The Australian Government and the Norfolk Island Regional Council (NIRC) are preparing to open applications for financial assistance payments to Norfolk Island businesses affected by the current COVID-19 outbreak and travel restrictions.
As announced last week, the Government’s new relief scheme which is being delivered by NIRC will support our local businesses hit hard by the downturn in visitors caused by widespread COVID-19 lockdowns and travel restrictions across Australia.
The new support payments are based on, and comparable to, similar programs being delivered to COVID-19 affected communities on mainland Australia.
The relief package will be delivered by NIRC to eligible businesses on Island through the NIRC grants system.
The package will provide businesses a tiered one-off payment ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 (taxable) depending on their annual turnover, to assist with the impacts resulting from the first three weeks of lockdown on the mainland. They will then be eligible to apply for a fortnightly payment of $1,500 to cover business expenses until the borders are opened.
Norfolk Island businesses that wish to apply for the financial assistance payments should ensure they meet the eligibility criteria listed below:
- hold an active ABN
- provide a Rates Assessment Number for the premises you own or occupy for your business
- demonstrate the business was operating in Norfolk Island on 1 June 2021
- have had total annual Australian wages of $10 million or less as at 1 July 2021
- have had an aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2021 (for business, sole trader or not-for-profit business)
- have had an aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 (inclusive) for the year ended 30 June 2020 (for a micro-business – such as small business, sole trader or not-for-profit business)
- have business costs for which there is no other government support available (such as salaries and wages, utilities and rent, financial, legal or other advice, marketing and communications, perishable goods, other business costs)
- have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum two-week period from 26 June 2021 to 17 July 2021
- for employing businesses, maintain employee headcount from 13 July 2021 while receiving payment
- for non-employing businesses, have their primary income source come from this business.
When applying, businesses will need to provide evidence of their eligibility, including proof of business turnover, their Australian Income Tax Return and other supporting documents as required. Evidence and supporting information provided in applications will be managed in line with privacy and confidentiality requirements.
Applications open on 20 August and will remain open until borders reopen and travel restrictions ease, in alignment with the EMNI emergency declaration dates.
Full eligibility guidelines and the application form is available at: www.norfolkisland.gov.nf/council/grants-program
Administrator of Norfolk Island
Interim Administrator, Norfolk Island Regional Council
19 August 2021