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Reopening: Financial Support For Hospitality Businesses

Reopening: Financial Support For Hospitality Businesses

The past 18 months have been tough for the hospitality industry – particularly in states like VIC and NSW who have suffered through extended lockdowns and restrictions. 

To help ease the financial burden felt by many in our industry, state governments have released several grants and programs to support small businesses as they reopen. 

To make it easier to navigate to the grants you may be eligible for, we’ve broken them down by states:

Note: the information in this post was accurate at the time of posting, 11 November 2021.

National

These grants and programs are available throughout Australia.

Covid disaster payment

Overview

This support payment is not for businesses but for workers who could not work due to a state or territory COVID-19 public health order.

Eligibility

Eligibility rules will depend on your state, location and circumstances, but you must:

  • Be 17 years or older
  • Be an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • Live or work in, or have visited, an area subject to a state or territory public health order
  • Be unable to work and have lost income because of the lockdown
  • Not be receiving a state pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, or a state small business payment for the same period
  • Not have pandemic-related leave entitlements.

How to apply

Learn more about how to apply at COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

SME recovery loan scheme

Overview

The scheme provides small and medium-sized businesses with guaranteed loans to help their business recover from the impacts of the coronavirus crisis.

Eligibility

The scheme is open to small and medium-sized businesses with up to $250 million turnover that were:

  • The recipient of a JobKeeper payment between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021
  • Affected by the floods in eligible Local Government Areas in March 2021; or
  • Adversely economically affected by COVID‑19

Loans are available until 31 December 2021.

How to apply

For information on how to apply, visit Information for SMEs.

 

ACT

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) to help businesses recover from Covid lockdowns and restrictions with financial assistance.

Small business hardship scheme

Overview

This scheme aims to reimburse businesses for costs incurred for electricity, gas and rates paid between 1 July to 31 December 2021 and commercial vehicle registration paid between 1 January 2021 and 31 December 2021, up to the value of $10,000 per business. 

Eligibility

To be eligible businesses must have:

  • An annual turnover of more than $30,000 and less than $2 million
  • A valid and active ABN and if required be registered for GST on or before 1 April 2021
  • Demonstrate primary operation in the ACT as of 1 April 2021

How to apply

This scheme opens for applications on 15 November and will remain open until 31 January 2022. Only one application per ABN can be accepted.

To express your interest in this scheme, click here.

Payroll tax exemption for trainees and apprentices

Overview

Wages paid to new employees who are apprentices or trainees employed after 1 August 2020 are exempt from payroll tax from the start of their employment until 30 June 2022.

How to apply

Businesses are expected to self-assess their eligibility for these tax exemptions and lodge their payroll tax returns accordingly. Learn more at the ACT Revenue Office website.

Fee waivers for food business registration, outdoor dining and liquor licences

Overview

  • Food business registration fee – the waiver has been extended until 31 March 2022. If food business registration has been prepaid for more than one year in advance, an additional 12 months will be added to the licence.
  • Outdoor dining permit fee – the waiver has been extended for another 12 months, until 30 June 2022.
  • Annual licence fee – the waiver for some liquor licensees has been tapered to provide a 50% fee reduction for 12 months (from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022). Eligible licensees include nightclub licence, restaurant and cafe licence, bar licence, general licence, catering licence, special licence and club licence.

How to apply

Businesses do not need to contact the ACT Government to apply for these waivers. They will be applied automatically as part of the normal annual fee licencing process.

 

NSW

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in New South Wales (NSW) to help businesses recover from Covid lockdowns and restrictions, with financial assistance.

Dine and Discover

Overview

All NSW residents over the age of 18 will be given six $25 vouchers (totalling $150) to spend at participating COVID-safe businesses, ranging from restaurants and cafes to theatres and art galleries.

