Co-working businesses operating inside the $35 million Sydney Startup Hub have been thrown a state government lifeline in the form of a six-month rent holiday to keep them viable through the current health and economic crisis.
And NSW Jobs and Investment Minister Stuart Ayres said the state government remained committed to its multi-billion dollar plan for a Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct redevelopment at Central station as a post-crisis engine for job creation.
Co-working businesses like Fishburners, Stone & Chalk, The Studio and TankStream have been allowed access to the six-month rental deferment for all leases of NSW Government premises announced by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian as part of the state’s response to the economic squeeze.
As anchor tenants, the Microsoft Scaleup program, Caltex C-Lab facility and Optus Innovation Hub would also enjoy the rent holiday. While the state government does not own the Sydney Startup Hub premises, it does hold the master lease and will continue to fund the rental agreement on behalf of tenants during the period.
The rental deferment would also apply to other state-initiated precincts, such as the Nuclear Medicine and Technology Precinct at Lucas Heights.
There is yet no word from government about possible arrangements for the many co-working spaces that exist outside of the Sydney Startup Hub that are similarly filled with technology startup companies and small businesses.
“The NSW Government is working closely with the anchor tenants of the Sydney Startup Hub and remain committed to the long-term operation of the Hub with the existing tenants,” Mr Ayres told InnovationAus.
“We announced last week a six-month rent deferral for all leases of NSW Government premises and this captures the anchor tenants at the Sydney Startup Hub,” said.
“We are committed to continuing to work with the anchor tenants to ensure they are able to continue to support the many businesses and startups both throughout and beyond the coronavirus.”
“The Sydney Innovation and Technology Precinct remains a high priority for future jobs and investment opportunities. Whilst we are the midst of a crisis right now, we still need to focus on the future to ensure a pipeline of opportunities for jobs and investment in NSW.”
The FinTech-founded co-working space Stone & Chalk on Monday said it would waive the next three months membership fees for its residents nationally.
“We have already commenced delivery of some of our existing support services digitally, for everyone to use, so we can continue to support emerging technology companies from anywhere in Australia,” Stone & Chalk chief executive Alex Scandurra said.