As some of the country starts to reopen and get back on track, other parts continue to operate under tight restrictions.
To help businesses through to the other side of the pandemic and bounce back stronger, the Government has announced another phase of targeted income support.
With this, we bring you a new rolling update with the latest financial support available. We have summarised it in an easy to consume guide so you can understand exactly what is available. We will continue to update this blog as more information is released.
We have been working with hundreds of businesses over the last few months to help them navigate and manage what support is available to them, and will continue to do so.
We are here to help. Times like these remind our team of the pivotal role we play. We strive to be your partner in success and provide peace of mind.
Updated 27 August 2020
To support Victorian businesses impacted by the re-introduced restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program.
The Victorian Government has clarified that business are required to apply for the $5,000 expansion grant.
You will need the following for your application:
Regional businesses will need to meet all the eligibility criteria, to be eligible a business must:
Eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire that have applied or have received an initial $5,000 under the Business Support Fund – Expansion will be eligible for an additional $5,000 grant without submitting a new application.
If you didn’t receive it during the first restrictions you may still be eligible to receive it this time round.
Applications close 14 September 2020.
If you need assistance we can help your business in applying. Contact us on 03 5443 0344.
With Melbourne and regional Victoria in Stage 3 and 4 restrictions, the Victorian government has outlined new restrictions and closures to a number of industries and business in Melbourne, which may in-turn, impact regional businesses in regards to supply chain, stock, etc.
Industry and business closures and restrictions under Stage 4 in Melbourne are summarised here.
For regional Victoria, the only additional measures to Stage 3 restrictions were for meatworks. This industry will be scaled back to two-thirds of production only and a number of COVIDSafe measures introduced.
The Hospitality Business Grant supports food services business that have been affected by the return to stage 3 and stage 4 restrictions.
Eligible businesses will be provided with a one-off $25,000 grant to pay for costs to support the continued operation of the business. An additional $5,000 is available for each additional premises located within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, capped at a total of $20,000.
An additional $20,000 grant will also be available for eligible businesses with premises located in the following Melbourne CBD postcodes:
To be eligible, your business must:
To apply for the grant, click here to fill out the online questionnaire.
Following months of speculation the Government has announced the JobKeeper Program will be extended beyond September 2020, to March 2021.
It is important to note if you currently receive JobKeeper Payments it remains unchanged until 27 September 2020.
To receive the new JobKeeper Payments from 28 September 2020, the eligibility will be based on actual turnover change rather than projected change which was used when businesses first applied.
Recent amendments also allow employers to receive JobKeeper payments for additional employees if these employees were:
For JobKeeper fortnights beginning on or after 3 August 2020 (JobKeeper Fortnight 10), employers need to assess which additional employees are now eligible for JobKeeper payment from 3 August and have a ‘Nomination Notice’ completed by each employee by Monday 31 August.
We have explained all of the new changes in a 2.0 JobKeeper Payment blog on our website. Visit www.afsbendigo.com.au/jobkeeper-payment-2-0-need-know for more.
The JobSeeker payment replaced the former Newstart unemployment payment when Coronavirus struck. At that time it effectively doubled the old Newstart rate, applying a $550 coronavirus supplement.
The latest updates include:
JobSeeker is available for people between age 22 and the Age Pension who are looking for work, or if you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study temporarily.
People on JobSeeker will be required to apply for more jobs than required earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic and failure to take a job means people risk losing the payment.
From 25 September 2020, the assets test and the Liquid Assets Waiting Period will be reintroduced and the JobSeeker Payment partner income test will increase from 25 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $996 per fortnight to 27 cents for every dollar of partner income earned over $1,165 per fortnight.
To find out if you are eligible visit: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/jobseeker-payment/how-claim
Individuals in Victoria who are unable to work due to being told to quarantine or self-isolate can claim a $1,500 paid pandemic leave payment.
You may be eligible if you can’t work due to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services telling you to self-isolate or quarantine because:
To get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment you must meet all of the following:
You will not be eligible if you receive any income from paid work or already receive other Government financial support.
Individuals have until 4 February 2021 to claim the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
The easiest way to apply is by phoning Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Further land tax relief for landlords and business owners and a ban on evictions and rental increases has been announced as part of the Victoria government’s extension of the commercial and residential tenancy relief scheme.
Under the extension, evictions will continue to be banned for both residential and commercial tenancies until 31 December 2020, except in specific circumstances. Rental increases continue to be banned for the same period.
There is also further land tax relief for landlords and business owners until 31 December 2020.
The land tax discount will be doubled to 50% (previously 25%) and deferred to 31 March 2021 for landlords of residential and commercial properties who provide eligible tenants with a 50% or more outright rent waiver for at least three months.
