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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 a small business planning tool.
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.
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:
- From 1 January 2021, the instant asset write-off will only be available for small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million and the threshold will be $1,000.
- 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 instant asset write-off eligibility criteria and threshold have changed over time. You need to check your business's eligibility and apply the correct threshold amount depending on when the asset was purchased, first used or installed ready for use.
For more information click here,
To assist with the recovery from the impact of COVID-19, the Australian Government is providing support to all eligible employers who engage a new Australian Apprentice.
For more information 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:
- Other landlords
For the latest information on relief for commercial tenants please visit this page
While only three per cent of SMEs in NSW usually export, and despite interruptions to 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:
- The Australian Government has established an International Freight Assistance Mechanism to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors. For more information click here.
- There is finance and a grant available for export market development, please see here for details
- 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 may be able to access business-saving loans from Export Finance Australia, the Government's export credit agency. For more information click here.
The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme is designed to support economic recovery and to provide continued assistance to firms that received JobKeeper and also to firms that are eligible flood-affected businesses.
The scheme builds on the framework established in the two phases of the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme and is only open to recipients of the JobKeeper payment between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 and businesses that are located or operating in eligible Local Government Areas (LGAs) impacted by the floods in March 2021.
For more general details and to check your eligibility, click here.
NSW Government support
The NSW Government has released the 2021 COVID-19 Support Package to help impacted businesses and people across NSW. Click here for details.
NSW Government support
The National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial leasing has been reintroduced.
There is mandatory rent relief for eligible commercial and retail tenants and monthly grants of up to $3,000 for smaller landlords that provide it.
The Retail and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19) Regulation 2021 will be extended until 13 January 2022 and will require landlords to renegotiate rent having regard to National Cabinet’s Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct requires landlords to provide rent relief in proportion with their tenant’s decline in turnover. Of the rent relief provided, at least 50 per cent must be in the form a waiver, and the balance a deferral.
The Regulation applies to commercial and retail tenants with a turnover of up to $50 million who qualify for the COVID-19 Microbusiness Grant, COVID-19 Business Grant or JobSaver Payment. It will prohibit a landlord from evicting or locking out a tenant for certain breaches of the lease unless they have first renegotiated rent and attempted mediation.
Eligible commercial landowners are able to apply for relief on up to 100 per cent of their land tax liability for 2021. To be eligible, the landowner must have reduced rent for the affected tenant by at least the amount being claimed for any period between 1 July 2021 and 31 December 2021.
For more information and assistance see the Small Business Commissioner website.
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.
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. 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.
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.
- Waiving outdoor and footpath dining fees from 26 June 2021 to the end of lockdown
- 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 email@example.com with any queries).
A number of policy changes have been made to further support local business in this time of hardship.
- 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.