Cancelled SA events, businesses supported for taking pandemic hit
The South Australian Labor Opposition's call for a fund to help events organisers hit by COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns has struck a chord with the state government, as it announced a financial support package for events and businesses.
With 50 per cent funding help will flow to the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments, local small and medium businesses impacted by ongoing density and other trading restrictions further financial support as they continue to recover from the recent lockdown.
The new South Australian COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant will deliver about an extra $40 million in support to an estimated 19,000 local businesses in eligible industries – such as hospitality, performing art venues, artists and performers, tourism, gyms, and transport.
Businesses will be eligible for $3,000 cash grants for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses (eg sole traders) in eligible industry sectors that have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more over a two-week period as a result of the COVID-19 trading restrictions introduced from 28 July.
A new solely state-funded Major Events Support Grant of up to $25,000 for eligible events is also available if events were either cancelled, or suffered a significant financial loss, as a result of having to be cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown in July or further restrictions to 4 August.
Calling for a support package on Monday morning, Labor shadow tourism minister Zoe Bettison said in a statement:
"Labor and the tourism industry have called on the Marshall Liberal Government to provide constructive support for tourism and event businesses to help them survive, but so far those calls are falling on deaf ears.
"The tourism and hospitality industries support tens of thousands of South Australian jobs and these businesses are doing it tough, but all Steven Marshall is offering is spin – packaging up old events like the Royal Show and the Christmas Pageant as the alternative to the Adelaide 500."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Commonwealth was:
"... stepping up to provide more support to South Australian businesses that have been impacted by on-going COVID-19 restrictions that are keeping the state safe.
“Already we have provided more than $40 million to South Australian workers through the COVID-19 Disaster Payment and now we are ramping up our business payments.”
Premier of South Australia Steven Marshall said the additional supports were part of a robust and agile plan to keep the community safe and economy strong amidst the COVID-19 threat:
“South Australians have done an incredible job of working together and now is the time to continue to pull together to support our hardworking small businesses who are the backbone of the state’s economy.”
The state government says the support package is modelled on the Victorian Government model targeted at eligible businesses in identified ANZSIC industry classes.
Applications will open on August 13 and will close on 17 October 2021.