idea, those that are not in employment, education or training, everyone.

NEIS can help them create a business plan, provide them with accredited training in small business, and business advice and mentoring for the first 12 months. All of the training at Sydney Business is at NO COST, and they'll also provide them with access to training materialsSydney Business is an approved NEIS provider with specialist trainers, advisors and mentors who ensure that your business has the very best chance of success.

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