Australian Retailers Association welcomes NSW job-creating budget to support business growth in 2020

The Australian Retailers Association (ARA) has welcomed the measures in the 2020-21 NSW Budget which provides a critical boost to businesses recovering from the pandemic.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said Budget provisions for payroll tax reform and extended rent relief for SMB commercial tenants were focal points for ARA state government advocacy and would provide NSW retailers with a solid springboard to rebound into recovery.

“Retailers across the state will welcome these measures – which will support our businesses with cashflow preservation on the road to recovery,” said Mr Zahra.

“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 per cent to 4.85 per cent which makes it easier for businesses to hire new staff.

“Some retailers are still experiencing significant cashflow pressures, and the extension of rent relief measures until March 2021 for some SMBs with turnover under $5 million will provide much-needed certainty and more time to get back on their feet – we can’t underestimate the impact that the pandemic has had on many retailers.”

Mr 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 recoveries, urging cooperation and consistency across state and territory boundaries.

“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, which will help allow a consistent approach to business planning for retailers across the country,” said Mr Zahra.

“Victorian retailers will be watching the Victorian Government in anticipation of its upcoming budget next 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,” said Mr Zahra.

ENDS…for more details: ARA Media Team (m) 02 7226 1044 (e) About us: founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association is Australia’s largest retail association, representing a $340bn sector employing more than 1.2m people. As Australia’s premier retail body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members. To learn more, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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