I’m here with insights for Australian businesses on 29th July 2021.
Things are changing regularly with the recent lockdowns. There is a lot to understand in relation to the restrictions and the government support being announced. Please note that in this briefing and other recent briefings we haven’t gone into the specific details because firstly there is so much for you to wade through and secondly much of the detail is only relevant to a small subset of business owners and Tenfold clients. Be assured that every Tenfold business coach is across most of the details as soon as they’re announced, and as a team the coaches are discussing how the information applies to various sectors and then communicating to you where we see they apply to your individual business.
There’s a lot to cover in today’s briefing, so I’ve itemised it for ease of reference:
- Lockdown extended
- Construction in Sydney: restrictions changed for occupied and unoccupied sites in Sydney
- Construction in 8 LGAs: still paused
- NSW: JobSaver extended
- NSW: Covid-19 disaster payment increased
- Government funding
- Commercial Tenancies Rent Relief scheme
3. Wrapping it all up – Tenfold Verdict
1. NSW / Sydney update
Sydney lockdown extended
Tenfold clients in Greater Sydney will be dealing with the news that while disappointing, isn’t unexpected. The NSW Premier has announced that the Greater Sydney lockdown will be extended for another four weeks until 12:01am on Saturday, August 28. Unfortunately, we believe the lockdown will likely go on for much longer than the four weeks.
There are some positive changes to the restrictions, with construction allowed to resume in Greater Sydney from 12:01am this Saturday.
Sydney restrictions eased for construction – unoccupied sites
Construction in non-occupied settings will be permitted with a cap of workers on site at one per 4 square metres.
A non-occupied setting means construction sites where there are no residents.
Where your team is able to work implement best practices to minimise the risk of infection and contagion within your team, such as running crews of A and B teams. I wrote about some of these practical steps in my briefing here: https://tenfoldcoaching.com.au/covid-19-business-continuity-20th-march/
Your coach can help your review your situation and adapt as required.
Sydney restrictions eased for construction – occupied sites
Trades will be able to work on occupied construction sites (such as renovations, home maintenance and repairs) while the resident is at home as long as they don’t have contact.
Work on occupied sites is capped at no more than two workers inside and five outside.
Further details are due to be released shortly on how these restrictions apply in real situations, here: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/renovations-repairs-maintenance-and-cleaning
Construction still paused for 8 LGAs outside Sydney
Construction will still be banned in eight LGAs – Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta, Georges River, Cumberland, Campbelltown and Blacktown.
Construction workers from those areas will also not be allowed to leave their LGAs for work.
For more information on NSW restrictions, visit: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules
NSW: JobSaver open to larger businesses
JobSaver funding has also been made available to more NSW businesses, with the turnover threshold increasing to $250M (up from $50M). Importantly the maximum payment per business has increased to $100,000 per week.
For more information on NSW JobSaver, visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/jobsaver-payment
NSW: COVID-19 Disaster Payment increased
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment will be increased from this week to $750 (up from $600) for employees who have had their hours reduced by more than 20 hours, and $450 (up from $375) for people who have lost less than 20 hours.
With this increased funding, think about how you can coordinate your workforce to get through the extended lockdown. We’ve already put some innovative employment structures in place with several of our NSW clients that will see their employees well looked after, while protecting the business. See my briefing from Tuesday.
VIC Gov Funding
A few Victorian business owners and Tenfold clients may be eligible to receive more financial support. The Victorian government announced two new funding programs for business that have been hardest hit:
a. Business Continuity Fund
b. Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
A. Business Continuity Fund
If you have received the Business Costs Assistance Program (BCAP) grant then you are likely to be eligible for this grant. If not, please skip this section and move to the next one.
The Business Continuity Fund is a joint fund with the federal government to provide additional support for businesses that will continue to be struggle due to capacity restrictions. This program is a continuation of the recent business grants provided by the Victorian government. All applicants of the Business Continuity Fund must have received or been eligible for the previous Business Cost Assistance Program.
The Business Continuity Fund will make a one-off payment of $5000 to businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits. Eligible sectors include gyms, cafes, restaurants, catering services and hairdressers. Businesses in the CBD will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000 to compensate for reduced foot traffic due to office density limits.
The payments will be made automatically to eligible businesses. At this point, there’s scant information on how to apply if you haven’t been approved for Business Cost Assistance Program. The business coach you work with will keep you posted when we find out more.
B. Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
The second new fund, Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, will provide support for small businesses that haven’t been eligible for the other grants.
Small businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million that have experienced a 70% or greater reduction in revenue will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000.
The Small Business COVID Hardship Fund is by application only (no automatic payment). The early news is that it will take several weeks to assess and approve the applications. Again, no detail on how to apply yet so another briefing from Tenfold Business Coaching will provide advice to business owners as soon as we find out.
VIC: Commercial tenancies rent relief scheme reinstated
Also announced was the reinstatement of the Victorian Commercial Tenancies Relief scheme. This is the scheme that was in place last year that required landlords to provide rent waivers and deferrals proportionate to their tenant’s revenue decline.
To be eligible for rent relief, tenants must have an annual turnover less than $50M and had a decline in turnover of at least 30%. The government will provide financial support to landlords who provide rent relief. Many of the businesses we mentor and coach were able to benefit from the scheme last year, as landlords and as tenants. It’s worth looking at whether your business will be eligible.
While last year’s scheme required participation in JobKeeper as an eligibility factor, this year’s conditions will be different. Again, the fine print details haven’t yet been released so the business coach team at Tenfold will bring you more when information is available.
3. Wrapping it all up – Tenfold Verdict
NSW JobSaver & COVID-19 Disaster Payment: A very solid package for NSW clients that are significantly and somewhat affected by the lockdown
Vic Business Continuity Fund: Only open to those who have received recent BCAP payments from the Vic government
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund: Very few businesses that haven’t been eligible for the other payments will be eligible
Vic Commercial Tenancies Relief scheme: Broad eligibility for many clients still seeing the impact of lockdowns; your business coach can discuss with you and provide advice on how to negotiate with your landlord.
I know there’s a lot to take on board. Your coach will be discussing these different support options with you to see what you may be eligible for and how you can best use the support to maximise the value for your business.
Ashley Thomson B.Eng. (Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Tenfold Business Coaching