NSW lockdowns: Government and big four bank support for small businesses
With Sydney once again in lockdown, small businesses in NSW may be one of the hardest hit groups. Restaurants, bars and cafes closed their doors over the weekend as stay-at-home orders were extended across Greater Sydney - and they may remain shut for at least the next two weeks.
In light of this latest period of uncertainty, the NSW government today announced a package to support small businesses during this difficult time.
“[Today’s package] continues to focus on keeping businesses in business and people in jobs,” NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said in a press conference this morning.
He added that the package won’t be only limited to hotspot areas and metropolitan Sydney but will cover the whole state.
“We know that many individuals and businesses in regional NSW are going through a difficult time, particularly in circumstances where this lockdown period has occurred during the holiday season,” he said.
How is the NSW government supporting small businesses?
From July 19, eligible small businesses will be able to access one-off payments, depending on how heavily their revenue has been impacted by lockdowns:
- $10,000 if they’ve experienced a turnover reduction of 75%
- $7,000 if their turnover reduction is 50%
- $5,000 if their turnover reduction is 25%.
To access these payments, your business will need to either have full-time employees up to 20 or have payrolls up to $1.2 million with an annual turnover of over $75,000 (as at 1 July 2020). Sole traders who fit this criteria are eligible as well.
The payments will also be made available to tourism, hospitality and accommodation businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million (as at 1 July 2020).
Businesses will be able to apply for the grants through Service NSW, and will need to show proof of their turnover decline across a minimum two-week period after lockdowns were imposed on June 26.
In addition, the government will defer any payroll tax liabilities and gaming tax liabilities for hotels over July up until August.
Big bank Westpac welcomed the government's announcement of its financial boost for businesses.
"We know that many small business owners have been affected, and this financial support will assist with covering ongoing business expenses, like rent and wages, until it is safe to re-open the doors again," said Westpac's chief executive of consumer & business banking, Chris de Bruin.
Big banks also step up with financial assistance
Australia’s big four banks have also stepped in with financial relief packages to help any businesses facing cashflow issues.
On top of support measures such as loan deferrals and fee waivers, the big four are extending their low-cost funding via the government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme to affected businesses. This scheme was introduced back in March for SMEs who received JobKeeper payments.
The SME Recovery Scheme allows eligible businesses to take out loans of up to $5 million over 10 years, with the government guaranteeing 80% of the loan. Interest rates offered under the scheme are capped at around 7.5%.
Read on for a full snapshot of measures from CBA, NAB, Westpac and ANZ to assist business customers during this difficult time:
If you’re looking for additional funding to keep your business afloat, CBA has said it is offering discounted loans via the SME Loan Recovery Scheme. You could snag different variable rates, depending on your situation:
- 2.60% p.a. for secured loans
- 2.85% p.a. for secured loans with a repayment holiday from 12 months
- 3.25% p.a. for unsecured loans
- 3.75% p.a. for unsecured loans with a repayment holiday from 12 months.
Alternatively if you already have a business loan or asset finance with CBA, you may be eligible to defer your repayments for the time being.
CBA is also offering eligible customers:
- Waived fees and notice periods on Cash Deposit and Farm Management Deposit accounts
- Refund on merchant terminal fees for up to 90 days.
Get in touch: Call 1800 314 695 or reach out to your dedicated CommBank Relationship Manager.
Similarly, NAB is ready to help NSW business customers, with a range of relief including:
- Reduced or waived application fees on any loan facility restructures
- Waived costs and charges for withdrawing term deposits early
- Deferred principal payments across various products
- Credit card and personal loan relief.
On the mental health front, business owners who bank with NAB will also have access to professional wellbeing support.
Get in touch: Call NAB Assist on 1800 701 599 or you can reach out to your banker.
In addition to offering low-rate business loans via the SME Recovery Loan Scheme, Westpac is also extending some of its existing support measures to impacted customers:
- Reduced or deferred repayments on asset/equipment finance and eligible business loans
- Waived fees on any business loan restructures.
They’ve also said that they will provide referrals to financial counsellors or other support services, should business customers be struggling with their cashflow or mental health.
Remember that these support measures are available to any Westpac Group business customers, including those who bank with Westpac and St.George.
Get in touch: Call Westpac Assist on 1800 067 497 or St.George Assist on 1800 629 795.
Finally, ANZ has jumped on board with an announcement that it is expanding its COVID-19 support package to business customers. These include:
- Short-term payment relief on asset finance or business loans
- Refund of merchant terminal fees
- Discounted loans via the SME Loan Recovery Scheme.
Get in touch: Contact your Business banking Manager, or if you don’t have one, you can call the ANZ support team on 1800 413 950.
For more details about financial aid available to individuals and businesses amid the pandemic, check out our comprehensive guide on coronavirus on your finances.