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News & Media

Support for Businesses and Households impacted by COVID-19 - Updated 11 May 2020

Mon 11 May 2020

From the Office of the Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business


Friday 8 May 2020 - 6:30pm

THE ROADMAP TO A COVIDSAFE AUSTRALIA
The National Cabinet met today and finalised the three-step plan to gradually remove baseline restrictions to allow the reopening of the Australian economy. 

The three-step plan provides a pathway for States and Territories to move towards COVID safe communities in a way that best suits their individual circumstances, their current public health situation and local conditions.

Australia has so far been highly successful in ‘flattening the curve’. The number of new COVID-19 cases in Australia each day is very low. As a result we can now begin to take careful steps to ease some of the restrictions that have helped us suppress the spread of this virus. 

The National Cabinet is very clear: continued suppression of COVID-19 is about collective action. Success depends on maintaining our new community norms – physical distancing, good hygiene practices and downloading the COVIDSafe app to keep us all safe while we are out and about. 

  • To download the COVIDSafe App please visit here
For businesses, this also means taking the time to prepare and develop a plan to operate in a COVID safe way to protect their customers and workers. To visit the Worksafe Australia COVID-19 planning toolkit, click here.

With every one of us playing our part, we should all feel safe and confident in leaving the house and starting to do some of the things we've missed in the last few months – like getting back to work, having a quick bite in a restaurant or cafe, attending auctions and open houses, and participating in group exercise.

For each of the major areas of restrictions we have set out three key steps between where we are now and where we want to be.

Step 1 will focus on carefully reopening the economy, and giving Australians opportunities to return to work and social activities, including gatherings of up to 10 people, up to 5 visitors in the family home and some local and regional travel.

Step 2 builds on this with gatherings of up to 20, and more businesses reopening, including gyms, beauty services and entertainment venues like galleries and cinemas.

Step 3 will see a transition to COVID safe ways of living and working, with gatherings of up to 100 people permitted. Arrangements under step 3 will be the ‘new normal’ while the virus remains a threat. International travel and mass gatherings over 100 people will remain restricted.

  • For the detailed roadmap, click here.
  • For the summary roadmap, click here.
  • I recommend you visit www.australia.gov.au to be linked to individual State and Territory resources.
National Cabinet also committed – as part of the three-step plan – to regular reviews and stocktake assessments of our progress every three weeks.

This will enable us to assess the impact of changes, track progress against our agreed precedent conditions, determine the pace of moving through the steps, and make any further decisions.

We are prepared for an increase in case numbers or possible outbreaks, but relapse should not be an option. A second wave is not something we can afford to go through. The cost to our people, our economy, our social fabric, is too high. We should look to build success in each step, and move forward safely and with confidence.

So long as Australians keep living and working in a COVID safe way, we'll be able to keep case numbers low and continue taking steps on the pathway to relaxing more restrictions.

National Cabinet's goal is to have a sustainable COVID safe Australia in July 2020. We've shown what we can achieve when we work together - we flattened the curve. Now, let's work together to get Australia COVID safe.


Friday 24 April 2020 - 05:02pm

EXTENSION OF TIME TO ENROL FOR JOBKEEPER SCHEME

Please note the Commissioner has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

If you enrol by 31 May you will still be able to claim for the fortnights in April and May, provided you meet all the eligibility requirements for each of those fortnights. This includes having paid your employees by the appropriate date for each fortnight.

For the first two fortnights (30 March – 12 April, 13 April – 26 April), we will accept the minimum $1,500 payment for each fortnight has been paid by you even if it has been paid late, provided it is paid by you by the end of April. 

You can enrol and claim for JobKeeper earlier if you choose. For example, you can enrol by the end of April to claim JobKeeper payments for the two fortnights in April.

For more information please visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment

BRIDGING FUNDING FOR JOBKEEPER

Australian banks are playing a vitally important role in bridging the finance that businesses need to pay their staff ahead of receiving the first JobKeeper Payment in the first week of May.

It is an integrity measure that businesses pay their staff before receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

On 23 April 2020, the Treasurer announced the CBA, NAB, Westpac and ANZ banks agreed to establish dedicated hotlines for their customers to call to receive the bridging finance necessary to pay their staff ahead of receiving the JobKeeper Payment.

