The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic has impacted most businesses in Australia. While organisations are adapting to the ‘COVID normal’, many business owners are apprehensive about next steps.
If you’ve been affected by a loss in revenue, are refocussing your business to survive in a new way, or are considering letting staff go, the Government’s business financial relief measures may help.
With a lot of announcements being made – it can be hard to know what financial support is available to your business and how long it’s available. Here’s a summary of some of the options you can explore, and may be eligible for, depending on your personal situation.
Financial support available for businesses
The Australian Government is supporting businesses to manage challenges and retain employees. This assistance includes temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed and recovering businesses.
The JobKeeper payment is a wage subsidy program. It’s designed to help businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 to cover the costs of their employees’ wages while their business recovers, so more Australians can retain their jobs and continue to earn an income. This assistance will not only help businesses to keep people in their jobs, but also recover as the crisis subsides.
If your business is eligible, you’ll be able to claim a fortnightly payment of:
- Up to $1,200 per eligible employee from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, then
- Up to $1,100 per eligible employee from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021.
Increased instant asset write-off
The Government has increased the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded eligibility to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).
Backing business investment with depreciation deductions
The Government is providing a time-limited,15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
JobTrainer – supporting apprentices and trainees
If you own a small business or medium-sized business and have apprentices or trainees, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice’s, or trainee’s wage paid until 31 March 2021. If eligible, you’ll be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). Final claims for payment must be lodged by 30 June 2021.
Your small business may be eligible if you employ 20 or fewer employees and retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must’ve been in training with your business at 1 July 2020.
Your medium-sized business may be eligible if you employ 199 or fewer employees and retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must’ve been in training with your business at 1 July 2020.
Additional help for businesses
In addition to the Government, many banks have a number of initiatives to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. This includes deferring loan repayments, waiving fees and charges, and interest free periods. Depending on the institution, this may include:
- Deferral of principal and interest payments on business loans for up to 6 months
- Relaxed lending criteria, such as Government-underwritten unsecured loans (up to a certain amount)
- Pausing and/or reducing monthly business credit card repayments
- Waiving late fees
- Providing hardship assistance.
If you require support, contact your bank to see how they can help, or visit the Australian Banking Association’s website for more information.
SuperFriend and mental health support
AustralianSuper values the work of SuperFriend who helps organisations to build positive, supportive and mentally well workplaces. They have a range of resources, including a COVID-19 support kit to help businesses during this time.
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