The NSW Treasurer is scheduled to to speak with the members of the Bega electorate Chambers of Commerce this Friday night in a Zoom session that will allow them to ask for clarity around the NSW Government’s plans required for economic recovery, especially in light of the impact that the Let It Rip actions had on the local economy.
Already struggling from Bushfires and Covid Delta lockdowns the impact of Omicron has been felt hardest by the tourism sector who were already hard pressed to find and secure staff.
The Bega electorate had been fairing reasonably well with low Covid numbers until the Premier opened up the State to regional travel.
Since then the number of cases has sky rocketted placing our already over-stretched resources under more pressure.
Of little significance to the South East the NSW treasurer, Matt Kean, announced $43m in funding for event organisers who had lost money as a result of restrictions. He also foreshadowed further support packages would be announced in the coming days as businesses complain that an effective “shadow lockdown” was having a major impact on trade.
The Zoom meeting might shed light on what the NSW Government has in mind specifically for our South East businesses and the high proportion of under-employed in the region who have lost work due to Omicron.
It is understood that small businesses that are continuing to face challenges due to COVID-19 will benefit from an additional two months of rent relief, with the NSW Government extending its rent relief regulation until March 13.
Treasurer Matt Kean said on January 15th that it was a difficult time for many businesses and this extension will provide much-needed support for small commercial and retail tenants to keep their doors open over the coming weeks and months.
“Small business is the engine room of our economy and we need to make sure we support impacted businesses through this latest Omicron wave,” Mr Kean said.
“With staff shortages and reduced foot traffic, many businesses are struggling at the moment but the ability to negotiate rent will give them a buffer so they can keep the lights on now and recover more quickly.”
“We appreciate and acknowledge the constructive approach of commercial owners in working together with their tenants in these very challenging circumstances.”
Minister for Small Business Eleni Petinos said eligibility for rent relief would remain unchanged.
“We know that rent is one of the biggest fixed costs for small businesses and this measure will provide crucial support helping them get through the next couple of months,” Ms Petinos said.
Commercial and retail tenants will be eligible for the rent relief if they have an annual turnover of less than $5 million and continue to meet the eligibility criteria for JobSaver or the Micro-business Grant, had those programs continued.
Landlords of tenants that have received protections for any period under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2022 are prohibited from evicting their tenants for certain breaches of the lease, without first attending mediation.
NSW landowners will also have more time now to apply for land tax relief, with applications extended until 28 February for eligible commercial and residential landowners.
Not all graphs that go up are good. This one reflects the impact of 'Let it Rip' on the South East of NSW