It’s been a difficult 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic affecting life worldwide. Over the last 6 months, many businesses are floundering after large-scale shutdowns across the country. While some businesses have had to scale down, or even close, federal and state governments have stepped forward with a range of programs to help keep business owners’ heads above water and workers in jobs.
Wondering what these programs are, and whether you’re eligible? We’re glad you asked!
One of the most important of the pandemic support programs is JobKeeper, which is for small to medium businesses significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, and is for the purpose of keeping more Australian workers in their jobs. Originally meant to end on 27 September 2020, the success of JobKeeper has seen it extended until 28 March 2021. There are some changes to the program after 27 September (including the new “enabling directions”), just contact Fabiana if you need help navigating the changes and what you need to do with your record keeping.
The federal government also boosted the unemployment benefit, now called JobSeeker payment, for those who were left without any work during the COVID-19 shutdowns.
Some of the other measures put into place by the federal and the NSW governments to help your business survive the current economic climate can be found below.
Federal Government Support Programs
The federal government’s boosting cash flow for employers payment is being made available to provide between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for profits that help by employing people during the pandemic and that have an aggregated annual turnover of under $50 million. This payment will be delivered as a credit to eligible businesses on lodgement of their activity statements by the ATO – and no new forms or applications are required from business owners.
Financial Counselling Support for Regional Businesses – the government has also committed more than $4.7 million to provide small-to-medium regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free and confidential financial counselling.
This funding is set aside to help eligible small businesses access the immediate advice and assistance they need to stay operational in the current climate and navigate the road to economic recovery as we move through the various stages of COVID-19 and how that affects life and business interests economically.
NSW Government Support Programs
The Service NSW Online Assistance Finder Tool: Business owners experiencing pandemic-related difficulties can easily find out more about all the available rebates, concessions and rebates by using the Assistance Finder provided by Service NSW. This is an easy-to-use form tool that lists options for support after you answer the questions about your circumstances.
Grant Schemes from the NSW Government
- From September 8th 2020 the government will be making available $5000 and $10,000 grants to support small businesses during the NSW-Victoria border closure.
- A $5 million grants scheme is also being opened to help establish domestic supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) products that have been critical for Australia’s COVID response – which includes any businesses that aid in the production of equipment such as masks, gowns, disinfectant, hand wash and hand sanitiser or soap (or components thereof). This includes the delivery of assistance grants to any businesses that:
- Currently manufacture and can increase production
- Are looking to “retool” and pivot their existing manufacturing lines to produce specified PPE products. This can also include the materials used to make those specified PPE products.
- Export Assistance Grants of up to $10,000 will be available for up to 1,000 export-ready or export capable NSW businesses, helping them access new markets or re-enter old ones where business has ceased.
- The Going Global Support Program – Small and medium export businesses in NSW will also have the chance to receive benefits via the $12 million Going Global support program, which is aimed at supporting the region and creating jobs. The package includes assistance grants for small to medium export businesses, access to tailored workshops to increase productivity and business skills and opportunities to explore new markets.
Detail on these measures and more is available via the Coronavirus information and support for business page at: business.gov.au
Did you know?
Focus Bookkeeping can help your business with ongoing services like bookkeeping, superannuation, and Business Activity Statements including BAS preparation, BAS review, and BAS lodgement. Read more about Fabiana and Focus Bookkeeping. Contact Fabiana for an obligation-free chat, remember next month is your First Quarter Due Date!