The South Australia Government has announced a new package for small and medium businesses, events and sole traders, jointly funded with the Commonwealth Government.

The new South Australian COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant will deliver about $40 million in further support to an estimated 19,000 local businesses in eligible industries that have been particularly affected by the recent lockdown and density restrictions, including hospitality, performing art venues, artists and performers, tourism, gyms, and transport.

The package includes $3,000 cash grants for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses (e.g. sole traders) in eligible industry sectors that have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more over a two-week period as a result of the COVID-19 trading restrictions introduced from July 28, 2021. There is no minimum turnover test for the COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant, but a business must be registered for GST.

An additional CBD grant of $1,000 is also available for eligible businesses and sole traders in recognition of the increased impact on city businesses because of people working from home.

A new Major Events Support Grant of up to $25,000 for eligible events that were either cancelled, or suffered a significant financial loss, from having to be cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 lockdown in July or further restrictions to 4 August, will be funded by the South Australian Government.

Applications for the COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant are expected to be open this Friday on 13 August 2021 – full info and eligibility can be found here.

AICSA very much welcomes this new package which reflects some of the priorities the arts sector has identified: providing income support to some of the most impacted small and medium arts businesses and sole traders; and providing some relief to arts, cultural and other events that have been cancelled or significantly disrupted by the lockdown and ongoing capacity restrictions.

The arts and cultural sector is currently operating at an extremely high level of risk, distress, precarity, and audience nervousness. This is reflected in multiple reports and surveys released in the last month including the I LOST MY GIG July report and the Patternmakers Audience Outlook Monitor July findings.

We urge the South Australian Government to continue to look for ways to support individual artists, especially those whose incomes fall well below $75,000; to provide stability and certainty to the South Australian small to medium arts organisations, through announcing the future of the Arts Organisations Program; and to leverage SA Government major funds such as the Jobs and Economic Growth Fund, the Leisure Events Bid Fund, and other longer-term strategies, to continue to support the arts and cultural sector to survive and recover.