The hotlines are as follows:

  • CBA: 13 26 07
  • ANZ: 1800 571 123
  • NAB: 1800 JOBKEEPER
  • Westpac: 1300 731 073 and Westpac’s subsidiaries;
    • St George: 1300 730 196
    • Bank of Melbourne: 1300 784 873 
    • Bank of SA: 1300 669 472

The banks have also agreed to bring to the front of the queue all bridging finance applications.

This means any business that is eligible for the JobKeeper Payment can now ring the dedicated hotline for the bank and ask for the bridging finance necessary to pay their staff. The banks know their customers. They know these businesses. The banks need to stand by these businesses in their time of greatest need and that is now.

The ATO have also set out detailed guidance on eligibility and enrolment for the JobKeeper Payment.

Please visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/

GENERAL INFORMATION 




    Thursday 9 April 2020 - 07:41pm

    JOBKEEPER LEGISLATION NOW LAW

    The 8 April marked one of the most important days in the Parliament’s history with the passage of legislation to support the Morrison Government’s $130 billion JobKeeper Payment.

    This unprecedented level of financial support will save millions of jobs and keep families together, businesses in business and preserve the productive capacity of the Australian economy.

    The $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment is the equivalent of about 70 per cent of the median wage and represents about 100 per cent of the median wage in some of the most heavily affected sectors, such as retail, hospitality and tourism.

    It will be available to full-time and part-time workers, sole traders and casuals who have been with their employer for 12 months or more. Importantly, it will apply to the many Australians working in the not for profit sector.

    Combined with the Government’s previous actions, this totals $320 billion or 16.4 per cent of GDP in economic support to Australian businesses, households and individuals affected by the Coronavirus puts Australia in the best possible position to bounce back stronger than ever.

    Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online and are able to register their interest via the ATO website.

    • For more information on the JobKeeper Payment click here

    AUSTRALIA’S AAA CREDIT RATING REAFFIRMED

    Australia’s AAA credit rating has been reaffirmed by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) in an expression of confidence in the Morrison Government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and our record of prudent economic and fiscal management.

    In its report, S&P notes that Australia’s ''strong fiscal performance remains a credit strength” and that “while fiscal stimulus measures will soften the blow presented by the COVID-19 outbreak and weigh heavily on public finances in the immediate future, they won’t structurally weaken Australia’s fiscal position. This expected improvement is a key supporting factor of our ‘AAA’ rating.”

    The report confirms Australia as one of only 10 countries which has a AAA credit rating with all three major ratings agencies.

    However S&P also recognised that “the COVID-19 outbreak has dealt Australia a severe economic and fiscal shock” and has put our AAA rating on a negative outlook which is defined as a one third probability of a downgrade over the next two years.

    S&P’s action reaffirming Australia’s AAA rating, is a reminder of the importance of maintaining our commitment to medium term fiscal sustainability.

    Our disciplined economic and budget management, which saw the Federal Budget return to balance for the first time in 11 years, meant the Budget as noted by S&P “was on track to achieve a surplus in fiscal 2021 before the COVID-19 outbreak”.

    Our measures are temporary, targeted and proportionate to the challenge we face and will ensure Australia bounces back stronger on the other side, without undermining the structural integrity of the Budget which Australians have worked so hard to restore.

    GOVERNMENT MODELLING ON CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE

    The Government has released the modelling behind Australia’s Coronavirus response

    It shows how the virus could spread through the Australian population under different scenarios but does not predict the future or factually represent Australia’s current position. 

    Early data suggests physical distancing and other measures taken in Australia are slowing the growth in cases to a point where the health system can meet expected demand.

    If we continue with our strategy of isolation, quarantine and social isolation, we expect that our health system will cope with the projected peak in cases.

    The Australian Government is boosting our intensive care unit (ICU) bed capacity to around 7,000 beds.

    The modelling compares the peak daily ICU bed demand under 3 different scenarios:

    • uncontrolled spread – 35,000
    • isolation and quarantine – 17,000
    • isolation, quarantine and social isolation – below 5000

      Australia will continue using the tools we have to control the disease:

        The more effective these measures are, the slower the spread of the disease.