Owner-occupiers of commercial properties can also obtain a 25% waiver of the property’s 2020 land tax, and payment of the remaining tax can be deferred to 31 March 2021, if they would be eligible under the commercial tenancy relief scheme as if they were a tenant.
To register for the land tax relief visit My Land Tax
If you have previously applied for a 25% waiver and you want to apply for the further relief, you must make a new application through My Land Tax, however, applications are temporarily suspended while the additional relief measures are updated.
The Rental Relief Grant will be boosted from $2,000 to $3,000 for eligible landlords and tenants, with previous grant recipients of $2,000 able to apply for a $1000 top-up.
To be eligible for the tenant grant you will need to:
For full details on the Rental Relief Grant program and to register your interest visit:
Individuals wanting to apply for the early release of up to $10,000 in superannuation have been given extra time to do so, the government has announced in its economic update. The application period of the scheme will be extended to 31 December 2020 from the original deadline of 24 September.
You will not pay tax on the money you access and withdrawals will not affect Centrelink or veterans’ payments.
To apply for early release you must satisfy any one or more of the following requirements:
It’s time to start preparing for the second round of the Federal Government’s cash flow boosts for businesses and not-for-profit organisations. The second cash flow boost will be paid in equal instalments from June to September 2020, up to $50,000 upon lodgement of your activity statements.
If you received the first cash flow boost, you will automatically receive the second when you lodge your activity statements.
For full details on how you can receive it see our blog:
The Victorian Government has reinstated restrictions across metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire to slow recently growing community spread of COVID-19. To assist businesses to continue to operate amid the restrictions they have unveiled a $534 million support package.
The stimulus package includes:
The new JobTrainer program has been announced to help increase access to upskilling and training as businesses recover from COVID-19. The package will provide an additional 340,700 training places to help school leavers and job seekers access short and long courses to develop new skills.
The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy will receive an additional $1.5 billion to expand the wage incentive to help keep apprentices in work. It builds on the initial $1.3 billion package announced in March. It will now be available to medium businesses with less than 200 employees for apprentices employed as at 1 July 2020. The program will be extended to March 2021, previously due to finish in September 2020.
The subsidy will now help almost 90,000 small and medium businesses employing around 180,000 apprentices and trainees and it covers 50% of the wages paid to apprentices and trainees, up to $7,000 per quarter.
Further information about these changes will be made available in the coming weeks. To apply for the subsidy contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.
The JobMaker program will support thousands of jobs across Australia’s creative arts industry. The program involves a $250 million support package which aims to restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.
A range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs.
The support package includes:
From 1 July 2020, the corporate tax rate for small and medium companies with turnover under $50 million will reduce to 26% (reduced from 27.5%). This rate will reduce further to 25% in 2021-22.
You need to be a base rate entity to be eligible for the reduced company tax rate. That is 80% or less of the company’s assessable income is base rate entity passive income.
Banks will extend repayment deferrals for another four months for households and businesses impacted by COVID-19. The deferral will be much needed relief for the areas who have returned to restrictions.
Options may include:
Extensions won’t automatically rollover. Customers are advised to speak to their bank early to work with them and create a plan for this extension
Grants are now available to small businesses to support opportunities for energy efficient activities. Businesses must have an annual turnover below $10 million. The grants will support equipment upgrades to reduce energy consumption, monitoring systems to better manage energy use, and energy audits to investigate other opportunities for energy efficient activities.
Eligible applicants will be:
Applications for the small business round opened on 6 July 2020 and close on 26 August 2020.
This initiative is support to cover the cost of refunds caused by the current restrictions. When parts of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire returned to stage 3 restrictions, residents in these areas, as well as some interstate visitors have been prevented from travelling to Victoria. This has resulted in cancelled bookings with accommodation providers in regional Victoria.
Accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by these cancellations will be able to apply for direct financial support through the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program.
Applications are open from 13 July 2020 until the end of the current Stay at Home restrictions or when funds are exhausted.
The Victorian Government has launched a $30 million dedicated fund for the hardest hit businesses in hospitality.
More details will be available soon. Please register your interest via the link below to receive updates.
The Small Business Recovery Grant will help small businesses and not-for-profits meet the costs of safely reopening or scaling up operations. If you are classified as a highly impacted industry you may be eligible for a $3,000 grant.
Applications opened on 1 July 2020 and close 16 August 2020.
For eligibility criteria and to see the list of industries visit Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant.
If you would like assistance accessing any of the support mentioned above please contact us. We are here to help. Call 03 5443 0344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org