What happens if there’s another lockdown? NSW’s SME Summer Holiday “stock guarantee” explained

The arrival of the omicron variant has shredded the nerves of worn-out business owners across Australia. While NSW and Victoria have had a positive reopening, snap lockdowns remain on the cards – and however short, place businesses struggling in precarious positions and play havoc with planning.

But there is good news for NSW beauty businesses. Back in October the NSW Premier Dominic Premier has announced that should NSW businesses face another lockdown in December or January they will provide with a “stock guarantee” on goods purchased prior.

Small and medium business owners, with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50million will be able to apply for a grant of up to $20,000 in the event of lockdowns during the holiday period.

The stock guarantee included $20,000 for perishable goods and $10,000 for non-perishable goods.

How does this work?

Professional Beauty has confirmed with Business NSW and COSBOA that beauty products with an expiration date are considered “perishable goods.” They are therefore covered by the $20,000 insurance program. Any other non-perishable salon supplies are covered by the $10,000 insurance program. Treasurer Matt Kean said the Stock Guarantee would be available for non-essential SME’s forced to close their doors between 1st December 2021 to 31st of January 2022 due to public health orders. He said: “We want businesses to have the confidence to get out and spend and invest in their business ahead of the busy Christmas trading period.”

Beauty businesses have been disproportionately affected by lockdowns with particular pressure placed on small businesses, who don’t have an established clientele they can retail to. Like café’s and restaurants beauty service providers need to stock up for reopening when they are busier than ever. But salon supplies are expensive and perishable and snap and extended lockdowns leave businesses over-extended. Meanwhile, salon suppliers could be negatively impacted by small orders from business owners hedging their bets.

Why is the NSW Government doing this?

Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter says the support is an acknowledgment of the enormous challenges faced by small business in 2020.

Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter says the program is designed to restore confidence as businesses exit the NSW lockdowns and prepare for the holiday rush.

“Business confidence has taken a hit in recent times and we know one of the pressure points for businesses is being left with stock they can’t sell while their business is closed” said Business NSW Chief Executive Daniel Hunter.

“Businesses can now plan and order the stock they think they’ll need while their business begins to scale up again, with the knowledge the Government has a level of protection in place for them,” Mr Hunter said.

“This confidence will be particularly welcome in regional NSW, where lockdowns have had a dramatic impact on business prosperity 0 not only have they missed out on local trade but tourists from Sydney who stay and spend money in their town.”

“There’s lots of optimism around business now that we are officially ‘back to business and this is a further boost for business owners to plan the next few months of operations with further support measures in place,” Mr Hunt said.

This insurance program will only come into effect if a lockdown occurs in December 2021 or January 2022 and businesses are unable to use or sell supplies they have acquired in advance of the period.

While we very much hope the grants will not be necessary over the holiday period – should snap lockdowns affect NSW we will provide updates on eligibility and access.

Want to learn more about coping with supply and demand this holiday season? We’ve provided a breakdown here.

What’s shaping your small business in 2022? Check out our interview with COSBOA CEO Alexi Boyd!

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