COVID-19 Support Package – what we know so far

The government recently announced more support and thankfully sole traders and small businesses received a mention.

To our friends and colleagues in NSW, 

As NSW enters its fourth week of lockdown, we are reminded of the ongoing devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the incomes and livelihoods of artists and arts workers. 

NAVA welcomed the announcements this week from both the Federal and NSW Governments of more support at this time, and thankfully sole traders and small businesses received a mention. While we wait for more detail on eligibility requirements, here’s what we know:

  • The COVID-19 Disaster Payment, which provides financial support to individuals who have lost at least 8 hours of work per week due to lockdown, has increased. From 18 July 2021 the payment will be available to those outside Commonwealth declared hotspots in NSW. NAVA strongly encourages all artists and arts workers who have had work cancelled (e.g. events or workshops) due to lockdown to apply for the payment. Once approved, these payments will reoccur weekly until lockdown ends. 
  • Micro business grant: if you are a business or sole trader with an annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 you may be eligible for a grant of up to $1,500 per fortnight. For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week. 
  • COVID-19 business grant: if you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation in NSW with an annual turnover of $75,000 or more and have experienced a decline in turnover you may be eligible for a grant of up to $15,000.

Note: we have received advice which suggests that individuals are not eligible for both the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment and the NSW COVID-19 support grants.

We want to know how these financial packages apply to you!

Have you experienced any issues accessing or applying for them? Your experiences will help inform a visual arts, craft and design sector response to the government. Please email

Support for arts and culture

Visit the Create NSW website for a list of available financial assistance programs. 

Rent assistance

A COVID-19 support package for tenants has been announced. Tenants who can’t pay their rent in full because they are impacted by the recent COVID-19 outbreak cannot be evicted between now and 11 September 2021. For information on requesting a rent reduction, deferral or waiver, visit the NSW Government’s webpage.

Mental health support

At this difficult time, please know that support is near:

  • Call the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline on 1800 959 500 within Australia, or via email. Zoom video calls are also available. 
  • Call Lifeline Australia on 13 11 14 or text the helpline on 0477 13 11 14.
  • Beyond Blue has a comprehensive list of national helplines and websites.

And finally, we know confidence has been shaken for artists, arts workers and audiences. We at NAVA want to remind you that you are not alone. We are here for you. In advocating for a stronger sector we rally together and support each other in times of stress and hurdles. Take care of yourselves, be safe and well.

With love,
The NAVA team