        This means care will be available when and where Australians need it.

        MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT

        The Government is acutely aware of the need to provide support for the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. 

        The Government is funding and bolstering the capacity of mental health support providers including Lifeline and for Kids Helpline who have experienced an unprecedented surge in call volumes.

        Funding is also being provided to train volunteer visitors, to connect with older Australians in aged care to assist them keep in touch with loved ones.

        The Government’s digital mental health portal Head to Health (www.headtohealth.gov.au) will be a single source of authoritative information and guidance on how to maintain good mental health how to access mental health services and care.  

        We are also funding a dedicated coronavirus wellbeing support line 1800 512 348 delivered by Beyond Blue.

        GENERAL INFORMATION

        The Australian Government has also released a Coronavirus App and Whatsapp channel.

        The App is available on both Android and iPhones.

        To access the Whatsapp channel, you can go to the website here: www.aus.gov.au/whatsapp


        Tuesday 7 April 2020 - 9:27pm

        UPDATE ON COMMERCIAL TENANCIES

        Today, the National Cabinet agreed that states and territories will introduce a mandatory Code of Conduct (the Code) to implement the principles agreed by National Cabinet on 3 April 2020.

        The Code builds on the draft codes submitted by landlord and tenant representative bodies in the commercial property sector.

        The purpose of the Code is to impose a set of good faith leasing principles for application to commercial tenancies (including retail, office and industrial) between owners/operators/other landlords and tenants, in circumstances where the tenant is a small-medium sized business (annual turnover of up to $50 million) and is an eligible business for the purpose of the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper programme.

        National Cabinet also agreed that there would be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants.

        The Code provides a proportionate and measured burden share between the two parties while still allowing tenants and landlords to agree to tailored, bespoke and appropriate temporary arrangements that take account of their particular circumstances.

        Australian and foreign banks along with other financial institutions operating in Australia are expected by National Cabinet to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility as they work to implement the mandatory Code.

        The Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants.

        • For more information on the Mandatory Code, click here.
        • For more information on the JobKeeper Payment, click here.
        • The Australian Government has also released a Coronavirus app and Whatsapp channel. The App is available on both Android and iPhones. To access the Whatsapp channel, you can go to the website here: aus.gov.au/whatsapp 
        • Generally for more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus or www.australia.gov.au.
        • Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line at 13 28 46.


        Saturday 04 April 2020 - 06:00pm

        UPDATE ON COMMERCIAL TENANCIES

        National Cabinet has today made further progress on the issue of commercial tenancies.

        Cabinet has agreed that a mandatory code of conduct guided by certain principles will be developed and subsequently legislated by State and Territory Governments to apply for tenancies where the tenant is eligible for the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper assistance and is a small- or medium-sized enterprise (less than $50 million turnover).

        The principles that guide the code will be:

        a.         Where it can, rent should continue to be paid, and where there is financial distress as a result of COVID-19 (for example, the tenant is eligible for assistance through the JobKeeper program), tenants and landlords should negotiate a mutually agreed outcome

        b.        There will be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the decline in turnover to ensure that the
        burden is shared between landlords and tenants

        c.         There will be a prohibition on termination of leases for non-payment of rent (lockouts and eviction)

        d.        There will be a freeze on rent increases (except for turnover leases)

        e.         There will be a prohibition on penalties for tenants who stop trading or reduce opening hours

        f.         There will be a prohibition on landlords passing land tax to tenants (if not already legislated)

        g.        There will be a prohibition on landlords charging interest on unpaid rent

        h.        There will be a prohibition on landlords from making a claim to a bank guarantee or security deposit for non-payment of rent

        i.          Ensure that any legislative barriers or administrative hurdles to lease extensions are removed (so that a tenant and landlord could agree a rent waiver in return for a lease extension)

        For landlords and tenants that sign up to the code of conduct, States and Territories have agreed to look at providing the equivalent of at least a three month land tax waiver and three month land tax deferral on application for eligible landowners, with jurisdictions to continue to monitor the situation. Landlords must pass on the benefits of such moves to the tenants.

        In cases where parties have signed to the code of conduct, the ability for tenants to terminate leases as mentioned in the National Cabinet Statement on 29 March 2020 will not apply. Mediation will be provided as needed through existing State and Territory mechanisms.

