Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has warmly welcomed Tuesday’s announcement of a further support package as a critical lifeline for hospitality businesses affected by the current NSW Lockdown. R&CA also congratulated the NSW & Federal Governments for working together to deliver a package that mirrors earlier requests from R&CA to strengthen support to help thousands of restaurants, cafes, function centres and caterers to get through this disastrous period.
R&CA CEO Wes Lambert said the newly announced plan, which contained significant boosts to existing business support including rental and payroll tax relief, increased business support grants, cash-flow assistance and increases to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, would be of great assistance to thousands of struggling hospitality businesses and their staff across the state.
‘These changes directly respond to R&CA’s ‘3 Point Plan’ that we submitted to the NSW Government last week and earlier requests to the Federal Government. We are delighted that the NSW Government listened to the common-sense proposals of businesses groups like R&CA and have taken our suggestions directly on board’, Mr Lambert said.
‘We identified increasing existing business support grants, significant rental relief payments, payroll waivers and further cash-flow support as sensible and immediate action that could be taken to help hospitality businesses across the state’, Mr Lambert said.
The package, outlined today by the Prime Minister, NSW Premier & NSW Treasurer, includes:
- Increasing COVID-19 Disaster Payments available to workers who have lost hours due to the current lockdown to $600 for those who lose more than 20 hours per week and $375 for those who lose between 8-20 hours a week. These payments are now available state-wide, not just to workers in greater Sydney. These payments will be administered by Services Australia.
- Weekly cash payments for the life of the current lockdown to businesses of between a minimum of $1000 and a maximum of $10,000. These payments will be calculated at 40 per cent of the weekly wage cost, provided businesses have seen revenue drop by at least 30 per cent, with the payments to be administered by Service NSW.
- A greatly expanded small business grant program, with cash grants now available for businesses with payrolls up to $10m per year.
- Payroll tax waivers and deferrals for businesses facing continued significant tax liabilities for the current quarter.
- A moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants without mediation, with land tax waiver incentives in place for landlords who seek to reduce rental payments owed during this period.
It is expected that expressions of interest for many of the new support measures will be available from tomorrow—with applications for small business grants opening on Monday, July 19.
Mr Lambert said that these measures will mean the difference between survival and failure for hospitality businesses—large and small—across the state who were facing certain ruin.
‘There is still a long way to go before we can foreseeably end this lockdown; that is why these payments and support measures will be vital to get as many businesses as possible to the other side.
‘The NSW Treasurer today told businesses across our sector that ‘We have your back’, and after today’s announcement, R&CA agrees with him’, Mr Lambert said.