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If your business has been impacted by the onset of COVID–19, there is plenty of support available across all levels of government and from community organisations. Below is a selection of support available including contact details and links to relevant websites where you can seek further information.

The situation is currently unfolding and this page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available and new initiatives are developed.

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Federal Government support

Federal Government support

The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

Click here for all current and previous announcements, essential information and the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.

For a useful source with just business specific information please click here.

Safe Work Australia has developed specialised industry guidelines and information across 23 sectors to assist businesses to return to work in a COVID–19-safe environment. To protect workers and business, it is advised that Safe Work Australia is to be the single source of information, allowing businesses to plan future operations with confidence and consistency.

Safe Work Australia’s specialised COVID–19 website provides important information for industries including hospitality, retail, taxi and rideshare and public transport that addresses:

  • Duties under WHS laws
  • Risk assessment
  • COVID–19 in your workplace
  • Health monitoring
  • Physical distancing
  • Hygiene and cleaning
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

There is also a Resource Kit featuring downloadable fact sheets, posters, infographics and guidance materials for businesses to use in the workplace such as a social distancing checklist, incident notification processes and ‘5 things to do in your workplace’. Click here to download.

As the Federal and NSW Governments review current restrictions, businesses are encouraged to review the Safe Work Australia guidelines that apply to their own operations and consider any new measures that should be adopted ahead of reopening.

For more information, click here.

If you are an employer looking for employees, or have ex-employees you wish to help, the Australian Government has released a COVID–19 Jobs Hub.

This is to help the many employees that have been adversely affected by COVID–19. With Jobs Hub, you can more easily access jobs that are experiencing increases in demand such as health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, and more.

To read more click here.


Under the JobKeeper payment, businesses impacted by COVID–19 may be able to access a subsidy from the government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March until 27 September 2020. This payment is also available for sole traders, provided they meet the eligibility criteria.

From 28 September 2020 payments will be tapered down until 28 March 2021 when the scheme is due to end. People who were employed less than 20 hours a week on average in the four weekly pay periods ending before 1 March 2020 will receive a lower payment.

JobKeeper Payment rates from 28 September 2020 to 28 March 2021:

Date

Full rate per fortnight

Less than 20hrs worked per fortnight rate

28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021

$1,200

$750

4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021

$1,000

$650


From 28 September 2020 businesses and not-for-profits will be required to reassess their eligibility by reference to their quarterly turnovers.

For more information and to check your eligibility, click here.

ArtsHub provides a summary of what these changes mean for sole traders, click here to view.

The Treasury also provides useful fact sheets on the JobKeeper payment for employers and employees. Click here for more information.

Your tax accountant or BAS agent should be able to assist if you have any questions about this subsidy.

This is financial help if you’re between 22 and Age Pension age and looking for work. It’s also for when you’re sick or injured and can’t do your usual work or study for a short time.

For more information, click here.

At present you may also be eligible for the Coronavirus Supplement as part of your JobSeeker allowance. The supplement is currently $550 a fortnight. From 25 September 2020, it will reduce to $250 a fortnight until 31 December 2020.

For full details, click here.

The JobMaker hiring credit aims to accelerate growth in the employment of young people during the COVID–19 recovery.

From 7 October 2020, eligible employers are able to claim $200 a week for each additional eligible employee they hire aged 16 to 29 years old and $100 a week for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years old. New jobs created until 6 October 2021 will attract the JobMaker Hiring credit for up to 12 months from the date the new position is created.

To be eligible, the employee must have received the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, or Parenting Payment for at least one of the previous three months at the time of hiring.

For more information and to check eligibility, click here.

Information about ATO measures and tailored support during COVID–19 can be found on the ATO's website. Click here to view.

Changes to note:

  • The Australian Government has announced it will extend the $150,000 instant asset write-off until 31 December 2020. For more information, click here.
  • Large businesses can now contact the Large Service Team—a dedicated team providing assistance to public groups with a turnover of $250 million or more. The team offers assistance with administrative, transactional and online queries. Click here for more information.

The ATO also provides answers to some common tax and super questions relating to COVID–19. Click here to read more.

The government is providing temporary cash flow support of up to $100,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ staff to help with their cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

To read more click here.

The government is temporarily increasing 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. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and provides temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 for businesses to deal with unforeseen events that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.

To read more click here.

The government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 31 December 2020. This measure will support over 3.5 million businesses (over 99 per cent of businesses) employing more than 9.7 million employees.

To read more click here.

The government is providing 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.

To read more and check eligibility, click here.

The NSW Government is supporting businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice or trainee’s wage paid until 31 March 2021. Medium-sized businesses are also eligible for the subsidy, for wages paid from 1 July 2020–31 March 2021.

The government has also announced a $2 billion JobTrainer skills package, to reform the Vocational Education and Training sector and keep apprentices in jobs.

To read more click here.

