Assistance for Business

The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic is impacting businesses globally in many ways, including reduced trade, temporary business closures, staffing issues, and supply chain interruptions. 

The following information and resources are provided to support and assist our business community at this time and beyond.

The NSW Small Business Commissioner provides tips and resources to help you manage your small business during the crisis and into the recovery phase. 

Financial assistance

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to businesses via the Australian Tax Office.

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 are advised to phone the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.

Business Resources

If you are a local business there are some helpful free resources, such as posters, you can use to inform your customers and staff about healthy hygiene:

Business Connect NSW have a number of FREE online workshops and webinars to assist small business in NSW.
Over 60 free online workshops and webinars are available through Business Connect to support NSW small businesses to manage cash flow, change their business model, sell goods and services online and market their business in a challenging environment.

If you, or someone you know, is experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, there are organisations that can provide information and support. 

Visit Mental health for small business on the NSW Small Business Commissioner website. 

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission have developed resources to assist businesses with understanding their rights and obligations under the Australian Consumer Law relating to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Emergency business hotlines

  • Federal Government Business Hotline - 13 28 46 
  • Australian Taxation Office Emergency Hotline - 1800 806 218
  • Centrelink Hotline - 13 74 68

Stay informed

Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, there is a section for a businesses and employees and a way to report self isolation and so much more. Also, join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

Did you know sole traders are also eligible to apply for the $1500 per fortnight JobKeeper payments?

JobKeeper package - a subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight. Businesses and sole traders can register their interest in this program with the Australian Tax Office. The JobKeeper Payment factsheet states the first payment will be received by employers from the ATO in the first week of May. Read the FAQs or visit the Treasury website.

Registered charities are now able to access the JobKeeper COVID-19 wage subsidy if they experience a 15 per cent decline in turnover (reduced from the 30 per cent decline threshold currently in place for all businesses with a turnover of $1 billion or less).

Get financial advice - ASIC has provided relief to industry so businesses can provide affordable and timely financial advice during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its COVID-19 economic response, the Government introduced measures to allow individuals facing particular financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic to access their superannuation early – up to $10,000 in 2019-2020 and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021. The decision to access superannuation early is significant and Australians should seek information and assistance from superannuation funds, financial advisers and registered tax agents before making any decisions. ASIC has provided tax accountants to provide such advice as well as for a shorter Record of Advice to be provided by super funds and has capped costs at $300.

Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies - Landlords will be required to reduce rents proportionate to the reduction in trade experienced by their tenants (if they are small to medium-sized retail, office and industrial businesses in distress) due to COVID-19. Rental relief would be proportional to a tenant’s decline in turnover and provided in two parts: (at least) 50% as a waiver and 50% as a deferral for payment over the remaining term of the lease.

COVID-19 Job Hub - The Australian Government has released a COVID-19 Job Hub to help the many employees that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and reducing workforces, to more easily access jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others that are experiencing increases in demand.

Australian Business Continuity online resource centre provides access to free business services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit engages with business regularly and provides updates to government on crucial issues.

Third economic stimulus package:

  • JobSeeker payments to people with partners who earn up to $80,000.
  • JobKeeper payments of up to $1500 per employee for businesses to keep staff on, and sole traders also eligible.

Second economic stimulus package:

  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
  • Coronavirus affected regions and sectors.
  • Boosting cash flow for employers to keep staff - Businesses and not-for-profits, with a turnover less than $50 million will receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them retain staff and continue operating. Under the enhanced scheme, 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. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. During July-October 2020 eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments they have received. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
  • Apprentices and trainees - if you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. 
  • Temporary relief bankruptcy - the government will make a number of changes to the personal insolvency system regulated by the Bankruptcy Act 1966. The threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor will temporarily increase from its current level of $5000 to $20,000. This will apply for six months. Failure to respond to a bankruptcy notice is the most common act of bankruptcy. The time a debtor has to respond to a bankruptcy notice will be temporarily increased from 21 days to six months. The extension will give a debtor more time to consider repayment arrangements before they could be forced into bankruptcy. This will apply for six months.
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off - the threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or secondhand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
  • Tax relief - If you are experiencing difficulties with tax obligations because of COVID-19, you can phone the Australian Taxation Office Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to your circumstances or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au
  • Backing business investment - a time limited 15-month 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.

Visit the Australian Government business website for more information and support.

Council Business Support

To ensure our local business community feels supported, is well informed and knows where and how to access advice, financial support and practical resources throughout the Coronavirus (COVID-19) health pandemic Council is currently developing support resources to assist our business community at this time and beyond. Please subscribe to receive this information by completing the form below.

 

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