Eligibility

To be eligible for Dine & Discover NSW, your business needs to:

  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Be registered for GST
  • Operate in NSW in an eligible industry (for a full list, please click here)
  • Be registered as COVID-safe and have a COVID Safety Plan in place.

How to apply

Dine and Discover will run until June 2022. There is still time to register your business to participate in Dine and Discover NSW. If you would like to participate in the scheme please register your business.

Outdoor dining grants

Overview

These grants will provide 5,000 NSW hospitality businesses with a $5,000 grant to get their outdoor dining venture off the ground – from helping to set up curb-side dining or a pub-style courtyard.

How to apply

Please contact Service NSW for more information.

Small business fees and charges rebate

Overview

This rebate helps businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing the cost of running a business. 

Funds can be used to offset the costs of certain government fees and charges such as food authority licences, liquor licences, outdoor seating fees and council rates.

Eligibility

To be eligible for this rebate, small businesses must:

  • Have total Australian wages below the NSW Government 2020-21 payroll tax threshold of $1.2 million
  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in NSW and/or have business premises physically located and operating in NSW.

Note: Eligible businesses only need to apply for the rebate once but can submit multiple claims until the full value of $1,500 is reached.

How to apply 

To apply, visit Service NSW.

Sydney CBD Friday voucher program

Overview

The program will offer 500,000 NSW residents 4 x $25 vouchers to spend at dining and entertainment venues in the Sydney CBD on Fridays. 

Eligibility

Eligible COVID-Safe dining and entertainment businesses in the 2000 postcode will be able to register for the program in late 2021.

How to apply

Applications will open in late 2021. Please keep an eye on the Service NSW website for more information. 

 

QLD

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in Queensland (QLD) to help businesses recover from Covid lockdowns and restrictions, with financial assistance and professional advice.

Covid cleaning rebate

Overview

The rebate provides small and medium-size businesses that have been listed as an exposure venue with rebates to help cover professional cleaning expenses.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have been listed as an exposure venue on the Queensland Health website
  • Have completed a professional clean of the exposure venue in the 2021-22 financial year
  • Have an active Australian business number (ABN)
  • Be registered with WorkCover Queensland if you employ staff
  • Have an annual payroll of less than $10 million
  • Be registered with one of the following (unless you are not required by legislation to be registered with one of these regulators) – ASIC, ACNC or OFT.

How to apply

Learn more about how to apply at Queensland COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate.

Waiving and refunding 2021–22 annual licence fees

Overview

Businesses can have their licensing fees for 2021–22 waived or refunded if they were licensed under the Liquor Act or Wine Industry Acts as of 30 June 2021.

How to apply

There is no need to apply. If you have already paid your licence fees for the 2021–22 period, these will be refunded. Licensees that have not paid are no longer required to pay their fees. Refunds will be processed based on how you paid your 2021–2022 licence fees e.g. If you paid online by credit card, you will be refunded directly to the credit card you used.

 

TAS

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in Tasmania (TAS) to help businesses recover from Covid lockdowns and restrictions, with financial assistance.

COVID-19 small business advice and financial guidance Program

Overview

This program provides small businesses with funding to access financial or business guidance services from suitably qualified specialists/consultants that will help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you must be:

  • Registered for tax purposes in Australia with an active Australian business number (ABN) on or before July 2021
  • A small business located in Tasmania with no more than 19 full time equivalent employees
  • An operating majority-owned Tasmanian business
  • Able to demonstrate an annual turnover of more than $25,000 per annum or provide evidence to show that a minimum of $25,000 per annum turnover is likely within the next 2 years
  • Registered (if required) and actively using the Check in TAS App or register at the time of submitting an application.

How to apply

Learn more about how to apply at COVID-19 Small Business Advice and Financial Guidance Program.

Business Growth Loan Scheme

Overview

This scheme provides businesses with concessional loans to help them recover, adapt, grow and develop enhanced business models that support employment retention and business growth.