The government has announced a Commonwealth Code of Conduct to help businesses and landlords manage commercial tenancies. The Code of Conduct outlines a set of good faith leasing principles for commercial tenancies including:

  • Retail
  • Office
  • Industrial.

Between:

  • Owners
  • Operators
  • Other landlords
  • Tenants.

This Code applies to tenants that are:

  • A small-medium sized business with an annual turnover of up to $50 million
  • Eligible for the JobKeeper Payment.

Full details can be found on the Australian Government Business Portal. Click here for more information.

Whilst only three per cent of SMEs in NSW usually export, and the Australian domestic market contracts in relation to the pandemic, now could be the time for business to consider overseas markets. As Australia is likely to re-open earlier than many other countries, business could capitalise and build on the country’s reputation for high quality and standards. There are a number of initiatives to support both new and existing export businesses:

  • A series of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Information Seminars are also being delivered for business to learn about the opportunities created by Australia’s expanding network of free trade agreements. There are growing opportunities and greater market access for Australian goods and services and there are preferential tariffs and increased market access that business can take advantage of. For more information click here.
  • Australian exporters impacted by the COVID-19 crisis now have access to business-saving loans between $250,000 and $50 million under a new program announced by Export Finance Australia. This COVID-19 Export Capital Facility will support loans for established and previously profitable exporters which are unable to gain finance from commercial sources due to COVID-19. For more information click here.

The government, Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to support the flow of credit in the Australian economy, in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Phase one of the scheme ended on 30 September 2020. The scheme has since been extended and enhanced to support businesses in recovery and to enable continued support for SMEs facing the ongoing impacts of COVID–19. Phase two of the scheme will continue to support lenders’ ability to provide credit and ensure that SMEs benefit from low interest rates.

Contact your financial institution to discuss further.

For more general details and to check your eligibility, click here.

NSW Government support

The NSW Government has created a summary of how it is helping individuals and businesses across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic and published a downloadable guide. It provides clear advice on the support that different businesses are eligible for and highlights some of the longer term initiatives that will continue to provide opportunities to help the NSW economy recover.

Click here to view

NSW Government support

New regulations have been published by NSW Government to reflect the National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct and support COVID-19 rental relief measures. The changes will support and guide tenants and landlords in negotiating agreements to take advantage of land tax relief which will be shared across commercial and residential sectors. Eligible landlords will be able to apply for a land tax concession of up to 25 per cent of their 2020 land tax liability on relevant properties so long as they pass on the full savings in the form of a rent reduction to their tenants.

Applications close 31 December 2020.

For more information and to check eligibility, click here.

The Small Business Commissioner is an independent voice for small business and offers information for small business owners in relation to COVID-19, including tips and resources to help manage small business during the crisis and into the recovery phase. They may also assist through mediation if you are in dispute with another business or government area.

Click here to read more.

Service NSW has a portal dedicated to helping small businesses navigate the various government support packages, changes to regulations and the free resources that are available. To read more click here.

You can also register with the Business Concierge service for personalised support if your business has been impacted by COVID–19 or call 13 77 88 (or + 61 2 8894 1555), 7am–7pm, Monday to Friday.

Small businesses across NSW struggling to cope with the COVID–19 shutdown can also apply for grants of up to $10,000 under a new assistance scheme. For details and eligibility, click here.

Under WHS law, all employers or businesses are required to manage the risk of COVID–19 to workers and others in the work environment. SafeWork NSW has issued an extensive range of guidance to help you stay safe at work during the COVID–19 pandemic.

Businesses and workers must:

  • Comply with national and state public health directions
  • Promote the simple but effective social distancing and hygiene measures
  • Raise any concerns about the risk of contracting COVID–19 immediately with the employer and work with them to identify solutions
  • Monitor the extent of COVID–19 in your community and share advice from state and federal authorities regularly.

Click here for more information.

City of Canada Bay support

City of Canada Bay support

The City of Canada Bay is providing a wide range of support for its local businesses in response to COVID–19. This includes the development of the Canada Bay Connects program to help local community and businesses foster connection, share news and ideas, and gain support from across the Council and other levels of government.

Council have put a number of measures in place to help keep businesses afloat through the COVID–19 pandemic.

These include:

  • Waiving outdoor and footpath dining fees from July to September 2020
  • Implementing a flexible approach to parking and other infringements
  • Injecting more money into the economy by processing payments faster and buying local
  • Being open to payment terms discussions as required (please email council@canadabay.nsw.gov.au with any queries).

A number of policy changes have been made to further support local business in this time of hardship.

These include:

  • Supporting businesses to increase or introduce takeaway food options to allow for social distancing
  • Only taking enforcement action for matters that present an imminent public, environmental, health or safety risk
  • Allowing supermarkets and other stores to operate their loading docks 24 hours a day to deliver essential goods.

Residents and businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 and are having severe difficulty paying their rates can apply for financial relief under the Rates Hardship Policy. Interest relief on late rates apply.

Please email council@canadabay.nsw.gov.au to discuss options.

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