This summary contains the latest information compiled from the Australian and State Governments ad is to be treated as a guide only and subject to change.
The Australian Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper package offers a subsidy, up to $1500 per fortnight for each employee, to eligible businesses to keep paying their staff. Employers and sole traders can register their interest in this program with the Australian Tax Office.
The Australian Government has developed an app that will keep the public up to date on all Australian Government announcements. The Australian Government’s Coronavirus Australia app is available from the Apple Store and Google Play. You can also join their WhatsApp Channel.
Access the Australian Government’s website to see the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Government. The website contains information such as, but not limited to:
· key updates
· health and prevention
· receiving financial support – Australian Government Economic Response to COVID-19
· information for businesses, employees and jobseekers
· help from other Government agencies.
The Australian Government has set up a team of dedicated customer representatives to explain the Australian Government assistance available to business. Get in touch with their Coronavirus business support service across Australia, seven days a week, between 7am and 9pm:
· over the phone – 13 28 46
Australian Government Support for Small Businesses and Industry – The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees.
· Boosting cash flow for employers – Provides up to $100,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible businesses. The payment istaxfree.
- Supporting apprentices and trainees measure – Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of their apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
- Additional information for sole traders – Increased instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation measures for sole traders.
- Casual employees – The Government is making support payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period periods for casual employees.
· Increased and accelerated income support payments for sole traders and employees – This link includes examples and scenarios relating to sole traders and recently retrenched employees.
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses – The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issues a statutory demand.
- Support for immediate cash flow needs for SMEs – Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to support short-term loans.
- Supporting individuals and households – The Australian Government is providing financial assistance which includes income support, payments to households, temporary early release of superannuation.
- Early access to superannuation – Sole traders or casual workers with an income or hours reduced by 20% or more, access up to $10,000 of their superannuation tax-free.
- Rural Financial Counselling Service – Rural small businesses impacted by COVID19 can contact rural financial counsellors the following areas:
- Fair Work Australia – Workplace Obligations and Entitlements – Help and advice for employers and employees with entitlements during this time.
- Centrelink – Social security payments and services for Australians.
- Australian Taxation Office – For enquires relating to income tax.
- Fair Work Ombudsman – Provides education, assistance, advice and guidance to employers, employees, outworkers, outworker entities and organisations.
Access the Business Queensland website to see the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from the Queensland Government to support small business and industry. The Queensland Government’s COVID-19 economic relief package contains a range of initiatives.
Queensland Government support for small business and industry includes, but is not limited to:
· Payroll tax relief package – Includes a range of payroll tax relief measures including refunds of payroll tax and payroll tax holiday and deferrals. A portal has been established on the Business Queensland website for businesses to apply for payroll tax relief.
· Small and medium business power bill relief – Small and medium businesses may be eligible for $500 rebate off their energy bill.
· Rent relief – Six months relief for businesses renting government premises.
· Rental Grant for Households impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic.
· Liquor licensing – The economic relief package includes the waiving of 2020–21 liquor licencing fees.
· QRIDA Jobs Support Loans – (also referred to as the COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans) For Queensland businesses and non-profit organisations financially affected by COVID-19. Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies, and trusts.
· Business mentoring assistance – Mentoring for Growth – This program has mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses and may be able to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.
· Financial resilience workshops – Delivered online by TAFE Queensland, workshops will provide you with practical tools and skills to build business resilience. You will also have an opportunity to connect and network with other small businesses facing similar issues.
· Market diversification and resilience grants – To help develop alternative markets for food and fishing exporters and critical supply chain partners.
· Supply chain issues – The Queensland Government is committed to assisting Queensland manufacturers and businesses that are currently impacted by the ongoing coronavirus situation. If you are finding it difficult to obtain vital materials and supplies to remain open, please access the link and complete your details.
· The Worker Transition Scheme – For workers who may find themselves without work.
Please note: If you have not already, businesses are invited to complete an online Business Impact Evaluation so the Queensland Government can capture the actual impact to small business at this point of time.
Also, contact your Local Government Authority for the latest grants and support in your region.
Other useful information that may be of assistance to you
· Australian Banking Association – Small business relief, deferral of loans
· Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland – Sign up for their Business Essentials subscription by 31 April 2020 and pay nothing for 12 months.
Additional wellbeing and support information
· Queensland Mental Health Commission (resources to help you stay mentally and physically healthy and well)
· Emergency Relief Program search (Queensland Government)
· Salvation Army (Disasters and emergencies support) – phone 1300 662 217
· Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 13 11 14
· Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1300 224 636
· Headspace (Youth mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1800 650 890.
· Care Army (Volunteer to help older people living in the community)
We hope this has been of assistance.
Stephen is the CEO of Accountants Direct and is a Professional Director, ASIC Agent, Startup Advisor & Investor & Capital Raising Specialist.
Contact Stephen or his team if you have any questions about this post or any business matter in general.