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COVID-19 UPDATES

NOTE: Details on all governement assistance is changing rapidly.
We will be updating this page as new information comes to hand.

COVID-19 BUSINESS PACKAGES/SUPPORT

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SUBSIDY/SUPPORT DETAILS
Federal Government
Job Keeper Payment Businesses with revenue <1Bil and have a 30% downturn in revenue plus businesses with >1Bil and have a 50% downturn in revenue are eligible to receive a fortnightly job keeper flat payment of $1,500 per employee, back dated to 1 March. This is for each Permanent, Part Time and Casual employee (if the casual employee has been employed by you for over 12 months). Click here for Treasury.gov.au fact sheet or on Job Keeper Payment to be directed to ATO registration page
Job Keeper Payment for Sole Traders Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months. This will support sole traders to maintain their income and connection with employees. 
Boosting Cash Flow for Employers Provide up to $100,000 back to businesses including NFPs, with a minimum payment of $20,000. First Payment will be delivered as a credit in the BAS system from 28 April 2020. Additional payment is also being introduced in the Jul-Oct 2020 period.
Backing Business Investments (BBI) Accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with turnover of <500Mil will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of asset on installation
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will tailor solutions for owners or directors of businesses that are currently struggling due to the coronavirus, including temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.
SME Loan Guarantee Scheme The Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital. Max. loan $250,000 per borrower.
Apprentice and Trainee wage subsidy Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% of your apprentice or trainees wages for up to 9 months. From 02 April employers can register for the subsidy  Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider to register.  Click here for Fact Sheet
Agriculture & Fisheries:
International Freight Support Measures

Dept of Agriculture wants you to Have Your Say on how to ensure air freight capacity remains open for critical markets. Do you rely on air freight to export high-value agricultural and fisheries products? Share your freight requirements -> https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/international-freight-assistance

Select link for further details on International Freight Assistance Mechanism 

AFMA waives commercial fisher levies Levy payments for 2019-20 in relation to Commonwealth fisheries or the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery, that were due on or after 1 April 2020, are not going to be collected by AFMA.
If you have already paid a levy instalment that was due on or after 1 April 2020, you will be contacted by AFMA shortly to organise a return of those funds.
Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package To ensure ongoing access to early childhood education and care, from 6 April 2020 until the end of the 2019-20 financial year, services that remain open, and have children enrolled, will receive a weekly payment to ensure they can deliver early childhood education and care to families who need it. View fact sheet here
Agriculture – Temporary Visa Measures The Government will apply flexible arrangements to allow critical workers, including Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme participants and Working Holiday Makers, to extend their stay in Australia – view more details here
Early access to Superannuation Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.
Instant Asset Write-Off Changed from $30,000 to $150,000 until 30 June 2020
Pubs & Clubs defferal of Gaming machine tax From April through to June, we’re delivering a three-month gaming tax deferral for pubs and clubs. In addition to this, around 50 licensees who have already paid their gaming machine taxes for March will have a total of $1.4 million returned to them.
NEIS able to access Coronavirus supplement NEIS supports people to create their own job by starting a small business. NEIS participants can now choose to access the Coronavirus Supplement if they are in receipt of an eligible income support payment. This option will be available to both existing and new NEIS participants.
Help with your Energy Bills If your business is struggling to pay energy bills because of the impacts of coronavirus, there are other options available including waiving daily supply charges to retailers, payment plans and not disconnecting customers who may be in financial stress 
Centrelink Payment for Employees Your staff may be able to get a centrelink payment if they are isolated at home
Increased and accelerated income support Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.  These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.
Coronavirus Iphone and Android App  Download the new Federal Government App to get up to date information on support, subsidies and media statements on the Coronavirus
Whatsapp bot for up to date notifications and information If you do not have whatsapp, go to aus.gov.au/WhatsApp. If you do have whatsapp, the number to message is +61 400 253 787
Information on COVID-19 and work health and safety Safe Work Australia has downloadable fact sheets: How to keep workers safe and What to do if a worker has COVID-19
State Government
Jobs Support Loans– Applications now open First year no interest & repayment free, then 2.5% fixed loans of up to $250k to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent, rates etc. Available to sole traders, partnerships, companies, trusts and NFP’s
Payroll Tax Relief (prev. Payroll Tax Deferral)

If you pay under $6.5Mil in taxable wages you may be eligible for one or more of the following: refunds of payroll tax for 2 months; a payroll tax holiday for 3 months; deferral of paying payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year. 

If you pay over $6.5mil in taxable wages you may be eligible for: refund of your payroll tax for 2 months; deferral of payroll tax for 2020 Calendar year.

