The Australian Retailers Association has welcomed the measures in the 2020-21 New South Wales Budget which, it says, provide a “critical boost to” businesses recovering from the pandemic.
Paul Zahra, CEO of the association, said recent budget provisions announced by the state government for payroll tax reform and extended rent relief for small and midsize business (SMB) commercial tenants would provide NSW retailers with a solid springboard to rebound into recovery.
Cashflow preservation will support businesses
“Retailers across the state will welcome these measures – which will support our businesses with cashflow preservation [and put them] on the road to recovery,” Zahra stated.
“We are pleased to see some positive permanent changes to payroll tax arising out of the pandemic, that will provide a real long-term boost to the industry and lay the foundation for a sustainable economic recovery.
“Payroll tax is effectively a tax on jobs, and we welcome its reduction from 5.45% to 4.85%, which makes it easier for businesses to hire new staff.”
Certainty and time to get back on their feet
According to the association, some retailers are still experiencing significant cashflow pressures, so the extension of rent relief measures until March 2021 for some smaller businesses with turnover of under $5-million will provide much-needed certainty and more time to get back on their feet.
It warns that the impact that the pandemic has had on many retailers should not be underestimated
Zahra said he hoped the NSW Government’s approach to payroll tax and leasing would provide a template for other states to follow as they set about their own recoveries, and he urged cooperation and consistency across state and territory boundaries.
See a consistent and harmonised approach
“It’s great to see NSW leading the way with a strong recovery-focused budget, and we hope to see a consistent, harmonised approach to these measures nationally,” said Zahra.
“Victorian retailers will be watching the Victorian Government in anticipation of its budget this week and we hope to see these measures and more, commensurate with the severe downturn they have endured through the months of lockdown.
“We believe that the hospitality and entertainment voucher initiative is a powerful measure that can not only deliver positive results for the struggling hospitality sector – but also serve as a strong feeder for retail,” he said.