Business support during Coronavirus

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1. Overview

Commonwealth and Victorian Governments are providing measures to support businesses which are experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

These measures can be accessed through the links provided on this webpage.

2. Commonwealth Government

Businesses are encouraged to access support through the following Australian government support and stimulus programs:

Job Keeper Payment: 
Eligible employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. Register your details via the ATO website. 

https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet_Info_for_Employers_1.pdf 


Boosting Cash Flow for Businesses:
For eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not-for profits (including charities) to help cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff. Lodge eligible activity statements with the ATO. An additional cash flow boost will be applied when activity statements for each monthly or quarterly period from June to September 2020 are lodged. These credits are equal to the total boosts credited for March to June 2020. They will be paid out in either two or four instalments depending on your reporting cycle. 

 https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Cash_flow_assistance_for_businesses_0.pdf; and https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Business-activity-statements-(BAS)/In-detail/Boosting-cash-flow-for-employers/

 

Increasing the Instant asset write-off:

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000.

https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_Sheet-Delivering_support_for_business_investment.pdf

 

Backing Business Investment:
A 15 month investment incentive to support business investment.  Eligible businesses will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation.

https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_Sheet-Delivering_support_for_business_investment.pdf

 

Supporting Apprentices and Trainees:
50% wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees over nine months. 

https://www.employment.gov.au/newsroom/support-small-businesses-retain-apprentices-and-trainees

 

Temporary relief for Financially Distressed Businesses:
https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-03/Fact_sheet-Providing_temporary_relief_for_financially_distressed_businesses.pdf

 

Energy Efficient Communities Program - Small Business Grants: 

The Energy Efficient Communities Program – Small Business Grants provides small businesses with grants of up to $20,000 to improve their energy efficiency. Grants may be used for equipment and component improvements, energy audits, feasibility studies and/or energy use and emission monitoring. https://business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs/Energy-Efficient-Communities-Program-Small-Business?mc_cid=3fd4e60947&mc_eid=%5bUNIQID%5d

 

3. Victorian Government

Businesses are also encouraged to access support through the Victorian government Economic Survival Package which includes:

• Payroll tax refund

• Business Support Fund

• Working for Victoria Fund

• Land tax deferral

• Fast tracking outstanding supplier invoices

• Rent relief for commercial tenants in government buildings

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

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1888997/Economic-Survival-Program-Fact-Sheet.pdf

4.
Working for Victoria

The $500 million Working for Victoria initiative helps Victorians, including people who have lost their jobs due to the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19), find new work opportunities. Access the Working for Victoria website for further information and to register: https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria

5.
Council relief and support

Council has provided fee and rate relief to businesses affected by COVID-19 details on this webpage - Rates and fees

 

6. Regional

Councils in the Central Highlands region are working with Regional Development Victoria on a collaborative approach to Small Business Support. Further information is to follow.

7. Other

Commerce Ballarat has established a number of resources in response to the issues confronting small business in the current environment including online workshops and lists of frequently asked questions.
To access these resources please follow this link:
http://www.commerceballarat.com.au/cb_pages/coronavirus_covid-19_resources.php

 

8. COVIDSafe Work Plan

The State Government has developed information for businesses about COVIDSafe Work Plans. Their website provides this description about the requirements for these plans: 

It is now mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan. To ensure compliance, random spot checks are underway in regional Victoria. Your COVIDSafe Plan must set out:

  • Your actions to help prevent the introduction of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
  • The level of face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
  • How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
  • This plan must demonstrate how you will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.

Businesses must review and update their COVIDSafe Plans routinely, especially when restrictions or public health advice changes. Organisations with multiple worksites must complete a COVIDSafe Plan for each worksite.

More information: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan