NSW Budget provides much needed business support

Tuesday 22 June 2021

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the business support measures announced in the NSW Budget, including ongoing payroll tax relief and $50 million in vouchers to help revitalise the Sydney CBD.

“We commend the NSW Government on keeping the state economy open while battling the Covid pandemic, but the CBD isn’t the thriving hub it used to be, and many small businesses are in deep pain,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.

“We strongly welcome the $100 value voucher scheme for use on Fridays in the CBD – an initiative the ARA has championed with the NSW Government for some time. This provides a critical boost for those small businesses in affected pockets such as the CBD who continue to do it tough. There is a strong link between hospitality, events and retail and the vouchers are a fantastic way to get people back enjoying the best of what the Sydney CBD has to offer.

“Vouchers worth $100 will also be rolled out for hotel stays in the CBD, which is another important measure to help revitalise the city. The reactivation of the Sydney CBD is critical to our national economic recovery, and we congratulate the NSW Government for their strong leadership and support for business in this area.

“The Budget includes $200 million in tax relief, which includes the ongoing reduction of the payroll tax rate from 5.45% to 4.85%, as well as a permanent increase in the payroll tax threshold to $1.2 million. This is welcome news for NSW business and for small retail and hospitality businesses in particular, some of whom will now sit below the tax-free threshold.

“We commend the NSW Government for its ongoing support of the retail sector in delivering JobTrainer to areas where it is needed most. We are keen to see a continued focus on retail skills. Retail is a huge source of employment, particularly for women, as our largest private employer and a sector which employs one in ten Australians.

“It’s encouraging to see economic activity in NSW back above pre-Covid levels with the unemployment rate falling from 7.1% in July last year to 5% in May – two years sooner than forecast.

“We welcome this robust performance and the support measures announced today which will help put the NSW Covid recovery on track.”

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