Government Supported COVID Rent Relief Packages for Businesses
Members are reminded that rent relief is available in NSW and will soon come into effect in Victoria.
New South Wales Rent Relief Regulations.
New South Wales members experiencing hardship as a result of the State’s COVID restrictions are reminded of the availability of rent relief via the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation. The Regulation came into effect on 13 August 2021.
The Regulation is designed to spread the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by sharing the downturn between property owners and tenants. Generally, businesses that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to the public health orders will be eligible.
Under the scheme, a commercial tenant is eligible for rent relief if their business has an annual turnover of less than $50 million and is eligible for any of the following Government support programs; the 2021 COVID-19 Micro-business Grant, 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant or the 2021 JobSaver Payment. Further information can be found online via the Government’s Small Business website and FAQs https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
As previously advised, members in NSW are strongly urged to check their eligibility COVID-19 Business Grants which provide support of between $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the decline in turnover. The grants information can be found here https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/2021-covid-19-support-package/businesses-sole-traders-and-small-not-for-profits#covid-19-business-grants
Victorian Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.
Victorian Members who have experienced a significant loss in revenue due to the COVID Pandemic may be able to seek rent relief via the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme. Once passed through parliament, the Scheme will enable businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus to rent relief.
Under the Scheme, which will have a retrospective effect from 28 July 2021, landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business’s reduction in turnover. For example, a company with a turnover of 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder to be deferred.
To assist landlords, the Victorian Government will provide land tax relief of up to 25 per cent, in addition to any previous relief.
Interested members can find further information on the Small Business Victoria website https://www.vsbc.vic.gov.au/your-rights-and-responsibilities/retail-tenants-and-landlords/
Play Your Part in the COVID Battle
The number of Coronavirus cases in NSW and Victoria continues to rise, and these States remain impacted by lockdown restrictions. At the same time, border closures and restricted interstate movement impact other Australian States and Territories.
We all want to return to something that resembles our treasured Australian way of life. With this in mind, ACWA is joining the chorus of those encouraging everyone in the community to get vaccinated. Please take the time to support your family, friends, staff and work colleagues to do the same.
Our State and Federal Governments are strongly encouraging all of us to get vaccinated. The Delta strain of the virus is very contagious and, in some cases, can be life-threatening. Data from other countries shows that as the number of people vaccinated in the community increases, the severity of the symptoms decreases, resulting in fewer hospitalisations and lower deaths.
Booking a vaccine in your State is simple and can be done via the links below.
Australian Capital Territory https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/vaccine/book-a-vaccination-appointment
South Australia https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid-19/vaccine/getting+vaccinated/booking+your+vaccination+appointment/booking+your+vaccination+appointment
Western Australia https://rollup.wa.gov.au/
And please, if you have symptoms, get tested ASAP.