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Australian small business revenue rises above pre-pandemic average as jobs recover

Image credit: Blake Wisz

NSW extends rent relief for SMEs to help them recover during this holiday season

Small businesses affected by the COVID-19 lockdown can now seek rent relief over the New Year period. 

The NSW Government extended the rent relief provisions for eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $5 million until January 13 2022, under the  Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021. 

Treasurer Matt Kean said that as the economic recovery continues, many small businesses are still not back to pre-COVID-19 levels of income, and rent remains one of their biggest fixed expenses.

“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,” he said. 

Landlords would still be required to negotiate rent relief with eligible commercial and retail tenants who have seen a 30 per cent or more reduction in turnover. 

Property owners are required to provide rent reductions to renters according to the tenant’s decline in turnover. Waivers should make up nearly half of any rent relief provided. The remainder is made up of rental deferrals.

“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,” Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien 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.” 

In addition, small commercial and retail tenants who would have continued to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant after the programme ended on November 30 would be able to negotiate rent relief with their landlords. 

The NSW government has set up a Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund to provide small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief offered, up to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.

Land tax relief is also available for eligible commercial landowners who have reduced their tenants’ rent due to COVID-19 between July 1 2021, and December 31 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 July 1, 2021, and December 31 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: Small Business Commissioner (nsw.gov.au)

For more information on COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords visit: COVID-19 assistance for commercial and residential landlords | Service NSW

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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