The Australian Government has announced a $1.2 billion support package for the tourism and aviation sector.
This support includes:
Australia’s airlines, hotels and caravan parks, restaurants and bars, travel agents and tourism operators are set for a major boost after the Government unveiled a new $1.2 billion support package to encourage travel within Australia.
The package is part of the Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan which specifically targets businesses, workers and regions still doing it tough. The mix of half price airline tickets, cheap loans for businesses and direct support to keep planes in the air and airline workers in their jobs, would be a bridge to a more normal way of life for Australians.
Included in the package is 800,000 half price airfares, aimed to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines who continue to struggle operating through COVID-19 impacts while our international borders remain closed.
The half price ticket program will initially operate to 13 key regions including:
Flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand and are subject to final discussions with the airlines. The discounts will be off the average fare and will be available on airline websites from 1 April.
For more information on the Government’s COVID-19 support for aviation visit Assistance to the Aviation Sector.
For further information on the COVID‑19 tourism support plan visit Tourism and Business.
Also included in the support package is an expansion and extension of the ‘SME Loan Guarantee Scheme’. The Scheme is part of the Government’s commitment to support up to $40 billion in lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
The Scheme will be tailored to support businesses relying on JobKeeper during the March quarter. The SME Recovery Loan Scheme will benefit from an increased Government guarantee, increasing from the current 50/50 split between the Government and the banks to an 80/20 split.
There will be an increase in the size of eligible loans, increasing from $1 million to $5 million, while maximum loan terms under the expanded Scheme will also be increased from five to 10 years. It will also allow lenders to offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 24 months.
Loans will be available from 1 April 2021 and must be approved prior to 31 December 2021.
Who is eligible:
The Scheme is only open to recipients of the JobKeeper payment between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021, specifically small and medium sized businesses with up to $250 million turnover.
Both self‑employed individuals and non-for-profit businesses are eligible. Businesses that have accessed loans in Phase 1 and Phase 2 can also apply for loans under the Scheme.
Applying for a loan:
Loans backed by the Scheme will be available through participating commercial lenders. The decision on whether to extend credit, and management of the loan, will remain with the lender.
Borrowers can access credit under the Scheme through any lenders approved to participate.
For further information on the Small and Medium Enterprise Recovery Loan Scheme visit SME Recovery Loan Scheme.
The Business Events Grants Program will also be extended by three months to support Australian businesses to hold multi-day business events, covering up to 50% of costs incurred in participating business events during the 2021 calendar year. This will help restart Australia’s business events sector.
Changes to the program guidelines include:
Applications for the grant will be extended to 30 June 2021. Expression of Interest for event owners to have their event included on the Schedule of Approved Business Events will also re-open early April.
An updated version of the program guidelines and eligibility criteria for the Schedule of Approved Business Events will be published by end of March.
For more information click here.
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