October 1, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier | Image: Tourism Australia

While the Commonwealth Government will be withdrawing both its COVID-19 Disaster Payments for individuals two weeks after the state reaches the 80 percent vaccination threshold and support for the NSW JobSaver initiative as soon as the state hits the 80 percent milestone, NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has confirmed that the state will provide scaled back financial support for businesses until November 30.

From October 10, support will be scaled back by a quarter, offering businesses support at 30 percent of their payroll – currently it’s 40 percent – which is between $1,125 and $75,000. When the state hits the 80 percent vaccination target, support will be cut in half again, offering eligible businesses support equivalent to 15 percent of their payroll up to $37,500.

Sole traders will have their payments scaled back over the same timeline from $1,000 currently to $750 per week on October 10 and $375 per week once the state reaches its 80 percent threshold.

In making the announcements yesterday Perrottet said reopening would be difficult.

“We know that when we do open up at 70 percent and 80 percent that there will be still some restrictions in place, that businesses will not be operating at full capacity so by maintaining the NSW Government’s contribution to this program it will allow many businesses the support they need as we move from response to recovery.

“Whilst it’s going to be a difficult time as we go through that reopening, I’m incredibly confident that the New South Wales economy will bounce back.”

The Treasurer also indicated that the state’s plan for economic recovery, to be announed later this month would look at what support was needed for industries like tourism which had greater reliance on international travel.

It is not clear where the events industry sits within the Government’s considerations, with much of our activity able to conducted domestically, but issues like confidence and ongoing capacity restrictions likely to affect any potential bounce back.

The Business Events Council of Australia (BECA) has accused the Commonwealth Government of turning its back on business events by ending COVID-19 Disaster Payments.

“While we are very supportive of the Government’s National Plan and vaccination rollout, it cannot be confused with the ability for the business events industry to trade,” said BECA Deputy Chair, Geoff Donaghy.

“When restrictions lift, business events cannot simply switch on like other industries. Significant lead time is required to book, plan, and deliver business events, which is why targeted and sustained support for our sector is required into 2022.

“It will take 6 to 12 months at least for business events to fully gear up, confirm program content, source sponsors and exhibitors, and market the event to attract delegate registrations.”