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$40m COVID support released for SA SMEs

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Malavika Santhebennur 7 minute read

The SA and federal governments have released a new business support grant for SMEs impacted by the state’s ongoing COVID-19-related restrictions.

The South Australian and federal governments have released a new jointly funded package that they said would deliver an extra $40 million in support to around 19,000 businesses in eligible industries.

The COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant is aimed at giving local small-to-medium enterprises impacted by ongoing density and other trading restrictions in South Australia further support as they continue to recover from the recent lockdown.

While the lockdown is no longer in place, restrictions around the number of people allowed in restaurants, pubs and cafés as well as gyms have remained in place.


Therefore, the grants are aimed at industries such as hospitality, performing arts venues, artists and performers, tourism, gyms and transport.

The package will be split on a 50-50 basis between the federal and the South Australian governments, with the South Australian government to administer this program.

The new package includes:

  • $3,000 cash grants for businesses with employees and $1,000 for non-employing businesses (e.g. sole traders) in eligible industry sectors that have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more over a two-week period due to the COVID-19 trading restrictions introduced from 28 July 2021; and
  • An additional CBD grant of $1,000 will be available for eligible businesses (both employing and non-employing) with a commercial premise in the Adelaide CBD in recognition of the increased impact on city businesses as a result of people working from home.

Under the combined packages, an eligible CBD business that employs staff, including a pub, café or restaurant would receive $7,000 in cash grants to support their recovery.

This includes the $3,000 cash grants for business with employees and the $1,000 CBD grant, in addition to the $3,000 emergency cash grant announced in July as part of the $100 million Business Support Package during the state’s recent seven-day lockdown.


The state government-funded package had aimed to assist around 50,000 eligible SMEs across the state, including gyms, hairdressers and nail salons, restaurants, cafés and hotels impacted by the lockdown.

Modelled on similar schemes in Victoria, NSW and Western Australia, the South Australian grants apply to SMEs with a payroll of less than $10 million, with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more (in 2020-21 or 2019-20), and whose turnover is reduced by at least 30 per cent over the seven days from 20 July 2021 as a result of the lockdown.

The new package also includes funding by the South Australian government for a new major events support grant of up to $25,000 for eligible events that were either cancelled or suffered a significant financial loss due to cancellations or postponements due to the lockdown in July, or further restrictions until 4 August.

Applications will open on 13 August and will close on 17 October 2021.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal and state governments had already provided more than $40 million to South Australian workers through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment, and would continue to do what was necessary, to support businesses with dealing with the evolving nature of COVID-19.

“We need to protect jobs and support South Australian businesses to get through this difficult time so they can help drive our economic recovery as we plan our way out of this pandemic,” Mr Morrison said.

“Our support has never been set and forget, and we will continue to work with the Marshall government to ensure our funding reaches those small and medium businesses that need it.”

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said the grants package formed a part of the state’s plan to keep the community safe and the economy strong amid the COVID-19 threat.

“Our COVID recovery plan is focused on standing shoulder-to-shoulder with small businesses as we navigate our way out of the global pandemic,” Mr Marshall said.

“South Australians have done an incredible job of working together, and now is the time to continue to pull together to support our hardworking small businesses who are the backbone of the state’s economy.”

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government has recognised the ongoing impacts of health restrictions despite the end of lockdown in South Australia.

He said: “We will continue to work with the Marshall government to ensure the South Australian economy bounces back from its most recent lockdown.

“Since the start of the pandemic, the Morrison government has delivered more than $9.4 billion to South Australian families and businesses to support them in their time of need.”

South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas said that more than $26 million in cash grants have been paid to over 9,000 businesses through the package, including bakeries, butchers, hairdressers and beauty salons, gyms and automotive repairers.

“We recognise the significant impact the ongoing restrictions are having on businesses throughout the state, but particularly those in the Adelaide CBD and in certain industry sectors such as hospitality, tourism and events,” Mr Lucas said.

“This new support package will provide extra cash grants for those businesses that continue to do it tough, to help them cover operating costs such as rent, wages and utilities and help them continue to trade through this period. Our support package is modelled on the Victorian government model targeted at eligible businesses in identified ANZSIC (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification) industry classes.

[Related: NSW releases COVID-19 support for SMEs and individuals]

$40m COVID support released for SA SMEs
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.


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