Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

COVID-19 Support Information

ICB breakdown the latest information we have received on the various individual and business support available across the states that have experienced financial difficulties due to the current or recent lockdowns.

Federal Support for Individuals

Government has announced on the 28th of July that any future lockdowns, the payments will be increased to $750 for people who lost more than 20 hours work and $450 if lost between 8 and 20 hours. As well, people on welfare who have lost more than 8 hours of work a week will get a special disaster supplement of $200 a week.

  • COVID-19 Disaster Payment is available for people in the states currently experiencing lockdowns (NSW, South Australia, and Victoria).
    • The amount payable is increased to $450 per week of lockdown for individuals who have lost between 8 hours and less than 20 hours or a full day of work, where this is less than 8 hours.
    • If a person has lost 20 hours or more of work, the amount payable increased to $750 per week.

Services Australia is delivering the payment. The easiest way to claim is through the myGov website. Eligible visa holders should call Services Australia on 180 22 66. More information can be found on the Services Australia website.

NSW

  • People who have been subject to lockdown restrictions in a Commonwealth-declared hotspot for the last few weeks are already able to claim the payment.
  • People in the rest of the state whose paid work has been impacted by the restrictions, are able to apply for the payment from 18th July through myGov.

VIC

  • The Payment is available for the period of the Victorian lockdown. The Payment is available retrospectively from 23rd July.

SA

  • The Payment will be available for the period of the South Australian lockdown. The Payment will be made available retrospectively from 28th July.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the payment an individual must either:

  • Live or work in a local government area subject to lockdown in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and be unable to work and earn their usual income, OR
  • Have been in a local government area subject to lockdown in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and have now travelled elsewhere and are subject to restrictions in that area and are unable to work and earn their usual income, OR
  • Live or work anywhere in New South Wales, South Australia or Victoria and are unable to earn their usual income because of the lockdown in other parts of the state.
  • Unable to work and earn includes being stood down, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home.
  • Sole traders may apply for COVID-19 Disaster Payment if they are unable to operate their business from home.

Individuals must also meet additional criteria, including:

  • Be an Australia citizen, resident or holder of a visa permitted to work in Australia.
  • Be at least 17 years old.
  • Not receiving an income support payment.
    • Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
  • Not receiving COVID-19-related paid leave, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state/territory based pandemic payment for individuals or businesses.
  • Not have access to appropriate paid leave entitlements.
    • Appropriate leave includes special pandemic paid leave, paid sick/carers leave only when you are sick or injured or need to care for an immediate family/household member who is sick or injured, or for an emergency.
    • Appropriate leave does not include annual leave, unpaid leave, or any leave you are not able to access when you have been stood down without pay by your employer under the Fair Work Act.

Support for Business in NSW

JobSaver Program

A new business support payment, JobSaver, has been introduced to provide cashflow support to businesses impacted by the significant restrictions facing New South Wales to help them maintain their employee headcount.

  • JobSaver provides fortnightly payments to eligible businesses in New South Wales backdated to cover costs incurred from week 4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown (from 18th July 2021 onwards).
  • JobSaver is being delivered by Service NSW and Revenue NSW. To apply go to the ServiceNSW Website.
  • The payment will be available to entities with an annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million who can demonstrate a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
    • Eligible firms receive 40% of weekly payroll with a minimum payment of $1,500 per week and a maximum of $10,000 per week.
    • Weekly payroll should generally be determined by referring to the most recent Business Activity Statement (BAS) provided to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) before 26th June 2021 for the 2020–21 financial year.
  • Eligible entities, which includes not-for-profits, will receive payments of between $1,500 and $10,000 per week based on the level of their payroll.
    • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, the payment will be set at $1,000 per week.
  • Eligible businesses can use JobSaver to cover business costs incurred from 18th July 2021. These costs may include:
    • salaries and wages
    • utilities and rent
    • financial, legal, or other advice
    • marketing and communications
    • perishable goods
    • other business costs.

For more information see the ServiceNSW Website.

Note: JobSaver payments will now be available to businesses with an annual turnover of between $75,000 and $250 million, up from $50 million, which have experienced a revenue decline of 30 per cent or more.
The maximum weekly payment has also been substantially increased, with employing businesses that maintain their employee headcount now able receive between $1,500 and $100,000 per week, up from $10,000, with payments based on 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll.

Eligibility criteria

  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Demonstrate your business was operating in NSW as at 1st June 2021
  • Have had a national aggregated annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million (inclusive) for the year ended 30th June 2020.
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the Public Health Order over a minimum 2 week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26th June) compared to the same period in 2019.
  • For employing businesses, maintain your employee headcount on 13th July 2021 while you continue to receive JobSaver payments.
  • For non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, show that the business is the primary income source for the associated person. If you have more than one non-employing business, you can only claim payments for one business.
  • Certain entities, such as those earning passive income (rents, interest, or dividends), government agencies, local governments, banks, and universities are not eligible for JobSaver.
  • Non-employing businesses are not eligible for the JobSaver payment if anyone associated with the business or who derives income from it, has received a Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment since 18th July 2021.

Micro Business Support Grants

Small businesses, sole traders, or not-for-profit organisations with aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions may be eligible to apply for a fortnightly payment of $1,500 to cover business expenses for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown.