        The proposed code of conduct will be discussed at the next meeting of the National Cabinet on Tuesday 7 April.


        CORONAVIRUS BUSINESS SUPPORT

        At www.business.gov.au  a team of dedicated customer representatives can help you if your business has been affected by the coronavirus. The dedicated team are available between 7.00am – 9.00pm across Australia, seven days a week.

        Call 13 28 46, send them an email or use webchat on the website.


        LAUNCH OF JOBS HUB

        The Morrison Government has launched a new Jobs Hub, supporting businesses and those Australians looking for work. The Jobs Hub helps Australians looking for work find advertised vacancies.

        An up to date list of a selection of businesses and organisations that are currently hiring, and how to contact them, can be found at: www.dese.gov.au/covid-19/jobs-hub

        While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers. This includes jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others.

        In addition, employers who are hiring and want support to connect with potential candidates can also contact the Department of Education, Skills and Employment at workforce@dese.gov.au to be connected directly with businesses reducing their workforces; and the employment services network to source suitable candidates.


        RELIEF PACKAGE FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

        Around one million families are set to receive free child care during the coronavirus pandemic under a plan from the Morrison Government that will help deliver hip pocket relief and help the early childhood education and care sector make it through to the other side of this crisis.

        Under the plan, the Government will pay 50% of the sector’s fee revenue up to the existing hourly rate cap based on a point in time before parents started withdrawing their children in large numbers, but only so long as services remain open and do not charge families for care.

        The funding will apply from 6 April 2020 based on the number of children who were in care during the fortnight leading into 2 March, whether or not they are attending services.

        Child care services seeking health and situation information about COVID-19 should contact the 24/7 National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080. Information is also available from https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19


        GENERAL INFORMATION

        For more information on the JobKeeper Payment visit:

        The Australian Government has released a Coronavirus app and Whatsapp channel.

        • The App is available on both Android and iPhones. To access the Whatsapp channel, you can go to the website here: aus.gov.au/whatsapp

        For school closures (government and non-government) please refer to state and territory education authorities that can be found here: https://www.dese.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19#schools.

        For more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus or www.australia.gov.au.

        Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line at 13 28 46.


        Monday 31 March 2020 - 9:33pm

        RELAXING THE PARTNER INCOME TEST FOR JOBSEEKER PAYMENTS

        • The Morrison Governmenthas temporarily relaxed the partner income test on the JobSeeker Payment.  From 30 March 2020, itwill be temporarily increased over the next 6 months to $3,068 per fortnight.  This will ensure that aneligible person can receive the JobSeeker Payment and associated CoronavirusSupplement providing their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight, around$79,762 per annum.
        • Thepersonal income test for individuals on JobSeeker Payment will still apply.

        $1.1 BILLION IN PAYMENTS TO HIT BANK ACCOUNTS TODAY

        • Over $1.1 billion inAustralian Government assistance for lower income Australians will hit bank accountstoday.
        • The first round of the$750 Economic Support Payments will be paid automatically from today andprogressively to eligible recipients over the coming weeks.
        • More than 6.8 millionAustralians will receive the first Economic Support Payment.
        • A second Economic Support Payment will be paid to eligible people from 13 July 2020.
        • Click here for Minister Roberts media release on on the payments

        ENSURING CONTINUED ACCESS TO MEDICINES DURING COVID-19

        The Australian Government hasapproved a number of temporary changes to medicines regulation to ensureAustralians can continue to access the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)medicines they need, as the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds.

        The Government are also closely monitoring theimpact of the pandemic on the supply of medicines, especially thosemanufactured overseas, so they can take early action to address any potentialsupply interruptions.

        New temporary measures will improveaccess to medicines, reduce the burden on GPs and support social distancing andself-isolation. 

        • Continued dispensingarrangements for the ongoing supply PBS subsidised medicines without aprescription will be extended to 30 June 2020.
        • A home deliveryservice for PBS and Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS)medicines is now in place.
        • Ongoing work withpharmacists, GPs and the States and Territories to allow medicine substitutionby the pharmacist in the event of a shortage.
        • Restrictions on thequantity of medicines that can be purchased to prevent unnecessary medicinestockpiling.

