COVID19 Response - resources for businesses

1. Federal Government Support

Federal Government Economic Response to Coronavirus for Businesses

The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees during the Coronavirus health crisis. Assistance includes:

Boosting cash flow for employers

Helping small and medium businesses with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million to cover the costs of employee wages and salaries equal to 50 per cent of PAYG withheld for businesses that withhold tax, with a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $25,000 over six months. Read Factsheet

Note: Businesses do not need to apply for this assistance. The ATO will deliver the payment automatically as a credit to the business upon the lodgement of activity statements.  

Supporting apprentices and trainees

Helping businesses retain apprentices and trainees by offering a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for nine months. The subsidy of up to a maximum of $21,000, will be available to businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee, or, where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer. Read Factsheet

Coronavirus Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Guarantee Scheme 

Under this scheme, the Commonwealth Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending. 

SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. 

The Commonwealth 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 3 years, with an initial 6-month repayment holiday
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, without the need for asset securitisation 

Loans will be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes, with the expectation that lenders look through the cycle to sensibly take into account the current uncertainty. 

For more information and to apply for the scheme visit here.

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Australian Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company. The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of businesses that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus. For more information, read the Factsheet

Backing Business Investment

The Australian Government is introducing 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. For more information visit the ATO Website

For more information on the ways in which the Government can support your businesses visit  https://business.gov.au/

All taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak can contact the ATO for assistance. Taxpayers can contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit the Australian Taxation Office website for further information

JobKeeper Payment

The Jobkeeper payment is a new subsidy program to support employers and employees retain jobs and maintain connections that will enable businesses to reactivate their operations quickly when the crisis is all over. For more information, read the factsheet.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

This specialist unit has been set up within the Commonwealth’s Treasury Department to engage with peak business and industry groups on systemic issues and provide regular updates to government on crucial issues. 

If you need to pass on information to this unit, it is important to be in contact with your relevant industry peak body who will then be able to directly provide feedback to the liaison unit. To contact the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, email CoronavirusBusinessLiaison@treasury.gov.au.

2. State Government Support

Hotline help for Victorian Businesses Dealing with Covid-19 impacts

The Victorian State Government have launched a hotline for businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Businesses across the state can now access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. 

For more information on advice, updates and help to support businesses dealing with the CoVID-19 please visit the Business Victoria Website here 

Tax Relief for Eligible Businesses

  1. Payroll tax waived: Businesses with annual Victorian taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
  2. Liquor license fees waived: The Victorian Government will waive liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses. For more information, please visit the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation
  3. Land tax deferral: Land owners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 31 December 2020.

For more information about the tax relief package, please read the FAQs here.

Victorian State Government - Economic Survival & Jobs Package

As part of a $1.7 billion economic survival package, the Victorian Government has announced $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Victorian Government will work with the Victorian Chamber, Australian Hotels Association and Ai Group to administer the fund to help businesses survive and keep people in work.

For more information about the package, read the attched factsheet and to apply, complete the application form here

Working for Victoria Fund

$500 million has been allocated to establish the Working for Victoria Fund. The Victorian Government will work in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council to assist workers who have lost their jobs to find new opportunities. 

Opportunities will include cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food, providing vital contributions to the State’s response to the pandemic. Further opportunities will be made available in a number of different fields and capacities. 

The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles. 

If you have had to make the decision to reduce jobs at your operation, you’re encouraged to provide your displaced workers with this information to support their job prospects. To register interests, click HERE

Dealing with COVID-19 (coronavirus) and responding to difficulty in paying rent

The Victorian Small Business Commission have developed news content with information to help small business owners, landlords and agents who are dealing with situations where the tenant is having difficulty in paying rent. The content includes steps they can take now, and how the Victorian Small Business Commission’s mediation service might be able to help resolve lease disputes.

The content also includes a link to Small Business Victoria's dedicated web page on COVID-19, which provides advice in areas including developing business continuity 

and recovery plans and other agencies that can help, such as the ATO and the Fair Work Ombudsman.

For more Information, Visit the Victorian Business Commission Website

Free Victorian Chamber of Commerce Membership

The Victorian Chamber is offering a waiver on membership fees to support Victorian businesses impacted by the COVID-19 Crisis.

To help support business back towards growth and prosperity, The Victorian Chamber will waive membership fees for any new entry level membership (up to a value of $700), and are adding extra credit for existing members for the next 12 months.

To find out more and to Join please visit https://freemembership.victorianchamber.com.au/#About

Advice for food businesses

Information from Victorian department of health can be found here

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Principles for COVID-19

We all know by now that best hygiene practices help to minimise the spread of the COVID-19. The Department of Health have summarised some of the key principles for routine environmental cleaning here.

3. Financial Support and Counselling 

Australian Banks offer deferred loan repayments for six months

As part of the COVID-19 financial assistance for businesses, Australian banks have moved to offer a deferment of loan repayments for six months to businesses that are having difficulty meeting their current commitment. Please speak with your local bank or lender about this assistance

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is an independent service operating in Western Victoria offering free and confidential financial counselling and assistance to small businesses experiencing challenges as a result of lower income or increasing costs.

  • RFC can provide support and information in the following areas: 
  • Help prepare budgets and cash flows. Assist with loan or refinance applications. 
  • Provide support and negotiate with suppliers and financial institutions. 
  • Assist with benchmarking your business' financial performance. 
  • One on one ongoing support.
  • Help you look at business opportunities.
  • Assist you to meet any application requirements.

For regional business impacted by the Covid-19 that need help in accessing Government support, please phone: 1300 735 578 or Visit www.wswrcs.com.au  to make your appointment.

4. Regional Support Opportunities

Free Business Register, sign up now

Great South Coast Localised is free for local businesses and will help you

  • Advertise your goods and services to the local business community 
  • Use the notice board to advise of changes to business hours and online service options
  • Engage with other businesses to get local quotes 
  • Discover networking and professional development events across our region

To register and promote your business click here.

If you need help with setting up your business profile up or adding content to the site, please give us a call on 0355680573

Tourism Update for the Great Ocean Road Region

Latest news on what’s happening locally for the Great South Coast Region can be found here https://www.greatoceanroadtourism.org.au/coronavirus/

Boost in NBN Data Allowance for Regional Australia

Working from home, and promoting your business online? NBN has announced new measures to support increasing capacity and data demand for NBN satellite services in regional and remote Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more read the latest NBN Media Release.

Information for Diary Farmers

The Australian Diary Farmers have developed a webpage to provide a comprehensive directory of all updates and relevant technical advice that will help farmers navigate the uncertainty around dairy business operations and the net impact on the industry. Visit the webpage here.

5. Other Support Resources

New work health and safety resources

Safe Work Australia has published new information and resources on COVID-19 and work health and safety. Under the model work health and safety laws, employers have a duty of care for the health and safety of their workers and others at the workplace. For more information check the Safe Work Australia website.