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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

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RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

RENT RELIEF CONTINUES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

Small businesses who are still doing it tough across the State will continue to benefit from rent relief until 13 January 2022, ensuring ongoing support for small businesses over the Christmas and New Year’s Period.
Treasurer Matt Kean said as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back at their pre-COVID turnover and rent is still one of their biggest fixed costs.

“Small business is the engine room of our economy and as we recover from the pandemic we need to make sure we leave no one behind and support impacted businesses as they continue to recover,” Mr Kean said.
“Continuing rent relief measures for impacted small businesses will provide a necessary buffer to allow businesses time to get back on their feet and begin to thrive again.”

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 rent relief provisions will continue for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million, a more targeted level of support from the previous turnover threshold of $50 million.
Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said landlords will still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants that are experiencing a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more.

“Lockdown may be over but there are still small businesses, particularly in our CBDs, that are facing a slower recovery and are continuing to do it tough,” Mr Tudehope said.

“As the State continues to transition out of lockdown, 97 per cent of NSW businesses will retain access to COVID-19 rent relief provisions if they continue to experience a significant decline in turnover.”

Small commercial and retail tenants that would have continued to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, after ending on 30 November, will remain eligible for rent relief negotiations with their landlords.
Under the Regulation, landlords are required to negotiate rent relief having regard to National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct. As a starting point, rent relief should be proportionate with eligible tenant’s decline in turnover, with at least 50 per cent in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
Landlords can access the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which currently provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.
Alternatively, land tax relief is available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021. The reduction in land tax payable is the lesser of:

  • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021, or
  • 100 per cent of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

For more information on rent relief visit: Commercial leases https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19/commercial-leases-and-covid-19-faqs
For more information on COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-businesses/covid-19-assistance-commercial-and-residential-landlords

Business News NSW Northern Rivers

INSURANCE BECOMING A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR RECOVERY

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Business NSW regional manager Jane Laverty

INSURANCE BECOMING A MAJOR CHALLENGE FOR RECOVERY

The state’s peak business organisation, Business NSW says its members have named insurance as the biggest negative cost driver for their businesses.
“There’s no doubt that businesses need the ability to protect against catastrophic loss. We are seeing this clearly in the Northern Rivers right now. Without these protections, business owners become personally liable which in not tenable and this makes NSW less globally competitive,” said Business NSW Regional Manager Jane Laverty
“As insurance premiums increase and risk becomes more ‘uninsurable’ or unaffordable through existing market mechanisms, we are at a moment when Government, partnered with industry, need to consider alternative models so that we remain globally competitive,” Mrs Laverty said.
“The NSW Government and business has led the world in financial service innovation, and we now have an opportunity to re-think how business can obtain coverage, price risk, and continue to thrive in a fast-changing world.
Business NSW is currently exploring ways to improve the system, whether it be through legislation, Discretionary Mutual Funds (DMFs), other insurance alternatives and other policy settings that ensure the sustainability and resilience of NSW businesses.
“We welcome market innovators to engage with us to drive this change.” Says Mrs Laverty.
“Our research suggests that the problem is much bigger than just insurance costs with wider trends around insurability presenting significant challenges for businesses globally. These trends include:
• Premiums escalating year on year from 20% to over 100% in some cases;
• Product exclusions rising, leading to businesses being under-insured;
• Insurance sub-segments exhibiting market failure where risk is either uninsurable or unaffordable;
• Number of uninsurable businesses even after decades of coverage;
• Number of insurance providers leaving the market;
• Urgent need for Government and industry intervention/reinvention. This will likely require new legislation (and in some instances underwrite some risks) to ensure businesses can continue to operate
• Review of alternative models, such as, Discretionary Mutual Funds (DMF) that could provide an alternative for businesses that can group common risks
• The rise of natural disasters (bushfires, floods, etc) and geo-political instability raising the risk that insurance costs limit growth for several business sectors.
“Speaking with businesses across the region this week, there is the obvious concern about staying in a town that is uninsurable and just as much fear from those with previously acceptable premiums that this will no longer be the case and will have a significant impact on their business costs”. Mrs Laverty said.

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Business News NSW Northern Rivers

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

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NSW Northern Rivers Breaking News

LAUNCH OF WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR ROAD FREIGHT TRANSPORT INDUSTRY

SafeWork NSW has launched its ‘Work Health and Safety Guide for the Road Freight Transport Industry’ to help keep thousands of workers and the community safe.

SafeWork NSW Executive Director of Compliance and Dispute Resolution, Tony Williams, said the Guide was developed following extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders including transport industry groups, unions, Transport for NSW and interstate regulators.

“The transport industry is an essential service provider for all Australians but unfortunately records a high rate of fatalities and serious injuries with major claims for injuries around 50 per cent greater than the average employment sector,” Mr Williams said.

“The Guide provides transport operators and supply chain businesses with practical and tailored work health and safety information relating to working in and around vehicles.

“Risks covered include loading and unloading, traffic management, working at heights, immobilisation and hazardous manual tasks as well as health risks from psychosocial hazards.

“This is a comprehensive resource for the transport industry that will help build skills and knowledge to protect workers from serious harm. It highlights the importance of embedding road safety within the workplace by focusing on improving work health and safety systems and practices, responding to changes in technology, injury recovery, and learning from incidents that occur.

“The Guide, having received a commitment from industry and being supported by SafeWork NSW, promotes a safer road freight transport industry to meet the demands of the growing NSW economy,” Mr Williams said.

The Guide can be found on the SafeWork NSW website here.

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Ballina News

EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

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The Northern Rivers own newspaper

EXPANDED SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF NOW AVAILABLE

From today eligible sole traders, not-for-profit organisations and small businesses in NSW will be able to access up to $2,000 in relief to help them bounce back and get the economy firing again.

Treasurer Matt Kean said the increased and expanded grant would provide businesses with additional relief as part of the NSW COVID-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

“From today, the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will increase from $1,500 to $2,000 and will now include road user tolls for business usage,” Mr Kean said.

“The rebate can be claimed against eligible NSW and local Government fees and charges that are required to run a business such as food authority licences, liquor licences, event fees and council rates.

“It’s been a tough year for sole traders and small operators and this is one more way the NSW Government is helping to keep businesses in business.”

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said 70,000 businesses had already lodged a claim under the initial scheme, saving more than $82 million since it was launched on 1 April 2021.

“The expanded Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate will be available to small businesses across the State, from your local electrician paying for their trade licence to the café on the corner setting up outdoor seating,” Mr Tudehope said.

“The expansion to cover road tolls paid since 1 March 2021 will be especially helpful to those businesses who spend a lot of time in the car, truck or van.

“Toll relief of up to $2,000 will have a significant impact on the bottom line for a small business.”

Business owners can apply for the rebate by logging into their Business Profile via the MyService NSW Account.

Once approved, businesses will be provided with a $2,000 digital voucher in their Business Profile which applicants can draw down on to offset the cost of Government expenses.

Simply lodge your proof of payment and the money will be refunded back into your bank account.

Small businesses which have already registered for the previous $1,500 Small Business Rebate program will not be required to re-register. Those businesses will receive an automatic $500 top-up to the digital voucher. New applicants will receive one $2,000 digital voucher.

Applications for the rebate from new businesses will open today. These businesses can submit claims as soon as their application has been approved.

For more information on how to apply, visit nsw.gov.au.

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