2021 COVID-19 Business Support

Simplifying 2021 COVID-19 business support packages!

The NSW Government will be providing support to businesses in NSW affected by the current Public Health Orders through two tranches of grants: the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant and JobSaver.

2021 COVID-19 Business Grant

The 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant (‘Grant‘) will help eligible businesses and not-for-profit organisations with business costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 18 July 2021 (when JobSaver commences). Applications for JobSaver will open in ‘late July’ according to the Service NSW website.

The Grant is a one-off payment non-assessable for income tax purposes / BAS excluded and is available to New South Wales businesses that meet a list of eligible criteria.

Applications for the grant opened on 19 July 2021 and close at 11:59pm on 13 September 2021. Grants of this nature are usually paid within 5 – 10 business days but business owners should err on the side of caution when budgeting for cashflow as the demand for the grant has already far exceeded Service NSW’s expectations per the website crashing on the first day of applications.

Businesses can access the grant if they:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and were operating in New South Wales as at 1 June 2021
  • Have total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2020
  • Had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020 Note: New businesses not operating for the full year to 30 June 2020 but can demonstrate income consistent with $75,000 per annum over a shorter period prior to 26 June 2021 may still be eligible
  • Have business costs for which there is no other government support available
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Orders over a minimum two-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 compared to the same period in June and/or July 2019 or, compared to the two-week period prior the Public Health Orders for new businesses
  • Maintain their employee headcount as at 13 July 2021 for the period for which the business is receiving payments under this Grant and the JobSaver scheme.

The amount of the Grant available is tiered depending on the reduction of your businesses turnover as-a-result of the Public Health Orders:

  • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more
  • 10,500 for a decline of 50% or more
  • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

What you need to support your application:

  • MyServiceNSW Account. If you already have an account, you will need to ensure your business details are included on your account and up-to-date. You can create an account or login using the following link <https://account.service.nsw.gov.au/>
  • Two forms of Identification including NSW driver’s license and Medicare card. It’s helpful to already have these uploaded to your Service NSW account
  • ABN/ACN, address and bank account details of the business you’re submitting the application on behalf of
  • Evidence to support aggregated annual turnover of $75k or more i.e. Australian income tax return or Notice of Assessment, profit and loss statement
  • The amount of turnover for a two-week period during 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 and the amount of turnover for the same period in June and/or July 2019 or a two-week period prior the Public Health Orders for new businesses
  • The following businesses will need to submit evidence in the form of an accountant’s letter that the business experienced the required decline in turnover:
    • All businesses outside of the ‘highly impacted industries list’ regardless of the amount of the grant
    • Businesses included on the ‘highly impacted industries list’ only if applying for the grant of $15,000.

The ‘highly impacted industries list’ can be found towards the bottom of the webpage in the following link: <https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/2021-covid-19-business-grant-guidelines#attachment-a-list-of-highly-impacted-industries>

Non-employing businesses and the implications of COVID-19 Disaster Payment from Services Australia

If you’re a non-employing business, you are not able to apply for the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant for your business if you personally have already applied for or are receiving the COVID-19 Disaster Payment from Services Australia.

A non-employing businesses is defined by the ABS as sole proprietorships and partnerships without employees (Definitions and data sources for small business in Australia: a quick guide, 2015). Whether this definition is shared across Federal and State Government departments is unknown however, it does help to provide some context into the quite short definition provided by Service NSW in their Guidelines.

Service NSW defines non-employing businesses as a business owner who does not have employees. This may include a range of entity types, such as non-employing sole traders or any other businesses without employees. To me, the word ‘business owner’ goes beyond the word business and looks at the owner rather than the structure. Therefore, I believe sole proprietors are captured in this definition. I think the rule of thumb here is if you do not have employees other than yourself regardless of entity type, do not claim the COVID-19 Disaster Payment from Services Australia and the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant.


The NSW Government and Australian Government have committed to funding an equal share of 40% of payroll costs for eligible businesses affected by the Public health Orders for a minimum of $1,500 to $10,000 per week. For non-employing businesses (see definition above) the payment will be capped at $1,000 per week.

The eligibility criteria currently remains the same as the 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant however, more details are expected to be posted on the Service NSW website shortly. Applications for JobSaver will open in ‘late July’ according to the Service NSW website.


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