A COVID-19 support package has been announced for South Australian SMEs in the tourism and hospitality sectors amid ongoing restrictions.
The South Australian and Commonwealth governments have rolled out a jointly funded package for local small-to-medium enterprises (SME) in the tourism and hospitality sectors impacted by ongoing trading restrictions and border closures.
The new COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant and COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant programs will deliver around $15 million in support to around 3,500 local businesses.
The package includes the COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant for businesses in eligible tourism and hospitality sectors (as well as other sectors such as performing arts, creative artists, taxis and car rental) that have already received the COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant. The grants are as follows:
The $3,000 payment for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses will be automatically paid to businesses (expected within a week) in eligible tourism and hospitality sectors that have already received the COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant.
The package also includes a new COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant of $6,000 for employing businesses with annual payrolls below $10 million. In addition, it includes $2,000 for non-employing businesses that have experienced a minimum 50 per cent reduction in turnover over the eligible period and haven’t been eligible for previous business grant support since July 2021.
The package will be split on a 50-50 basis between the Commonwealth and South Australian governments, with the state government to administer the program.
Events support grant increased
The South Australian government is increasing its state-funded Major Events Support Grant to provide grants of up to $100,000 for large cancelled or postponed events where more than 10,000 attendees were expected to attend (which has recognised the significant costs incurred with large events).
For eligible events that have already applied for the $25,000 grant, they will now receive a top-up of up to a further $75,000, which would bring total assistance to $100,000.
Applications for the COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant and larger COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grants will open on 17 September 2021 and will close on 31 October 2021.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg commented that the tourism and hospitality businesses have been significantly impacted by the lockdowns in neighbouring states.
He said: “But there is light at the end of the tunnel. By sticking to the National Plan, agreed to by State and Territory leaders, we can safely ease restrictions and open up our economy.
“And as we progress towards our vaccinations targets of 70 to 80 per cent, the Morrison Government will continue to work closely with the Marshall Government to support South Australian businesses through this challenging time.”
South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said: “While we have more South Australians employed than ever before in the history of the state, there is no doubt many businesses have been doing it tough during the global pandemic.
“These new grants will further support our hardworking small businesses who are the backbone of the state’s economy.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham also commented on the support package, stating: “As we move towards vaccination rates that will allow us to further open up, this support will ensure businesses are there on the other side to employ more South Australians and contribute to our ongoing economic recovery.”
South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas said the new programs were in addition to the jointly funded federal and state assistance program announced in August following the seven-day lockdown in July.
“Already more than $77 million in cash grants has been paid to over 27,000 businesses – from bakeries, butchers and hairdressers to beauty salons, gyms and automotive repairers – as we work to get the money out the door and into the pockets of hardworking businesses as quickly as possible,” Mr Lucas said.
The Commonwealth and state and territory governments have announced several COVID-19-related packages for SMEs across Australia as lockdowns have continued to disrupt businesses directly or indirectly through border closures and trade restrictions.
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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