With Coronavirus causing a lot of disruption to Australian businesses over the last few months, the next half of 2020 is going to be an uncertain time for many companies and their brands.

How are Australian businesses being helped during COVID-19? 1

As such, the Australian Government has introduced a range of financial assistance options to help those in need – we have listed out a few below, however we are not financial advisers so always speak to a professional about your specific needs.

Sole traders

There are a range of assistance options available if you are a sole trader including:

  • JobKeeper Payment: If you have suffered a downturn in your turnover, you may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee until 27 September 2020.
  • Backing Business Investment: Otherwise known as BBI, this is a time limited 15-month investment incentive where businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
  • Increased asset write-off: The instant asset threshold has been increased to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.
  • Income support: Income support payments are being temporarily expanded with the establishment of a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550.00 per fortnight.
  • SME Guarantee Scheme: This involves providing businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.
  • Early superannuation access: You can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
  • Tax assistance: The ATO is providing varying taxation benefits to businesses in different ways, including relief for some tax obligations.
  • Bankruptcy: The legislation surrounding bankruptcy is being altered in a variety of ways, including increasing the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor.

Companies

There is also a range of assistance options available for companies including:

  • JobKeeper Payment: If you have suffered a downturn in your turnover, you may be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee until 27 September 2020.
  • Bankruptcy: The legislation surrounding bankruptcy is being altered in a variety of ways, including increasing in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company.
  • Increased asset write-off: The instant asset threshold has been increased to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.
  • Accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements: This is a time limited 15-month investment incentive where businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.
  • Income support: Income support payments are being temporarily expanded with the establishment of a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550.00 per fortnight.
  • Tax assistance: The ATO is providing varying taxation benefits to businesses in different ways, including relief for some tax obligations.

Businesses

The above aren’t the only options available – there are other assistance options that you can benefit from including:

  • Relief for commercial tenants, including a temporary hold on evictions and a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises.
  • Support for apprentices and trainees.
  • Funds have been set aside by the Government to support regions and communities most significantly affected by the Coronavirus.
  • Different states and territories are also providing their own information, grants and assistance packages, such as a reduction of utility bills in Queensland.

*Please note: This information is applicable as of 30 April 2020. Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, there is the possibility that alterations may occur to the help being offered to businesses moving forward.

Resources:

https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business