        These temporary changes will ensureAustralians can access the medicines they need throughout the coronavirusoutbreak.

        • Click here more information on National Health Plan Home Medicines Services

        GENERAL INFORMATION

        • The Australian Government hasreleased a Coronavirus app and Whatsapp channel.  The App is available on bothAndroid and iPhones. To access the Whatsapp channel, you can go to the websitehere: aus.gov.au/whatsapp 
        • For more information on Coronavirus and the Government's response, please visit www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus or www.australia.gov.au.
        • Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line on 13 28 46



        Friday 27 March 2020 - 03:43pm

        SUPPORTING SOLE TRADERS THROUGH THE EFFECTS OF CORONAVIRUS

        The Morrison Government is expanding the eligibility criteria for JobSeeker Payment to support sole traders and Australians who are self-employed if their income is negatively affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus.

        Under temporary changes to social security rules, sole traders will be encouraged to keep their business operating but may be able to access income support should their earnings take a significant hit.

        Minister for Families and Social Services Anne Ruston said the changes mean that sole traders who were now eligible for JobSeeker or Youth Allowance (other) would also receive the $550 fortnightly Coronavirus supplement.

        “The Government is absolutely committed to supporting all Australians get through the coming months so we can all bounce back stronger than ever,” Minister Ruston said.

        “These rules are designed to make sure sole traders can access income support if they find their income significantly reduced through no fault of their own.”

        Previously to determine if a self-employed person was unemployed for the purpose of accessing social security payments they had to be genuinely willing to seek and be available to take up alternative work effectively requiring their business to close.If someone remained committed to continuing with their business then they were not considered unemployed and could not access payments.

        This test has been temporarily removed to allow sole traders to continue operating. Income testing will apply consistent with current arrangements which allows individuals to earn more than $1000 per fortnight before losing access to payment.

        Under the temporary arrangements a range of JobSeeker Payment eligibility criteria has been relaxed including waiving the assets test, liquid assets waiting period, seasonal work preclusion period and newly arrived residents’ waiting period.

        Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash said in line with the changes sole traders would be able to use work in their own business to meet their mutual obligations.

        “We are making sure that sole traders have maximum flexibility to maintain cash flow in these extraordinary circumstances,” Minister Cash said.


        Wednesday 25 March 2020 - 10:30pm

        TIGHTER SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES ENACTED

        The Australian Government has commenced sending text messages to keep you informed about the national response to COVID-19.

        Last night Prime Minister Morrison announced Stage 2 of the social-distancing measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Find below a table that sets out the additional prohibited activities and venues that apply from 11:59pm (local time) 25 March 2020.

        Please act on that advice, it will help save lives.

        For more information please go to the Prime Minister’s Media Statement: 

        Along with these measures Tasmania, the NT, WA, Queensland and SA announced border closures. Anyone entering these States or Territory must self-isolate for 14 days.

        Please go here to find out more from the respective State or Territory: 

        For school closures (government and non-government) please refer to state and territory education authorities that can be found here: 

        For more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: 

        Alternatively you can contact the business.gov.au support line at 13 28 46.


        ADDITIONAL PROHIBITED ACTIVITES AND VENUES TO APPLY FROM 11:59PM (25 MARCH 2020)

        BUSINESS, PREMISES OR PLACE

        EXCEPTIONS


        * Food and drink

        Cafes

        Take away service and home delivery.

        Cafes or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless; workplace canteens can provide takeaway.

        Food courts

        Delivery and takeaway can remain.


        * Retail

        Auction houses

        Real estate auctions, and display and open house inspections

        Private appointments for inspection.

        Outdoor and indoor markets will be a decision for each state and territory

        Food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories.


        * Beauty and personal care services

        Hairdressers and barber shops

        Up to 30-minute appointments and 4sqm rule to apply.

        Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours

        Spas and massage parlours


        * Entertainment venues

        Cinemas, nightclubs

        Casinos, gaming or gambling venues

        Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues

        Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums

        Live streaming of a performance by a small group could be permissible with social distancing observed.

        Amusement parks and arcades

        Play centres (indoor and outdoor)


        * Leisure and recreation

        Community and recreation centres

        Facilities may remain open for the purpose of hosting essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks or homeless services.

        Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres

        Boot camps and personal training (outside and inside)

        Outside must be limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be observed.

        Social sporting-based activities

        Swimming pools


        * Residential facilities

        Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory

        Excluding permanent residents and workers.


        * Outdoor recreation

        Caravan and camping parks will be a decision for each state and territory

        Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks temporarily while their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so.


        * Non-residential institutions

        Galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites

        Libraries, community centres, and youth centres

        Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools)

        Community facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs)

        Weddings and Funerals

        Weddings with a maximum attendance of no more than 5  people, with 1 person per 4 square metre rule applied.

        Funerals attended by a maximum of no more than 10 people, with the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applied.




        Tuesday 24 March 2020 - 07:27pm

        QUICK LINKS TO GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES AND HOUSEHOLDS IMPACTED BY COVID-19

        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.

        • Boosting cash flow for employers
        • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
        • Increasing the instant asset write-off
        • Backing business investment
        • Supporting apprentices and trainees

        Below are quick links to the measures available to small and medium businesses, sole traders and households under the $189 billion economic support package announced by the Prime Minister.


        Business.gov.au support line: 13 28 46


        Small or medium business with reduced cash flow?

        This assistance will assist businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees. These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium sized businesses and to improve business confidence. The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure also supports the activities of not-for-profits (including charities) at a time where they are facing increased demand for services. The wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees will help to ensure the continued development of the skilled workforce. 

        • Click here for more information on how to boost your cash flow. (Cash flow assistance for Businesses form)


        Is your business financially distressed?

        The economic impacts of the Coronavirus and health measures to prevent its spread could see many otherwise profitable and viable businesses temporarily face financial distress. It is important that these businesses have a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal business operations. One element of that safety net is to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business.

        • Click here for more information on business support. (Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses factsheet)


        Assisting the economic recovery

        The Government is backing businesses to invest to help the economy withstand and recover from the economic impact of Coronavirus. The two business investment measures in this package are designed to assist Australian businesses and economic growth in the short-term, and encourage a stronger economic recovery following the Coronavirus outbreak.

        • Click here for more information on business support for growth (Delivering support for business investment factsheet)


        Employ an apprentice or trainee?

        This assistance will assist businesses to manage cashflow challenges and help businesses retain their employees. These two measures are designed to support employing small and medium sized businesses and to improve business confidence. The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers measure also supports the activities of not-for-profits (including charities) at a time where they are facing increased demand for services. The wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees will help to ensure the continued development of the skilled workforce.

        • Click here for more information on employing an apprentice or trainee (Cash flow assistance for business factsheet)


        Are you a sole trader that has lost business?

        The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months.  

        • Click here for more information on support for you and your business (Income support for individuals factsheet)


        Household finances hit by reduced work?

        The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months. 

        • Click here for more information on support for your family budget (Income support for individuals factsheet)



        Payments to support households.

        These payments will provide assistance to lower income Australians, including pensioners, other social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.  

        • Click here for more information on payments to support households. (payments to support households factsheet)



        For more information on Coronavirus and the Government’s response, please visit: 

        • Click here to visit Treasury website - Support for Businesses 
        • Click here to visit Treasury Website - Supporting Individuals and Households
        • Click here to visit Treasury website - Supporting the Flow of Credit
        • Click here to visit Treasury Website - Coronavirus Small Medium Enterprise Guarantee Scheme
        • Click here to visit Treasury Website - Governments Economic Response to the Coronavirus

        • Click here to visit the Australian Government website



        Monday 23 March 2020 - 12:25pm

        HELPLINE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

        From today, the Morrison Government’s Business Hotline - 13 28 46 - will be expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Operations at the www.business.gov.au 13 28 46 Contact Centre will increase from five days per week to seven days per week, and provide an additional two hours a day of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7.00 am to 11.00pm AEST.

        The Government is rolling out comprehensive, targeted assistance in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and we want businesses who are looking for information to be supported.  

        During these challenging times businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 need readily available access to advice so they can fully understand the assistance available to them and their employees.

        To read the media release on the helpline, click here.

        For more information on the assistance available to businesses please go to www.business.gov.au.

