NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced more economic support measures for small businesses, schools, and regional creative programmes to help ease the state back to business after lockdown.
In a media conference on Tuesday, Perrottet targeted his new grants and financial relief measures towards small businesses and, in particular, tradies. However, there were separate announcements focused on other hard-hit areas of the economy too.
The government will now offer small and medium businesses a ‘Summer Holiday Stock Guarantee’ as well as expanding the Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate.
This is basically insurance for small businesses against snap lockdowns which may have to be employed as the state opens up. Eligible businesses with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million can now apply for a grant of up to $20,000 to compensate them, for the loss of perishable stock if a local lockdown occurs.
The fees and charges rebate allows small enterprises that don’t qualify for payroll tax to claim up to $2,000 for a range of services and costs including tolls and other business expenses.
Perrottet said that these measures will give businesses the confidence to “buy up big and get ready for a major summer trade”.
“We know that that is really going to support tradies right across greater Sydney who will also be able to access this rebate.”
In addition, NSW has announced it will invest over $3.4 million in the Regional Arts Network across this year and 2022, including $200,000 per year to each Regional Arts Development Organisation across the state. This is an increase of $23,000 per year for these organisations.
Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said the increased investment would help to stimulate employment and increase access to arts and culture for audiences in regional NSW.
“We know that regional communities do well when they run their own show, and I am delighted the NSW Government is delivering an additional $32,000 per annum in core funding to each member of the Regional Arts Network,” he said.
Finally, a $240 million Regional and Metro Renewal Program is moving ahead with another round of projects aimed at improving school infrastructure.
The programme has so far delivered 206 upgrades at 202 schools across the state, and will now expand that to another 57 schools.
Deputy Premier Paul Toole said the Renewal Program is an important stimulus package that helps business and local communities recover from the pandemic while benefitting students.
“This not only provides schools with the projects they want but supports our regional tradies with opportunities throughout the state,” he said.
All of this is part of the NSW government’s Economic Recovery Strategy and the Premier said that confidence for businesses and consumers is key for the economy to get back on track after the state’s three-month lockdown.
“I’m very confident we’re going to bounce back,” he told reporters.
“Last year, as we came through the pandemic, business confidence was key, was crucial, to driving economic growth, to ensuring that businesses continued to employ and bring people on and that is why we recovered every single job that was lost and that is why we will recover every single job again.