Support for south australian businesses - coronavirus

South Australian businesses are the backbone of our economy. I have long been a supporter of our local businesses and can see the devastating impact that this virus is having on our business owners, their staff and our community.

During these unprecedented and difficult times, I wanted to inform you of Government support available, such as;

  • Support from the Government if you employ staff, including the JobKeeper payment
  • Information for Sole Traders
  • Key business support contacts: ATO, Department of Treasury and Finance COVD-19 Hotline & Small Business Commissioner

Both the Australian and South Australian Governments have announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Given the rapidly changing nature of this global pandemic and responses to it, please refer to the website links below for the most up-to-date advice and information as well as the Government Business Hotline on 13 28 46.

As your local Member of Parliament, please feel free to contact me on 8278 5844 or via email waite@parliament.sa.gov.au at any time as we navigate this challenging period together.

 

Support from the Australian Government

If you employ staff, you may be eligible for:

JobKeeper payments for your employees

  • If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees.
  • Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months.
  • This assistance will help you keep staff and will help you restart when the crisis is over.

More information: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

Temporary cash flow support

  • Employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and the minimum payment increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • An additional payment is also being introduced equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received. This means that eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments. Not-for-profit entities will also be eligible.
  • The payment will be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon businesses lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Boosting-cash-flow-for-employers

Casual employees

  • If you employ a casual employee and they can’t work because they become sick or need to self-isolate, or their income has been otherwise impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments (also see JobKeeper payment information above)
  • The Government is making these payments quicker to access by waiving the usual waiting period in certain circumstances. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.

More information: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19/people-who-dont-get-payment-from-us-coronavirus-covid-19

Other employees affected by COVID-19

  • If your staff are impacted by the economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, they may be eligible for income support payments. Information on income support is available on the Services Australia website.

More information: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19

SME Guarantee Scheme & Supporting Flow of Credit

  • This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.
  • Under the Scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.
  • The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:
  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
  • The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six-month repayment holiday.
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

More information: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Supporting_the_flow_of_credit_1.pdf

 

If you're a sole trader you may be eligible for:

JobKeeper payments

  • If your business has been significantly impacted by the Coronavirus you may be able to access a wages subsidy.
  • Under the JobKeeper program, you will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months.

More information: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

The increased instant asset write-off

  • Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/instant-asset-write-off

Accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements (Backing Business Investment)

  • A time limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.
  • 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’s cost.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/backing-business-investment-bbi

Increased and accelerated income support

  • The Government is temporarily 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.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Increased-and-accelerated-income-support

Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries

  • The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Assistance-for-severely-affected-regions-communities-and-industries

 

Additional support for businesses

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.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/temporary-relief-for-financially-distressed-businesses

Support for existing government program participants and applicants

  • If you're an existing government program grantee and have been impacted by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to seek additional time to meet your reporting obligations or to complete your project.

More information: https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/support-for-existing-government-program-participants-and-applicants

Australian Taxation Office

  • The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218for more information or to request this help.

More information: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Dealing-with-disasters/In-detail/Specific-disasters/COVID-19/

Government’s Business Hotline

  • Government’s Business Hotline - 13 28 46 / business.gov.au - will be expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Department of Treasury and Finance COVD-19 Hotline (02) 6263 3030

  • Call this line if you are seeking information about the implementation of the cash flow assistance and investment support for business (this line operates Monday-Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm AEST).

 

Small Business Commissioner

  • The Small Business Commissioner is working with the Government, which is considering and implementing measures to support the South Australian community. Businesses facing particular issues or disputes in terms of their banks, their rental premises, suppliers or other business parties are encouraged to contact the Commissioner on 08 8303 2026 or 1800 072 722.

 

Fair Work Ombudsman

  • The Fair Work Ombudsman has a help line to deal with pay and industrial relations matters. Call 13 13 94 or visit their website fairwork.gov.au.

 

Australian banks

  • The Australian Banking Association has announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months.

For more information, see https://www.ausbanking.org.au/banks-small-business-relief-package/

  • Please contact your own bank or financial institution for more information on assistance they can provide.

 

Continuing your business

  • Learn about the positive steps you can take to keep your business operating and where to go for help.

Please visit https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/continuing-your-business

For updated information and advice on Australian Government  support measures, please visit
https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business

 

Support from the South Australian Government

Payroll tax relief

  • 6-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4 million
  • Eligible businesses won’t have to pay any payroll tax from April to September 2020
  • This measure is expected to assist up to 2,400 businesses and save them up to $84,000 over the six months (average saving $25,000)
  • Employers with grouped annual wages above $4 million able to defer payroll tax payments for 6 months on demonstration of significant impacts on cash flow of coronavirus

More information: https://business.sa.gov.au/COVID-19-business-information-and-support/Economic-response-package

Land tax relief

  • From July, the Government’s land tax reforms will kick in
  • Under the new measures, individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for 2019-20 can defer payments for 6 months (up to 28,000 private land tax ownerships will benefit)
  • For 2020-21 Land Tax Transition Fund relief will be increased from 50% to 100% based on existing relief criteria guidelines – saving some investors up to $50,000

More information: https://business.sa.gov.au/COVID-19-business-information-and-support/Economic-response-package

Waiver of liquor licence fees

  • Liquor licence fees will be waived for 2020-21 for those hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs forced to close as a result of new social distancing restrictions

More information: https://business.sa.gov.au/COVID-19-business-information-and-support/Economic-response-package

Business and Jobs Support Fund

  • A $300 million fund to support individual businesses and industry sectors directly affected by coronavirus, and face potential collapse – and the loss of thousands of jobs – as a result
  • For more information on how to apply for the Fund, please email: BusinessandJobsSupportFund@sa.gov.au

Community and Jobs Fund

  • A $250 million fund to support community organisations, sporting, arts and recreational bodies, non-profit organisations as well as some industry sectors whose operations have been impacted by the coronavirus
  • This Fund will also help with the training of South Australians seeking new skills and employment and to assist organisations meet increased demand for services including emergency relief.

 

Employees affected by COVID-19

  • There will be a once-off boost of $500 and the bringing forward of the 2020-21 ‘Cost of Living Concession’ for households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions
  • For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60.

 

$350m stimulus package from the South Australian Government

  • The $350 million stimulus package aims to safeguard the state’s economy and minimise the economic impacts of the COVID-19 global crisis. This state-wide response includes road and hospital upgrades, new tourism infrastructure and an expanded Economic and Business Growth Fund to support local industry.
  • Projects to be funded under the Government’s economic stimulus package must meet certain criteria, including the ability to start works within a short period of time, they must be labour-intensive and/or require significant local purchasing of materials, services and supplies.
  • The State Government is also working with councils to deliver $50 million of local projects that will support local jobs and local businesses.

Further information on the Economic and Business Growth Fund can be found at: https://www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/economic-and-business-growth-fund

For updated information on South Australian Government  support measures, please visit
https://business.sa.gov.au/COVID-19-business-information-and-support

 

Health advice

For information about how to help stop the spread of COVID-19, please visit: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/health+topics/health+topics+a+-+z/covid+2019/novel+coronavirus

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