Click on this row to transfer to external website for the online application forms

QLD Government COVID-19 Manufacturing Supply Chain Support Suppliers able to help fill QLD Government supply gaps register at the ICN Gateway here: qldcovid19.icn.org.au 
Supply chains support and assistance for manufacturers If you’re having difficulties accessing supplies to continue to operate, employ & meet customers needs
Small and Medium business power bill relief Small and medium businesses may be eligible for a $500 rebate off energy bills. Businesses who consume < 100,000 kWh will receive the rebate. This will be automatically applied on your business electricity bills
Business rent relief Businesses who rent state government premises may be eligible for rent relief. More information will be available soon
COVID-19 Residential Rental Grant a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance, have applied for Centrelink and are waiting for application to be approved.
Liquor Licensing fees waived for business impacted by enforced safety industry shutdowns
Market Diversification and Resilience Grants Provide assistance to QLD based agriculture, Food or Fishing exporters and their supply chains for projects/equipment to diversify into new markets interstate or internationally. Closes 20 April 2020
Business Mentoring / Financial Workshops Mentors to provide tailored support and Financial workshops 
Worker Transition Scheme Help for your staff who may find themselves without work as a result of business closures
Self-quarantine Information as to when you should self-quarantine and what is required of you
Local Council
 $2mil worth of works to help stimulate local economy  To help keep local tradies on the tools Moreton Bay Regional Council is immediately bringing forward work. If you are a local trade business and not registered, register now  https://www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Council/Procurement/Supplier-Portal
Refund of licensing fees for food businesses Food businesses in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area who have had to close or can only see takeaway will be refunded their licensing fees
$5 Mil for Community Groups and Clubs Moreton Bay Regional Council have approved $5 mil of Grant funds to ease financial pressures. Details to be released shortly
Other
Six month Small Business Loan Deferrals If your business is affected by COVID-19 speak directly to your bank to receive a six month business loan payment deferral
Black Summer innovation program grant A fund provided by FIAL designed to help small and medium businesses, who have been affected by events of national natural catastrophe or global diseases outbreaks (COVID-19) (in 2019 or 2020). Funding is designed to support these businesses innovate to create commercial products, processes or services. Up to $25,000, no match funding required. Closes 9th April 2020
Unity Water Customer Relief Package Available to all business & residential customers facing difficulties. Extra 30 days to pay and no interest on overdue bills for 6 months starting from 2nd April 2020
Financial Hardship Bank Financial hardship team contact details in case you are doing it tough  
Facebook Small Business grants Facebook are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time.
FREE TAFE Business Financial Resilience webinars In this workshop we will provide templates to help participants to take stock of their situation and then strategies to best cope given their circumstances. Webinars are now availabel to book online
CCIQ Free Workplace Policies & Templates Free policies & templates, incl working from home and business continuity, to help your business

Federal Goverment – Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Tax free payments of between $20,000 and up to $100,000 to eligible businesses and not-for-profits (inluding charities) that employ people, to provide temporary cash flow support to businesses that employ staff.

  • Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.
  • Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.

You do not need to apply, the cash flow boost is a tax free payment to employers and is automatically calculated by the ATO. No forms required

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Select here for government fact sheet

Federal Goverment – Backing Business Investment (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

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Select here for government fact sheet

Federal Goverment – Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

There is a temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.

This includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act.

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Select here for government fact sheet

Federal Goverment – Coronavirus SME Loan Guarantee Scheme

The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will provide support for these businesses. Under the Scheme, the Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.

This will enhance these lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit, which will result in SMEs being able to access additional funding to help support them through the upcoming months.

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Federal Goverment – Apprentice and Trainee wage subsidy

The subsidy will be available to small businesses employing fewer than 20 employees who retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at 1 March 2020

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Employers are able to register for the subsidy from early April 2020 with final claims to be lodged by 31 December 2020.

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Federal Goverment – Eary access to superannuation

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020.

They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 for approximately three months (exact timing will depend on the passage of the relevant legislation).

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Federal Goverment – Instant Asset Write-Off

From 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020 under instant asset write-off eligible businesses can:

  • immediately write off the cost of each asset that cost less than $150,000 (up from $30,000)
  • claim a tax deduction for the business portion of the purchase cost in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

Instant asset write-off can be used for both new and second-hand assets. Some exclusions and limits apply.

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Federal Goverment – Centrelink Payment for Employees

You staff do not need to give Centrelink an Employemtn Separation Certification or letter to start getting a payment. 

You employees may get a payment in any of the following circumstances. These include if your are:

  • not able to work or don’t have work
  • in isolation or hospitalissed
  • caring for children

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Federal Goverment – Increased and accelerated income support

Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.

Payments will commence from 27 April 2020

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