COSBOA commends the recently announced NSW Government support package for small businesses affected by Omicron. Businesses with a turnover of under $50 million and a 40% decline in turnover in January will be eligible for a payment of 20% of weekly payroll. The support package also includes $80 million towards underwriting ticket sales in the performing arts sector. The Fees and Charges Rebate is being expanded to subsidise rapid antigen tests by 50%.
COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd said “This is great news for small business owners and their employees across NSW. Businesses that are strong and viable in normal circumstances now have a better chance to get through this devastating Omicron outbreak.”
“This support package is also a welcome acknowledgement of the thousands of small businesses who have bent over backwards to limit the spread of COVID-19 by closing for months at a time, learning about and implementing infection control measures, enforcing check-in rules, encouraging their staff to get vaccinated, and purchasing rapid antigen tests.”
“We particularly commend the NSW Government’s decision to base eligibility criteria on a decline in turnover. What some people don’t realise is it’s not just the businesses you see on the high street who are being affected by COVID-19. Behind the cafes, shops, restaurants, and bars are hundreds more small businesses supplying them, advising them, and working with them – ultimately, they’re all affected.”
Ms Boyd continued “By supporting small businesses, we’re not only supporting jobs and the economy - we’re supporting community, culture, and what makes our cities and towns unique. Neighbourhoods are often identifiable by the unique mix of small businesses that line the high street – no one wants to see a ‘for lease’ sign where their favourite cafe, bookshop, antique store or hairdresser once was.”
Ms Boyd concluded “What we’d like to see is governments at all levels being aware of the value that small businesses bring to local economies and communities.”