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‘A vital lifeline’: Major banks pledge support for extended lockdown payments

By Neil Griffiths
 — 1 minute read

Major banks around Australia have welcomed government support in the wake of extended lockdowns.

With Greater Sydney now facing an extended four-week lockdown period, the government confirmed this week that in NSW eligible entities including not-for-profits will receive payments between $1,500 and $100,000 per week based on the level of their payroll with the maximum turnover threshold increased from $50 million to $250 million.

For non-employing businesses, the payment will remain set at $1,000 per week.

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The government’s increased financial support for NSW workers will be available from next week; eligible workers will receive $750 per week if they lose 20 hours or more of work while those who lose between eight and less than 20 hours, or a full day of work, will receive a payment of $450 per week.

“This is a difficult time for people and businesses in Greater Sydney facing an extended lockdown of at least four weeks, with many businesses seriously impacted,” Westpac chief executive Peter King said.

“The joint state and federal government’s announcement today will significantly help impacted businesses to stay afloat and importantly, retain their employees, which keeps income flowing into households.

“This is the right approach, and coupled with increased disaster payments, should provide much needed cash flow for essentials and bills.

“We have seen an increase in the number of businesses seeking additional support, roughly double what we did pre-lockdown.”

Meanwhile in Victoria, the Business Support Package will see an additional $400 million funded to thousands of businesses, which includes an $85 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund.

“Small business across Australia has been incredibly resilient throughout this pandemic, but this is a vital life line for those businesses who have carried a heavy cost in keeping us all safe,” NAB group executive for business and private bank, Andrew Irvine said.

“Every one of NAB’s bankers right across Australia are here, ready to help those impacted by this pandemic. We all know the road out of this relies on getting more people vaccinated which is why we’re encouraging our entire team to play their part.”

Commonwealth Bank has also responded by launching a series of live webinars for small-business customers to “help them navigate the flow on impacts” of the lockdowns.

“We hope our business customers are keeping safe in these challenging times,” CBA’s group executive business banking Mike Vacy-Lyle, said.

“We want to ensure all our customers are aware of and accessing the full range of support measures they are eligible for to help them navigate through this period.”

 

‘A vital lifeline’: Major banks pledge support for extended lockdown payments
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