The Property Council of Australia has welcomed state and federal business support packages for New South Wales (NSW) announced this week.
Property Council of Australia Acting NSW Executive Director, Lauren Conceicao said commercial property owners are working closely with hard-hit cafes, restaurants and other retail tenants in the Greater Sydney area to support them through the current lockdown.
Property owners provided more than $15 billion of support to tenants around the country during 2020 and 2021 and are once again supporting many small struggling tenants.
“The government support packages announced today are very welcome news and commercial property owners are also once again stepping up to play their part, working closely with their smaller hard-hit tenants,” Ms Conceicao said.
“Small CBD cafes, restaurants and retailers that rely on office workers as their customers bear the brunt of the necessary lockdown actions by governments.
“As they did so effectively last year, property owners are again engaging closely with their small business tenants experiencing hardship in the current lockdown and are providing support on a case-by-case basis.”
Ms Conceicao said she was looking forward to the case-by-case support working alongside the substantial government assistance.
“We welcome the sensible and proportionate measures the NSW Government will put in place around commercial leases. It makes sense for land tax support to be used to help tenants and for a temporary stay on evictions to be put in place,” Ms Conceicao said.
“The property industry continues to make community safety our highest priority during the pandemic, ensuring shopping centres, construction sites, retirement communities, and logistics hubs and warehouses have been able to stay open while being COVID-safe.
“The Property Council continues to successfully partner with government on CBD activation initiatives to support our business hubs and lead the way out of these lockdowns, and we look forward to the implementation of this work post-lockdown.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a jointly funded payment of between $1,500 and $10,000 a week to businesses that could demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
The payment will be contingent on companies maintaining their current staffing levels, and will be paid to a maximum of 40 per cent of a business’s payroll.
The ABC reported the new payment will cost half a billion dollars a week, which will be funded equally by the NSW Government and the Commonwealth. It is expected to apply to businesses employing a total of three million workers in NSW.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said businesses with a turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000 would be able to claim a $1,500 fortnightly payment throughout the lockdown if they had reduced turnover.
The NSW Government has also reinstated an eviction moratorium for tenants who have lost at least a fifth of their work, and is offering rebates to landlords who help ease rental stress on affected tenants.
He said the NSW contribution amounted to $4.1 billion in support and the Commonwealth’s more than $5 billion.
Mr Morrison also announced an increase to the emergency disaster payment from $325 to $375 for people who have lost up to 20 hours of work, and from $500 to $600 for people who have lost more than 20 hours of work due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Greater Sydney.
The Prime Minister said these support packages would be available to any state or territory that experienced an extended lockdown and they would apply from the fourth week of a lockdown.