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NewAccess – Support for small business owners

We know that small business owners are often under enormous pressure which can affect your mental health.

If you aren’t sleeping, struggling to concentrate, or are just feeling overwhelmed by day-to-day challenges, Beyond Blue has developed NewAccess for Small Business Owners, a free and confidential mental health coaching program available via phone and video. No doctor’s referral is required.

Find out more

Talk to your landlord

Talk to your landlord

Some states and territories have reintroduced commercial tenancy relief. If your business is not eligible for relief and you are experiencing financial hardship, talk to your landlord.

VICTORIA

The Victorian Government has reintroduced a commercial tenancy relief scheme to help alleviate financial hardship faced by commercial tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible business owners will get relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent. For example, a business with a turnover of 40% of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40% of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder deferred.

Tenants and landlords will also have access to free and impartial mediation to help them negotiate a rent relief agreement if a fair agreement can't be reached.

To help landlords who provide their eligible tenants with rent relief, the government will provide land tax relief of up to 25%. In addition, small landlords who can demonstrate acute hardship will be eligible to apply for payments as part of a hardship fund. More details will be made available on the Business Victoria website.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a small to medium commercial tenant
  • have an annual turnover under $50 million
  • be able to demonstrate a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The scheme will be applied retrospectively from 28 July 2021 and will run until 15 January 2022.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The ACT Government is reinstating measures which require commercial landlords to engage in good faith negotiations with local business tenants hardest hit by COVID-19 during the current ACT lockdown.

The new temporary commercial leases declaration will prevent commercial landlords from taking prescribed actions against tenants impacted by COVID-19, such as terminating their lease without first discussing lease arrangements.

Commercial landlords who offer rent relief may be eligible for a commercial rates credit of up to $5,000. A credit is also available for owner-operators who meet the eligibility criteria. 

The COVID-19 Local Business Commissioner has been re-instated to connect businesses with information about the declaration, financial assistance and mental health support.

Professional mediation services are available to facilitate good faith negotiations between landlords and tenants.

Rent payments will also be waived for the month of September for any business and community sector tenants of government-owned properties that have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Tenants who have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover in August will be eligible for a full waiver of their September rent payments.

Find out more about this support at COVID-19 Commercial Tenancy Support Measures.

NEW SOUTH WALES

The NSW Government will re-introduce the Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing to mandate rent relief for eligible tenants impacted by COVID-19.

A new $40 million Hardship Fund will also be established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial or retail landlords who provide rental waivers of at least the value of the grant and any land tax relief they are eligible for.

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 will be extended until 13 January 2022 and will require landlords to renegotiate rent. The Code of Conduct requires landlords to provide rent relief in proportion with their tenant’s decline in turnover. Of the rent relief provided, at least 50% must be in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.

The Regulation applies to commercial and retail tenants with a turnover of up to $50 million who qualify for the COVID-19 Microbusiness grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment. It will prohibit a landlord from evicting or locking out a tenant for certain breaches of the lease unless they have first renegotiated rent and attempted mediation.

The NSW Government has also provided funding to the NSW Small Business Commission to provide additional staff to meet the demand for mediation and assist retail and commercial tenants and landlords to discuss discounts or renegotiating rents.

Eligible commercial landowners are able to apply for relief on up to 100% of their land tax liability for 2021. To be eligible, the landowner must have reduced rent for the affected tenant by at least the amount being claimed for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.

Talk to your landlord

Some states and territories have reintroduced commercial tenancy relief. If your business is not eligible for relief and you are experiencing financial hardship, talk to your landlord.

VICTORIA

The Victorian Government has reintroduced a commercial tenancy relief scheme to help alleviate financial hardship faced by commercial tenants and landlords as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligible business owners will get relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent. For example, a business with a turnover of 40% of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40% of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder deferred.

Tenants and landlords will also have access to free and impartial mediation to help them negotiate a rent relief agreement if a fair agreement can't be reached.

To help landlords who provide their eligible tenants with rent relief, the government will provide land tax relief of up to 25%. In addition, small landlords who can demonstrate acute hardship will be eligible to apply for payments as part of a hardship fund. More details will be made available on the Business Victoria website.

To be eligible, you must:

  • be a small to medium commercial tenant
  • have an annual turnover under $50 million
  • be able to demonstrate a decline in turnover of at least 30% due to the impacts of COVID-19.

The scheme will be applied retrospectively from 28 July 2021 and will run until 15 January 2022.

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The ACT Government is reinstating measures which require commercial landlords to engage in good faith negotiations with local business tenants hardest hit by COVID-19 during the current ACT lockdown.

The new temporary commercial leases declaration will prevent commercial landlords from taking prescribed actions against tenants impacted by COVID-19, such as terminating their lease without first discussing lease arrangements.

Commercial landlords who offer rent relief may be eligible for a commercial rates credit of up to $5,000. A credit is also available for owner-operators who meet the eligibility criteria. 

The COVID-19 Local Business Commissioner has been re-instated to connect businesses with information about the declaration, financial assistance and mental health support.

Professional mediation services are available to facilitate good faith negotiations between landlords and tenants.

Rent payments will also be waived for the month of September for any business and community sector tenants of government-owned properties that have been affected by the COVID-19 lockdown. Tenants who have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover in August will be eligible for a full waiver of their September rent payments.

Find out more about this support at COVID-19 Commercial Tenancy Support Measures.

NEW SOUTH WALES

The NSW Government will re-introduce the Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Leasing to mandate rent relief for eligible tenants impacted by COVID-19.

A new $40 million Hardship Fund will also be established to provide a monthly grant of up to $3,000 for small commercial or retail landlords who provide rental waivers of at least the value of the grant and any land tax relief they are eligible for.

The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 will be extended until 13 January 2022 and will require landlords to renegotiate rent. The Code of Conduct requires landlords to provide rent relief in proportion with their tenant’s decline in turnover. Of the rent relief provided, at least 50% must be in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.

The Regulation applies to commercial and retail tenants with a turnover of up to $50 million who qualify for the COVID-19 Microbusiness grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment. It will prohibit a landlord from evicting or locking out a tenant for certain breaches of the lease unless they have first renegotiated rent and attempted mediation.

The NSW Government has also provided funding to the NSW Small Business Commission to provide additional staff to meet the demand for mediation and assist retail and commercial tenants and landlords to discuss discounts or renegotiating rents.

Eligible commercial landowners are able to apply for relief on up to 100% of their land tax liability for 2021. To be eligible, the landowner must have reduced rent for the affected tenant by at least the amount being claimed for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.