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23 August 2021

COVID-19 resources: financial support

COVID-19 resources: financial support

With most of Australia's population currently in lockdown, and the rest of it affected by COVID-19 related restrictions, we've put together this summary of financial support available from the Federal Government, state governments and some other sources. Please follow the links for details and to apply.

Availability of crisis support from state governments varies by state, and income thresholds and other criteria apply. For general information and links, please see the COVID-19 resouces on each state government website: ACT - New South Wales - Northern Territory - Queensland - South Australia - Tasmania - Victoria - Western Australia.

Note that our Resonate Opportunities webpage has lots of non-COVID opportunities for composers, sound artists, performers, students, teachers, musicologists and other music professionals, and access to this list is currently free for all. A few of these opportunities are also included in the listings below.



Getting help during COVID-19 - general information regarding case numbers, vaccinations and payments and support available for individuals affected by COVID-19 and related restrictions and lockdowns. See also Australia Council's guide to the government COVID-19 assistance for the arts.

Support Act COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants. With funding support from the Australian Government through the Office for the Arts, Support Act is offering cash grants of $2,000 ($2,700 to families with dependent children) to music and performing arts workers called COVID-19 Crisis Relief Grants (formerly known as MusicKeeper/CrewKeeper). These grants are not a wage subsidy but a one-off payment to help pay the rent/mortgage, put food on the table, keep connected by paying power or phone bills, registering or servicing the car, paying medical expenses and so on. These grants are not competitive and are available for everyone who meets the criteria. More details and how to apply: Support Act website. Separately from this, for music workers, Support Act also has non-COVID-19 crisis relief grants for those who are suffering financial hardship as a result of injury, ill-health or a mental health issue that is managed through a current Mental Health plan - more details on the website.

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund provides support for the arts and entertainment sector to reactivate. The program is targeting organisations to assist in the presentation of cultural and creative projects, activities and events to rebuild confidence amongst investors, producers and consumers. Projects that target audiences in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas will also be taken into account, as well as projects that in that involve tours and use local regional pre-production and production, services and support acts. The Fund has $60 million remaining, until 31 December 2021 or until funds are allocated. Details: Australian Government website.

Australia Council for the Arts has a compiled a guide to government COVID-19 assistance for the arts in 2021, available on the website. The Council's grant deadline for the current round of Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups is 7 September at 3pm AEST for projects beginning from 1 December. The first grant round in 2022 closes on 1 March. These grants are competitive and available for funding a range of professional arts activities that deliver benefits to the arts sector and wider public, including national and international audiences. Details on on the website.

Indigenous Business Australia

Indigenous Business Australia is offering Indigenous business relief package for eligible Indigenous businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19, including Indigenous business not already IBA customers. This relief package has been designed in collaboration with the National Indigenous Australians Agency to respond to the immediate challenges Indigenous businesses are facing. For more information about support, please see the IBA website.


General COVID-19 information - case numbers and exposure locations, lockdown information. COVID-19 helpline (02) 6207 7244 operates 8am to 8pm daily. For the Access Canberra Business Liaison Line call (02) 6205 0900 or email ACBusinessTeam@act.gov.au. For support measures for individuals, see the ACT Government website.

ACT Government Small Business Support Schemes. The ACT Government will provide support for small businesses facing a significant loss in revenue due to the current lockdown in the ACT. The ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grants will deliver support of up to $10,000 for employing businesses and up to $4,000 for non-employing businesses over the three-week lockdown period where those businesses' turnover has declined by 30 per cent or more as a result of the COVID-19 health restrictions. This program is jointly funded by the ACT and Australian Governments. More details will be available on the website soon.

New South Wales

Summary of disaster payments for individuals and households in NSW. See also this page for all general information about cases, restrictions, vaccinations etc.

Create NSW COVID development grants for individuals and groups (up to $5,000) and organisations (up to $10,000) in the 'small-to-medium' sector in NSW in recognition of their role as important generators of cultural and artistic activity and crucial employers of artists across the state. Those eligible for the COVID $75 million Performing Arts package (see below) and/or in receipt of Create NSW multi-year funding are not eligible to apply. Key dates tbc. - for details, see Create NSW website.

Create NSW COVID Performing Arts package - urgent financial support to performing arts venues, producers and promoters impacted by the cancellation or postponement of performances resulting from the NSW Government COVID-19 Public Health Orders. Funding will cover performances impacted by NSW Government Public Health Orders from 26 June 2021 to 30 September 2021. Eligible applicants should only apply for support through this package. For details and FAQs, see the Create NSW website.

