Businesses in the Armidale region have received more than $900,000 from the state government's COVID-19 small business support program
On Wednesday, Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall welcomed the extension of applications for the program, which provides grants of up to $10,000 for business significantly impacted by the pandemic.
"Off the back of the economic downturn caused by the drought and bushfires, COVID-19 has the potential to be the death knell of many of our region's small businesses," Mr Marshall said.
"The Small Business Support Fund has been a life-line for many operators, with grants of up to $10,000 provided to cover unavoidable expenses like utilities, rates and supplier costs.
"I'm really pleased this fund has had such a high take-up so far and urge business owners who haven't applied yet to contact Service NSW to access this support."
He said that can be done before June 30.
"Our economy can't recover without small businesses employing locals and providing the quality eateries and retail opportunities which attract visitor dollars to town," he said.
Under the program's guidelines, businesses must have experienced at least 75 per cent decline in turnover compared to the same two-week period in 2019 due to COVID-19.
However, special consideration was being given to businesses which were already experiencing a downturn from the drought, Mr Marshall said, which is why so many locals had already been able to access the grants.
"The criteria was also recently extended to provide support for eligible microbreweries, cellar doors and events businesses, meaning even more businesses are able to access the support measure," he said.