COVID-19 has undeniably had a large impact on both big and small businesses, leading to 81% of Australians believing that all employees should be working from home. Businesses owners and employees have had to readjust their schedule, expectations, and home life environment to ensure that there is still a sense of flow in their everyday lives and jobs. As well as this, there is the added stress of a financial burden, particularly if the business is in the retail or food sector, as lockdown means that fewer customers can access the store. However, there are several aspects of this struggle that the government can do its part to assist with, such as providing COVID disaster payments and offering a wide range of mental health services for both struggling employers and employees to reach out to.
Remember to Take Care of Your Mental Health and How to Do So…
Stress, confusion, and anger are all effects on individuals’ mental health due to COVID-19, with the unpredictability of various strains and the uncertainty of lockdown creating uncomfortable feelings. As a result, lifeline calls have received a 25% increase in the volume of calls Australia-wide since the surge of the new COVID-19 strain from July. There are several activities that you can do to ensure that you are keeping your mental health in check, such as:
- Going outside to get some fresh air and clear your mind
- Doing physical activities, such as physical exercise by following an online exercise video or making up your own routine – these pump endorphins will help you destress
- Staying in contact with friends and family via social media
- Engaging in a new hobby, such as looking up new cooking recipes or learning a new instrument
- Bingeing your favourite new TV show
- Practicing mindfulness such as meditation
Don’t be afraid to reach out to those around you if you are struggling, as it is normal to feel a little down when the future is uncertain. Visit here for a list of hotlines you can call if you are struggling.
Can I Claim Any Money from the Government for My Lost Income?
Lockdown payments have reached up to $3.6b as COVID costs grow, to assist businesses in the pandemic. There are different payments, with one being that if your business is considered as a microbusiness (small business, sole trader, charitable organization) with an annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 and have been impacted by the COVID-19 new restrictions, you might be eligible for fortnightly bonus payments of $1,500. This money can go towards a large variety of aspects of your business, including
- Salaries and wage
- Utilities and rent
- Legal advice or financial purposes
- Marketing and communications
- Perishable goods
- Any other business costs that may be specific to your business
To get this, an Accountant, BAS Agent or Tax Agent may apply on behalf of your business, which is something that we can help with.
Note that applications close on the 18th of October at 11:59 pm, 2021.
The COVID- 19 disaster payment is offering two branches of payment depending on how many hours of work have been lost. From the 5th of August – 1st September (as per the current COVID-19 timeline)
- $450 is provided for those who have lost more than 8 and less than 20 hours per week, or a full day of your usual work hours that week
- $750 if you have lost 20 hours or more per week
There are three factors that determine how much you get:
- The location of the health order
- The period that you are claiming for
- The hours of work lost
Furthermore, you must ensure that you are eligible.
You must only apply once for the payment and when it has been granted, you will be paid automatically every week. This is conditional that lockdown continues and that there are no changes in your circumstances.
If COVID-19 Is Really Impacting You, Take Your First Step Against it!
These are a few options listed above on how you can claim payments for your business to keep yourself and your business financially stable during these trying times. Furthermore, ensure that you keep your mental health in check, and actively take steps in maintaining a positive mindset about the future, for when lockdown is finally over.
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.