With South Australian residents today waking up to their first day of a snap lockdown, the state's treasurer has unveiled a $100 million business support package that will see eligible small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) receive an emergency cash grant.
It comes as SA records just one new locally acquired case of COVID-19 today which is linked to The Greek on Halifax restaurant and follows a record day of vaccinations in state clinics.
Tens of thousands of SMEs are expected to benefit from the $3,000 emergency cash grant to help businesses survive the seven-day lockdown and pay for operating costs like rent, power bills and raw material costs.
The package also includes a new $1,000 cash grant for eligible small businesses who don't employ staff, for example non-employing sole traders.
"This is an immediate lifeline for small and medium businesses that are the lifeblood of our community and underpin our economy," SA Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
"We know this is an incredibly difficult time for many employers and their staff, which is why we are doing everything in our power to help as many businesses as possible get through to the other side of this short lockdown.
"The $3,000 grants will provide an immediate cash injection to eligible businesses affected by the restrictions, by improving cash flow and helping cover costs such as commercial rent and utility bills or supplier fees for raw materials."
The scheme is modelled on similar support packages available interstate, with the grants to apply to businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million, with an annual turnover of $75,0000 or more (in 2020-21 or 2019-20) and whose turnover is reduced by at least 30 per cent over the duration of the lockdown.
Lucas said the State Government would consider the potential for further support if the lockdown is extended beyond 27 July.
"While we have no information to suggest that will be the case, we will consider what further assistance might be provided to businesses if the lockdown is extended beyond the current seven days," Lucas said.
In addition, the state government is going to provide income support payments of up to $600 to eligible workers in regional SA who live or work outside of the Commonwealth-declared 'hotspot' local government areas (LGAs) and therefore are not entitled to Federal Government's COVID disaster payments.
The Commonwealth's COVID-19 disaster payment scheme provides $375 per week for those workers who have lost between 8 and less than 20 hours' work, or have lost a full day of work, and $600 per week if a person has lost over 20 hours' work.
Lucas said the State Government will match the income support payments for workers outside the declared Commonwealth 'Hotspots' of Adelaide metro, Hills and Gawler areas.
"Our commitment will ensure South Australian workers whose hours are affected by the current lockdown will be supported, regardless of whether they work in Mitcham or Mount Gambier, Norwood or Nuriootpa, West Beach or Whyalla," Lucas said.
Information about the support package will be available on the SA Treasury website today and to register interest in business support cash grants businesses are encouraged to email [email protected]
Updated at 12.12pm AEST on 21 July 2021.
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