Quarter of a billion dollars in small business cash grants out door, supporting 104,000 jobs

More than $253 million in cash grants has been paid to thousands of small businesses and not-for-profits across South Australia to help them survive and trade through COVID-19, in a sweeping economic stimulus program that Treasury analysis shows has supported more than 104,000 jobs.

Businesses have described the grants as a ‘lifeline’, providing ‘generous and vital support’ to help protect and secure local jobs during uncertain times.

Of the 20,885 businesses and not-for-profits to benefit – from cafes, restaurants and hotels to sporting clubs, clothing retailers, manufacturers and gyms – 20,097 received the $10,000 cash grant across Rounds 1 and 2 of the scheme.

A further 788 received a $3,000 grant (ie, they are small businesses who do not employ staff – including sole traders/partnerships – who operate from a commercial premise and are continuing to suffer COVID-19 hardship).

And those businesses who are still doing it tough have 2 weeks to apply* for the grants, with applications closing midnight, February 28.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the cash grants have provided a ‘huge shot in the arm’ for the local economy and supported thousands of businesses – and jobs – when they needed it most.

“Our cash grants have provided critical, timely and targeted support for tens of thousands of local businesses and not-for-profit organisations to help them continue to trade through the greatest economic challenge of our time,” said Mr Lucas.

“This money has been used to help sustain jobs and assist cover a business’ ongoing or outstanding operating costs, such as rent, power bills, supplier and raw material costs as well as other fees.

“It’s part of our record $4 billion in economic stimulus over the next two years to support South Australian business and industry and turbo-charge the state’s ongoing economic recovery.”

Steve Cox, who co-owns Orangetheory Fitness at Hawthorn which employs 13 people, said the $10,000 cash grant was “an absolute lifesaver” and helped the business continue to trade throughout the necessary COVID restrictions.

“The cash grant was a vital support to us, it helped us pay the bills and keep the business going. We’re growing again and hoping to be back to full strength soon – we are even looking to employ another staff member in a few weeks,” Mr Cox said.

Treasury analysis shows the major grant program has supported more than 104,000 jobs in businesses and not-for-profits across 400 local industries.

Cafes and restaurants (11,004 jobs), takeaway food services (4,132 jobs), pubs, taverns and bars (3,805 jobs), hairdressing and beauty services (3,526 jobs), accounting services (2,074 jobs), accommodation (1,949 jobs), dental services (1,911 jobs), electrical services (1,877 jobs), management advice and related consulting services (1751 jobs) and real estate services (1,662 jobs) were among the many industries to benefit.

Travel agents and tour guides, builders, vets, meat processors, manufacturers, fruit growers, childcare centres, aged care residential services – even beekeepers – have also received the government grants.

*For more information on eligibility criteria and to apply for a grant, businesses are urged to visit: www.treasury.sa.gov.au

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