Struggling businesses yet to see a cent of government financial support

After more than two months in lockdown, NSW businesses are scraping by with many still waiting to see a single dollar from government-promised support funding.

People like Phillip Joel, who runs a Kwik Copy printing business in Sydney's CBD, say they are fed up and they feel let down by Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Federal Government.

"I challenge every single government minister to not draw a salary until every single grant has been paid," a frustrated Mr Joel told 9News.

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"Then we will see how serious they are about getting money out to us all."

After a month of trying to access the financial assistance promised to struggling businesses, Mr Joel says he is just one of thousands who are in the same boat.

Brighton-le-Sands restauranteur Bill Mougios says he is getting on average just three hours sleep each night, wondering how much longer he will be able to keep his multiple businesses afloat without help as the bills continue to pile up.

A 35-year veteran of Sydney's hospitality industry, Mr Mougios owns six restaurants and a reception centre in Brighton-le-Sands and Parramatta.

"If this continues for a long time, I might have to put my house up for sale to stay alive," he said.

While Ms Berejiklian has commended Service NSW for clearing a backlog of assistance applications, there are an estimated 78,000 worth a staggering $888 million still left unpaid.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called on states to ensure business support payments are made "promptly" after reports some in NSW had still not received anything.

The payments for business support, while partially funded by the Commonwealth, are distributed by states and territories under current arrangements.

Earlier this week, Ms Berejiklian apologised for delays in payments to businesses.

"Different states have a different success rate in making those payments, and they should be made promptly, as it was outlined to them that they would be," Mr Morrison said.

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Mr Morrison also said the federal government had so far paid $2.256 billion in direct income support to individuals who had lost hours of work during the lockdowns.

"In NSW, that figure is $1.9 billion and that has been paid to 762,000 people," he said.

"In Victoria, some $260 million has been paid to 252,843 people. In Queensland, $98.7 million has been paid to 140,735 people and in South Australia, $45 million was paid to 80,000 people."

The Prime Minister has called on states and territories to put in place protections for businesses that fear lawsuits from employees who contract COVID-19 in the workplace.

Mr Morrison said some businesses were worried that not mandating vaccines for employees could leave them open to legal action should an employee contract the virus.

"I was able to advise that the advice I have received is that workplace health and safety regulators in the states can provide a statement of regulation intent, that a business that does not mandate is not in breach of workplace health and safety rules," he said.

"So protection can be provided to businesses through that process, that may be concerned that by not putting in a mandatory requirement, that they might otherwise be liable for any action that might be brought against them."

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