        Please also go to https://www.australia.gov.au .  This site will link you to the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Australian Government Agencies.



        Sunday 22 March 2020 - 02:22pm

        FACT SHEETS ON FURTHER ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO BUSINESSES - ASSISTANCE TO SOLE TRADERS

        Today the Government has announced a second set of economic responses which, combined with our previous actions, total $189 billion across the forward estimates, representing 9.7 per cent of annual GDP.

        To find out more, please go to www.australia.gov.au

        These fact sheets have been updated following today’s further announcements.

        The Morrison Government also recognises a significant number of sole traders and Australians who are self-employed have had their income reduced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Government has announced an expansion to the eligibility to the Job Seeker Payment to support sole traders and the self-employed.

        To view the media release in full, please click here.

        The Government is also allowing sole traders who have seen their hours of work or income fall 20% or more as a result of COVID-19 to access their superannuation capped at $10,000 this financial year and a further $10,000 next financial year. The withdrawals will be tax free.

        Please also go to https://www.australia.gov.au to view all the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from Australian Government Agencies.



        Sunday 22 March 2020 - 10:37am

        FURTHER UPDATE ON ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE TO BUSINESSES

        Further updates below have been announced on the assistance for businesses as a result of the impacts of COVID-19.

        Summary - The Government will today announce a second stage of measures to keep businesses in business and to keep workers in jobs.

        This stage of measures is squarely focused on getting businesses and their workers through to the other side of this crisis.

        The measures include:

          • A wage subsidy for small and medium businesses to save jobs; and
          • A guarantee on loans to small and medium businesses so they can keep in business.

        1. Support to Keep Australians in Jobs

        Businesses will receive a cash payment of up to $100,000 for the period March 2020 to September 2020.

        That payment will be worth 100% of the tax those small and medium businesses, with a turnover less than $50 million, are withholding from their employees salary and wages.

        The payment will be tax free. It will now also be available to eligible charities or other not-for-profit entities.

        How the Payment Works

        Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages – they report it each month or quarter anyway - will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $100,000.

        Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $20,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.

        In the first package the Government announced the cash payment would be 50% of tax withheld worth up to $25,000 in payments or a minimum of $2,000.

        This announcement builds on the cash flow boost from the first package worth $6.7 billion.  This new measure is worth $25.2 billion so in total it’s worth $31.9 billion.

        The Government expects it will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people and 30,000 not-for-profits.

        The Government estimates that businesses employ:

        • NSW – Around 2.5 million people
        • Vic – Around 2 million people
        • Qld – Around 1.5 million people
        • WA – Around 810,000 people
        • SA – Around 480,000 people
        • TAS – Around 155,000 people
        • NT – Around 63,000 people
        • ACT – Around 115,000 people

        2. Supporting Small Business to Get to the Other Side With Loans

        The Government has announced a new Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme to support small and medium business with a turnover less than $50 million.

        This measure complements the $8 billion worth of measures the banks announced this week to defer repayments for 6 months for small and medium businesses battling the impacts of coronavirus.

        The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme will be able to be accessed by eligible banks and non-bank lenders.

        • Under the Scheme, the Commonwealth will guarantee 50%, through the participating banks, of an eligible loan to small and medium enterprise customers that have been impacted by the coronavirus.
        • The Scheme will have the capacity to support lending of $40 billion to small and medium businesses.
        • Loans will be used for working capital purposes and be unsecured and it will be for loans granted within 6 months starting 1 April 2020.
        • The Scheme will apply to new or existing customers of banks and non-bank lenders.
        • Lenders will not be charged a fee for accessing the Scheme.
        • It will be repayment free for 6 months.
        • The maximum loan will be $250,000 for a term up to 3 years.
        • It will not apply to re-financing of existing customers. Those already have existing loans that will benefit from the ABA announcement.
        • Through this measure, the Government is offering to guarantee $20 billion.

        The Australian banking sector announced on 19 March 2020 significant measures – that many individual banks went further than – to support existing loans. Click here for more info.

        Today’s announcement also follows the announcement by the Government on 19 March 2020, together with the Reserve Bank, to inject more than $100 billion into the Australia’s financial system. 

        Click on the links below: 


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