The Australian Government has announced stimulus packages to address the economic effects of the COVID-19 (coronavirus). We hope these measures will help people and businesses in Warringah get through this difficult time. Of particular note, businesses, tradespeople, employees, retirees and social security recipients (including pensioners) will benefit.
For a comprehensive list of federal government assistance, please CLICK HERE.
Below, we have outlined various government packages. You can click each point below to be taken to the relevant government site for more information:
- Northern Beaches Small Business Hardship Grant
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
- Music Keeper and Crew Keeper
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Business incentives and general help for businesses
- Loans for small and medium-sized businesses
- Instant asset write-off
- Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries
- Child care support
- Assistance for Travel Agents
- Pandemic Leave
- NSW Government assistance
Northern Beaches Small Business Hardship Grant
Small business owners and not-for-profits located on the Northern Beaches who were impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Northern Beaches) Order 2020 may be eligible for a one-off small business hardship grant of $3000 or $5000.
Opens in late April 2021
For grant guidelines, please click here.
Supporting apprentices and trainees
If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50% of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to March 2021.
The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021.
In addition to the existing support for small businesses, medium-sized businesses will now be eligible for the subsidy, for wages paid from 1 July 2020 – 31 March 2021.
Subsidies will also be available to any new employer who re-engages an eligible apprentice that was displaced by an eligible small or medium-sized business.
For information on Job Trainer, please click here.
Music Keeper and Crew Keeper
Support Act has announced a new category of crisis relief funding called “MusicKeeper” and “CrewKeeper”.
One-off cash grants of $2,000 ($2,700 for families with dependent children) are intended to cushion the blow for artists, crew and music workers from all genres who have been receiving Jobkeeper and Jobseeker payments and who remain largely unable to earn an income due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
These grants are not a replacement for Jobkeeper and Jobseeker (and you do not have to have been receiving Jobkeeper or Jobseeker to apply) but they will help to provide applicants with the ability to pay the rent/mortgage, put food on the table, keep connected by paying power or phone bills, registering or servicing the car and paying medical expenses.
Open on an ongoing basis.
For grant guidelines, please click here.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- There will be a temporary increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive
- A temporary increase in the threshold for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings, an increase in the time period for debtors to respond to a bankruptcy notice, and extending the period of protection a debtor receives after making a declaration of intention to present a debtor’s petition
- Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent
- Temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide targeted relief for companies from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the coronavirus health crisis.
The government is introducing a 15-month investment incentive to support economic growth in the short term by accelerating depreciation deductions.
A deduction of 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation will apply, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
Eligible businesses are those with aggregated turnover below $500 million.
Eligible assets are new assets that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (that is, plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents). This does not apply to second-hand Division 40 assets, or buildings and other capital works depreciable under Division 43.
This applies to assets acquired after the announcement and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.
Loans for small and medium-sized businesses
The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support for these businesses. Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. This will enhance these lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit, which will result in SMEs being able to access additional funding to help support them through the upcoming months. SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.
- Eligible lenders are currently offering guaranteed loans up to 30 September 2020 on the following terms:
- The maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
- The loans will be up to 3 years, with an initial 6 month repayment holiday.
- The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.
From 1 October 2020, eligible lenders will be able to offer loans during the next phase on the same terms as the current Scheme with the following enhancements:
- Loans can be used for a broader range of business purposes, including to support investment in a period of economic recovery.
- The maximum loan size will be increased to $1 million per borrower.
- Loans can be up to 5 years rather than 3 years and whether there will be a six month repayment holiday will be at the discretion of the lender.
- A loan can be either unsecured or secured (excluding commercial or residential property).
Loans will continue to be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes, with the expectation that lenders will look through the cycle to sensibly take into account the uncertainty of the current economic conditions. The decision on whether to extend credit and management of the loan will remain with the lender.
Loans will be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes with the expectation that lenders will look through the cycle to sensibly take into account the uncertainty of the current economic conditions.
As part of the loan products available, the Government will encourage lenders to provide facilities to SMEs that only have to be drawn if needed by the SME. This will mean that the SME will only incur interest on the amount they draw down. If they do not draw down any funds from the facility, no interest will be charged, but they will retain the flexibility to draw down in the future should they need to.
Instant asset write-off
Eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.
For assets first used or installed ready for use between 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021, and purchased by 31 December 2020, the instant asset write-off:
- Threshold amount for each asset is $150,000 (up from $30,000).
- Eligibility extends to businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).
From 1 January 2021, the instant asset write-off will only be available for small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million and the threshold will be $1,000.
From 7:30 pm AEDT on 6 October 2020 until 30 June 2022, temporary full expensing allows a deduction for:
- The business portion of the cost of new eligible depreciating assets for businesses with an aggregated turnover under $5 billion or for corporate tax entities that satisfy the alternative test.
- The business portion of the cost of eligible second-hand assets for businesses with an aggregated turnover under $50 million.
- The balance of a small business pool at the end of each income year in this period for businesses with an aggregated turnover under $10 million.
Eligibility to use instant asset write-off depends on:
- The business aggregated turnover (the total ordinary income of the business and that of any associated businesses).
- The date the business purchased the asset.
- When it was first used or installed ready for use.
- The cost of each asset being less than the threshold.
The criteria have changed over time so make sure to check whether the business is eligible.
Businesses are not eligible to use instant asset write-off on an asset if the aggregated turnover is $500 million or more.
If temporary full expensing applies to the asset, businesses do not apply instant asset write-off.
Instant asset write-off can be used for:
- Multiple assets, if the cost of each individual asset is less than the relevant threshold.
- New and second-hand assets.
Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries
The Government has set aside an initial $1 billion allocation to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as:
The $1 billion will be provided through existing or newly established Government programs.
This will include the waiver of the Environmental Management Charge for tourism businesses that operate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the waiver of entry fees for Commonwealth National Parks. It will also include additional assistance to help businesses identify alternative export markets or supply chains. Targeted measures will also be developed to further promote domestic tourism.
Child Care Support
The Child Care Subsidy and Additional Child Care Subsidy recommenced on 13 July 2020, with the introduction of a number of measures to support providers and families through this period. For more information, please click here.
For more information on JobKeeper for the childcare industry, please click here.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment (GO4491)
The purpose of the grant is to provide lump-sum financial assistance to limit the financial hardship for eligible individuals who are unable to earn an income having been informed by a health official in the state they live and/or work to self-isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19.
This grant is ongoing.
For grant guidelines, please click here.
Small business fees and charges rebate
If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500.
This rebate helps businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourages growth by reducing the cost of running a business.
Eligible businesses or not-for-profits only need to apply for the rebate once but can submit multiple claims until the full value of $1500 is reached. CLICK HERE for more information.
Funds can be used to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges.
The rebate will be available from April 2021 until 30 June 2022.
Online applications for the small business fees and charges rebate open from April 2021.
COVID-19 Federal Government Guidelines
The Department of Health website HERE
The Australian Taxation Office website HERE
The Treasury's response to COVID-19 HERE.