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NSW continues rent relief for SMEs

By Juliet Helmke
18 January 2022 | 10 minute read
Matt Kean reb

NSW has once again extended relief for small businesses struggling due to losses brought about by COVID-19.

Commercial and retail tenants with an annual turnover of less than $5 million who would have met the eligibility criteria for the discontinued JobSaver and micro business grant programs are eligible to receive rent relief through 13 March 2022.

The program was last extended through 13 January as cases of the Omicron variant began to rise.

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The rent relief provisions, which were introduced under the Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021, require landlords to offer a small reduction in rent that matches the decline in turnover of their eligible small commercial and retail tenants. At minimum, 50 per cent of the reduced rent must be offered in the form of a waiver, while the remaining amount can be deferred.

Eligible landlords have access to the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund, which provides small commercial or retail landlords with a monthly grant up to the value of any rental relief provided, to a maximum of $3,000 per month per property.

Treasurer Matt Kean said he hoped this would allow many SMEs across the state that are doing it tough to keep their doors open through this latest surge in cases.

“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.”

NSW’s rent relief extension comes on the heels of Victoria’s decision to expand the duration of its Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme through 15 March – a program that covers businesses with an annual turnover of $10 million or less.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Juliet Helmke

Based in Sydney, Juliet Helmke has a broad range of reporting and editorial experience across the areas of business, technology, entertainment and the arts. She was formerly Senior Editor at The New York Observer.

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