Eligibility criteria

  • Have an active Australian Business Number (ABN) registered in, or demonstrate your business was primarily operating in, NSW as at 1st June 2021.
  • Have had aggregated annual turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 for the year ended 30th June 2020.
  • Have experienced a decline in turnover of 30% or more due to the public health orders over a minimum 2-week period within the Greater Sydney lockdown (commenced 26th June 2021 and due to end 30th July 2021), compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Have business costs for which no other government support is available (Businesses that received the $1,500 small business fees and charges rebate can apply for this grant.
  • Have not applied for either the 2021 COVID-19 business grant or the JobSaver payment.
  • Maintain your employee headcount as of 13th July 2021 while receiving payments from this grant if you’re an employing business.
  • Have this business as your primary income source if you're a non-employing business such as a sole trader.
  • For employing businesses, your employees can receive Commonwealth COVID-19 disaster payments if you receive this grant.

2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants

  • One-off payment of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000 to help eligible businesses affected during first 3 weeks of lockdown.
  • Three different grant amounts will be available depending on the decline in turnover experienced over a minimum 2-week period from 26th June 2021 to 17th July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019:
    • $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more.
    • $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more.
    • $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more.

Eligibility criteria

  • An ABN
  • Demonstrate business was operating in NSW as at 1st June 2021
  • A revenue decline of 30% or more
  • Annual turnover between $75,000 and $50 million for year ended 30th June 2020
  • Total annual Australian wage of $10 million or less as at 1st July 2020
  • Have business costs for which there is no other government support available
  • Maintain headcount as at 13th July 2021

For more information see the ServiceNSW Website.

Other Support Measures

  • NSW Government has announced a deferral of payroll tax until 7th October 2021, and 25 per cent reduction in payroll tax for the 2021/22 financial year for eligible customers. More information on tax relief is available at ServiceNSW.
    • Businesses are eligible for the payroll tax waiver of 25 per cent if they have a national payroll of between $1.2 million and $10 million and have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
  • Commercial landlords liable for land tax will be eligible for a land tax concession of up to 100 per cent of the 2021 land tax year liability where they reduce the rent of financially distressed tenants. More information on commercial lease support is available at ServiceNSW.
    • The land tax reduction will be the lesser of:
      • the amount of rent reduction provided to an eligible tenant for any period between 1st July 2021 and 31st December 2021, or
      • 100% of the land tax attributable to the parcel of land leased to that tenant.

Support for Business in Victoria

21st July 2021 Top-Up Payment

All business that received payments through the Business Cost assistance program round two or the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive $2,800 or $4,200. These payments will be processed automatically.

  • Businesses that did not apply through previous rounds of these payments may still be eligible for the 21st July Top-Up Payment.
    • Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will re-open for applications by the end of July. Further information on the process will be available soon on the Business Victoria website.

For more information see the Business Victoria website.

Business Continuity Fund

A $156 million Business Continuity Fund will be established to deliver $5,000 grants to up to around 30,000 businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by necessary public health restrictions.

Twenty-four eligible sectors are covered by the fund for businesses including gyms, cafes, restaurants, catering services and hairdressers.

Recognising businesses located in the CBD will continue to be impacted due to restrictions on the number of staff allowed in office buildings, they will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000.

To receive this funding, businesses must have received or be eligible for the Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a $70 million boost, with grants of up to $20,000 to support licensed venues as their operations continue to be impacted by current restrictions.

These grants recognise that larger venues depend more on dine-in and have higher operating costs, so need more support than smaller operations. An additional $2,000 will also be made available to the business if it is located within the CBD.

To receive this funding, venues will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

The reintroduced Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will ease pressure by providing rent relief for eligible tenants, while separate support will be provided to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants.

The Scheme, fully funded by the Victorian Government, will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus.

Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business’s reduction in turnover. A mediation service for tenants and landlords will further support fair tenancy negotiations.

Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement. Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict tenants without a determination from the VSBC.

Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, which will be applied from today to ensure rent relief can start immediately.

An $80 million hardship fund for landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants will be created, with further details to be confirmed in due course.

Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au.

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

A new $85 million fund will be established to support small businesses who have not been eligible under existing business support funds.

Small businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million who have experienced a 70 per cent or greater reduction in revenue will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000.

Alpine Business Support Program

Alpine Business Support will receive a further $9.8 million to deliver grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to 430 Alpine-based businesses in recognition of restricted inter and intra-state travel during the peak winter season.

The funding also includes an additional $5 million support to alpine resort operators and management boards.

Support for Business in South Australia

Business Support Package

  • One-off emergency cash grant to assist businesses during current lockdown:
    • $3,000 for employing SME businesses
    • $1,000 for non-employing SMEs

Eligibility Criteria

  • Be located within South Australia
  • Have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more in 2020 21 or 2019 20, and be registered for GST
  • Employ people in South Australia
  • Have an Australia-wide payroll of less than $10 million in 2019–20
  • Have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • Experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction (compared to the week prior) in turnover due to the restricted trading conditions

For more information at the SA Treasury website.

Source: Treasury.gov.au

  • Updated: 29th July 2021
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