NSW Government COVID-19 Business Grants for businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit organisatiosn in NSW impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions. One-off grants of $7,500, $10,500 and $15,000 for business costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 (the first 3 weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown). Deadline: 18 October. For details, see the NSW Government website.

NSW Government COVID-19 micro-business grants Business Grants for micro-businesses (small business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation with aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000) impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions. Fortnightly payments of $1,500 to cover business expenses for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown. Deadline: 18 October. For details, see the NSW Government website.

NSW Government JobSaver for businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations in NSW impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions. JobSaver will provide cash flow support to impacted businesses to help maintain their NSW employee headcount from 13 July 2021. Fortnightly payments to eligible businesses will be backdated to cover costs incurred from week 4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown (from 18 July 2021 onwards). The payment will be equivalent to 40% of the weekly payroll for work performed in NSW (minimum payment will be $1,500 per week, maximum payment will be $100,000 per week). For details, see the NSW Government website.

Northern Territory

General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions. For emergency and wellbeing support, see the information and links on this NT Government website. For Business Lockdown Payments ($1,000) and Extended Lockdown Payments ($2,000), see this web page.


General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions.

Business Queensland's COVID-19 business support grants for lockdown-impacted businesses. All eligible businesses who apply for a grant during the 3-month application period will receive funding as a result of this joint Queensland and Australian Government support package. It includes support for non-employing sole traders, support for eligible small and medium businesses, and large tourism and hospitality businesses. Successful applicants will receive the total value of the boosted grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 depending on business or not-for-profit organisation. Application link for non-employing sole traders will be available on the website from September. Deadline: 16 November. For details, see the Queensland Government website.

The Queensland Arts Showcase Program (QASP) supports vibrant and accessible arts and cultural experiences for Queensland by individuals, organisations or collectives. The QASP program is delivered through three streams Arts Accelerate, Arts Activate and Arts Advantage. Applicants can be approved for one QASP grant only per financial year. This funding is not COVID-19 specific. Next deadlines depending on program: 1 October/29 October and 28 January/25 February. For details, see the Queensland Arts website.

First Nations Pathways - Performing Arts Emerging Organisations Fund 2022-2025. This fund is not COVID-19 specific and forms part of the Queensland Government's Creative Together 2020 - 2030 Roadmap for arts, culture and creativity in Queensland. Deadline 16 September. For details, see the Queensland Government website.

South Australia

General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions. For information about both SA State and federal government support available to South Australian businesses, see this SA Government web page.


General COVID-19 information about case numbers and current restrictions. For business support and helplines, see this Tasmanian Government web page.


Victorian Government's main COVID-19 webpage has the latest updates about exposure sites, lockdown and related restrictions. See also this webpage for financial support and resources for businesses and workers.

The Live Performance Support Program (Presenters) Round Two provides grants to eligible businesses affected by the cancellation or postponement of events as a result of lockdowns and public health restrictions between 27 May 2021 and 2 September 2021. This program is for live performance event presenters. A presenter is a person or organisation with the right to hold, cancel or re-schedule an event, collect the proceeds from ticket sales or re-locate a given live performance event. For any given event, this may be the producer, promoter, venue owner or artist promoting their own show. Applicants can apply for either $7000 or $5000 for one event, depending on losses or unrecoverable costs, and a further $5000 for a second event. There is a cap of $12,000 per applicant across the two rounds of the program. Deadline for applications is 8 September. See Business Victoria website for details.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund provides $14,000 grants for eligible small and medium GST-registered businesses that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70% for a two-week period since 27 May 2021. This program will allow more businesses (both employing and non-employing) who have previously not received support, to receive financial relief now. Businesses that have received COVID-19 support funding from the Victorian Government's current (launched 27 May 2021 or later) programs are ineligible. Deadline for applications deadline is 10 September.

Flourish Arts Recovery Program by Moreland City Council - support for individual artists (up to $5,000) and arts organisations (up to $10,000) resident in the Moreland City Council area in Melbourne, to survive the impacts of COVID-19. Applications close on Wednesday 15 September.

Western Australia

General COVID-19 information and resources.

Government of WA's Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants. Round Two provides $3000 cashflow support to small businesses in industry sectors most impacted and will be made available to eligible small businesses across Perth, Peel and regional Western Australia. Deadline 31 August. More details: Government of WA website.

Please note that the links and details may change and new informations and updates may have come available since the publishing of this article. Please follow the main links at the top for up-to-date information.


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