Eligibility

To be eligible, the business must:

  • Hold an active Australian business number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  • Be located in Tasmania and support Tasmanian employment
  • Have a turnover of less than $10 million across the last 2 financial years, or in the case of a new project, have a projected average turnover of less than $10 million in the first 2 years of operation
  • Demonstrate a history of profitability pre-COVID-19 and/or have a sustainable pathway to recovery, or for new businesses or projects, be able to demonstrate sound prospects for the new venture
  • Confirm that statutory payments (e.g GST, PAYG-withholding, PAYG-instalments, payroll tax etc) were up to date pre-COVID-19

How to apply

Learn more about how to apply at Business Growth Loan Scheme.

Regional hospitality revival fund

Overview

The fund provides one-off rebates to regional hospitality businesses to help them undertake activities that drive visitation to regional areas.

Eligibility

To be eligible, a business must:

  • Be a recognised hospitality business where the main function of the business is hospitality services
  • Be based and operating within Tasmania, but physically located outside the greater Hobart and Launceston City areas
  • Hold an Australian business number (ABN), this ABN must be for the applicant business and be continuously active from the time of submitting a stage one registration.
  • Business must offer in-house (seated) dining or drinks service (e.g. a restaurant, cafe, bar, pub, or RSL)

Applications close December 2 2021.

How to apply

Learn more about how to apply at Regional Hospitality Revival Fund.

 

VIC

These grants and programs are available to eligible businesses operating in Victoria (VIC) to help businesses recover from Covid lockdowns and restrictions, with financial assistance.

Deep cleaning rebate

Overview

The rebate will help eligible businesses cover the cost of hiring professional cleaning services to conduct a ‘deep clean’ or ‘decontamination clean’ of their premises or worksite when anyone suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus has been on the premises when they may have been infectious. 

The rebate will cover up to 80% of the cleaning costs at each worksite, capped at a grant of $10,000.

Eligibility

​​To be eligible for the rebate, businesses must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Operate from premises in VIC where a person suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus has been on-site when they may have been infectious
  • Have undertaken a ‘deep clean’ or ‘decontamination clean’ of the affected worksite by a professional cleaning service in accordance with Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidelines on coronavirus ‘deep cleans’ or ‘decontamination cleans’.
  • Have evidence of the cost incurred for the decontamination cleaning at the affected worksite and payment of the expenditure
  • Hold a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20 on an ungrouped basis
  • Be registered with WorkSafe if employing people
  • Be registered as a trading business with the responsible federal or state regulator.

How to apply

Please visit the Business Victoria website for more information and how to apply.

Outdoor activation voucher program

Overview

The program will assist VIC businesses to move their activities outdoors by supporting investment in equipment, permits and other tools needed to offer safe retail, personal services, recreation and dining options for the Victorian public.

Eligibility

Eligible entities must be one or more of the following:

  • A business operating in an eligible industry sector identified in the list of eligible ANZSIC classes (as identified by the ANZSIC class linked to the business’ ABN)
  • a Victorian trader association that works on behalf of Victorian businesses only, and has the eligible ANZSIC class registration for number 9551 linked to their ABN or is a trader association that has received a grant under the ‘Business Chambers and Traders Groups Program’
  • a charity or not-for profit organisation registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC).

Additionally, the entity must:

  • Operate in Victoria, except in the City of Melbourne Local Government Area
  • Have a plan to move their business activities outdoors
  • Have an active ABN and be registered for GST on and from 15 October 2021
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator
  • Have an annual Victorian payroll under $3 million
  • Not have received support from the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Program in 2020.

How to apply

Visit the VIC Government website for more information and how to apply.

 

Support for hospitality businesses

The federal and state governments regularly create new programs and grants for small businesses. New initiatives are launched throughout the year, depending on certain factors like employment rates and economic stability, therefore this list may not cover everything that your hospitality business is eligible for. To stay up to date with the most recent support available for your business, please refer to your state government website.  

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