A billion-dollar support package will be made available for New South Wales businesses as Omicron tears through the state’s economy.
JobSaver 2.0 is designed for small to medium businesses that were worst hit during the Omicron outbreak over summer.
Businesses that can prove they lost 40 per cent of their turnover during the month of January will be able to claim back up to 20 per cent of their payroll during the month of February.
Payments can be from $500 to a maximum of $5000 a week.
“We know this will help many small businesses that have been doing it tough,” Treasurer Matt Kean said.
Under the scheme, businesses will be eligible to be reimbursed for rapid antigen tests bought for staff during this period.
The state government announced it is increasing the fees and charges rebate from $2000 to $3000.
“We’re providing the opportunity for businesses to also incorporate the purchasing of RATs (rapid antigen tests) as part of those grants,” NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said.
Grants will be given to landlords who provided rent relief during the month of January.
There will also be an extension of the state’s performing arts assistance program until April.
The Commonwealth Government has not announced any plans to match the state payments.
“We estimate that the cost to the NSW economy of the Omicron outbreak has been about 60 per cent of that of the Delta Outbreak,” Mr Kean said.
“So it is having a huge impact on the economy, not as large as Delta, but it’s particularly being felt by some sections of the economy.
“That’s the small business sector – retail, tourism, hospitality and those businesses that ply their trade through face-to-face trading like hairdressers and beauticians.”
Mr Kean said summer was “a difficult time for many families and particularly businesses”.
“What we wanted to do was make sure we got a package right, targeted at sections of the economy that needed the most support,” Mr Kean told Today.