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COVID-19 - Available Business Support



By The Rural City of Wangaratta


The Rural City of Wangaratta has put together this content and has asked people to share it. This is an incredibly tough time for our business men and women, and the amount of information available can sometimes be overwhelming in order to take action. This post aims to simplify the initiatives available to you and your business during this trying time.



Australian Banking Association - Small Business Loan Deferrals

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has stated all small businesses hit by the coronavirus pandemic will be able to access a six-month deferral of all loan repayments.


Assistance can  include:

- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments

- Waiving fees and charges

- Interest free periods or no interest rate increases

- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.

How to access - If your business is affected by COVID-19 speak directly to your bank to receive a six month business loan payment deferral.


Centerlink - Coronavirus Supplement The Coronavirus Supplement is an additional top-up payment for people on welfare. Key Points - The supplement is worth $550 a fortnight and goes to anyone receiving:

  • JobSeeker Payment (formerly known as the Newstart Allowance)

  • Sickness Allowance

  • Youth Allowance for jobseekers

  • Parenting Payment Partnered

  • Parenting Payment Single

  • Partner Allowance

  • Farm Household Allowance

- Payments begin on April 27 and will be available for at least six months. How to access - If you are already receiving one of the listed welfare payments you do not need to do anything to receive the supplement payment, it will be automatically paid each fortnight to eligible recipients. If you are not currently recieving welfare you will need to apply - details in section below titled 'Centerlink - Payment for Employees'.

Centrelink - Payment for Employees

Staff may be able to get a Centrelink payment if they are isolated at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. To get a payment, the individual needs to meet all the eligibility rules including residence rules and income and assets. Payments may be available for individuals who are unable to work due to being in isolation or hospitalised or caring for children.

Individuals may get 1 of the following payments:



Key Points: - If you’re claiming Youth Allowance as a job seeker or JobSeeker Payment, Centerlink will need information about your employment. - If you’re still working but there’s a reduction in your hours, you need a letter from your employer confirming this. - If you’ve lost your job, you need to submit an employment separation certificate.

How to apply - Submit any/all above document with your claim. You can upload the document using either your: - Centrelink online account - Express Plus Centrelink mobile app.


Australian Government - Early Access to Superannuation

Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020. Who is eligible?

Individuals will be able to apply if they meet all the below criteria. - they are unemployed - they are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance - on or after 1 January 2020

  • they were made redundant or;

  • their working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more or;

  • if they are a sole trader and their business was suspended or there was a reduction in their turnover of 20 per cent or more.


How to apply - Eligible individuals will be able to apply online through myGov from mid April.



Small Business Victoria - Advice & Resources

The Small Business Victoria website provides advice, updates and support to help your workplace plan in responding to Coronavirus COVID-19. Everything is covered in a simple step-by-step fashion, from what to tell your employees to developing a recovery plan for your business.

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. Funds will be administered by the Victorian Government in partnership with the Victorian Chamber, AI Group & the Australian Hotels Association.

How to access - take 2 minutes to fill out the online form to be emailed details of the program.


COVID-19 Tax Support The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has stated that they will assist businesses (including sole traders) experiencing financial difficulty. The approach seems to be more bespoke, encouraging businesses to contact the ATO directly to discuss their circumstances.

It would be beneficial to businesses to educate themselves around what solution might best suit their situation before phoning the ATO, putting businesses in the drivers seat.

The following relief options will be considered by the ATO:



The ATO is also providing the following resources to businesses:


How to access - phone the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to your circumstances.


Australian National Government - Boosting Cash Flow for Employers While this program initially proposed minimum payments of $2,000 for eligible small and medium sized businesses, this has since increased to the providence of at least $20,000 to eligible businesses with funding up to $100,000 depending on factors such as number of employees and annual turnover (in the year prior generally). Key Points: - The payments will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million and not-for-profit entities that employ staff - Payment will be delivered as a credit in the BAS system from 28 April 2020 - Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000. - Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax. - Additional payments are available to businesses who are remaining active during this time.


This will be equal to a quarter of your total initial Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payment following the lodgment of your June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September 2020 activity statements (up to a total of $50,000). How to access - Businesses will be eligible to receive the above payments on lodgment of their relevant BAS statements.

For more information, view the Australian Government Fact Sheet here.

Australian Government - Apprentice and Trainee Wage Subsidy As part of its Economic Response to the Coronavirus, the Australian Government is supporting small businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees through a wage subsidy. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer or Group Training Organisation. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer and will be claimable for wages paid since 1 January 2020. The apprentice or trainee must have been in-training with a small business as at 1 March 2020. What does eligible employers mean?

- The subsidy will be available to small businesses employing fewer than 20 full-time employees who retain an apprentice or trainee. The apprentice or trainee must have been in training with a small business as at 1 March 2020 - Employers of any size and Group Training Organisations that re-engage an eligible out-of-trade apprentice or trainee will be eligible for the subsidy. - Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider. - This measure will support up to 70,000 small businesses, employing around 117,000 apprentices. How to access - Employers can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. Final claims for payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020. To apply, contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

Australian Taxation Office - Instant Asset Write-Off Small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million are eligible to use instant asset write-off if all of the following apply:

  • you have chosen to use the simplified depreciation rules

  • you purchased the asset from the relevant date – see thresholds

  • the asset cost less than the threshold at the time the asset was first used or installed ready for use.


Key Points: - You can claim a deduction for multiple assets as long as the cost of each individual asset is less than the relevant threshold. - If you use the instant asset write-off for an asset and then sell or dispose of that asset, you need to include the taxable purpose portion of the amount you received for the asset in your assessable income for that year. How to access - Using the information above calculate the cost of the asset (be sure to use the depreciation method), taking into account any personal use of the asset- this is to be subtracted. The asset is written off in 'Label A' of the Business and professional items schedule which is filled out when completing a tax return.

Australian Government - Backing Business Investments (BBI) A time limited 15 month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. The program applies to assets acquired from 12 March and first used or installed by 30 Jun 2021. Who is eligible? Businesses with turnover of less than $500mil will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of asset on installation, if completed within the above time frame. What defines an asset? New assets that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (i.e. plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents).

For more information, view the Australian Government Fact Sheet here.



Facebook - Small Business Grants

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and advertising credits to 30,000 eligible businesses and to help during these challenging times.


Key Points:

- The grants are operating internationally (across 30 countries including Australia).

- Facebook has stated the program can help businesses with rent and operational costs, maintaining workforce and connecting with customers.

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