ADELAIDE, AAP – About 50,000 small to medium businesses in South Australia will have access to emergency payments from the state government to help cover losses during this week’s statewide COVID-19 lockdown.
The government’s $100 million package will pay $3000 to businesses forced to close including gyms, hairdressers, nail salons, restaurants, cafes and hotels and $1000 to sole traders.
The money can be used to help cover ongoing operating costs such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw material costs and other fees.
The government will also expand income assistance statewide to people who lose work during the lockdown after the federal government announced payments of up to $600 a week to people in the Adelaide hotspot zone.
Treasurer Rob Lucas says the payments to businesses, including sole traders, will act as a lifeline for those small to medium companies that are the lifeblood of the community.
“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,” he said.
“The $3000 grants will provide an immediate cash injection to eligible businesses affected by the restrictions.”
The payments will be provided to those businesses with a payroll of less than $10 million and an annual turnover of $75,000 or more and where turnover is reduced by at least 30 per cent over the lockdown period which began on Tuesday.
Mr Lucas said the government would consider further support if the lockdown was extended beyond seven days.
Business SA chief executive Martin Haese welcomed the assistance but said the ultimate form of support for businesses was for the lockdown to be lifted as soon as it was safe to do so.
“Nothing will entirely offset the losses incurred by a seven-day lockdown, other than to be open for trade,” he said.