It’s not easy being a small business, and COVID hasn’t made it any easier. Whether it’s been an impediment to providing products and services to your clients because of restrictions or quarantines, supply chain disruptions or interruptions in funding that have your business teetering on the brink, COVID has created a variety of reasons to put small businesses on edge.
Fortunately, for Australian small businesses, a variety of resources are available. Small business COVID hardship funds are some of the many resources available for small businesses to stay on their feet and keep going during these still unprecedented times.
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
The Federal government has launched a variety of support resources available to small businesses throughout Australia. The small business COVID hardship fund includes programs and assistance available to businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
There are programs relevant to specific industries as well as general employer-relevant information, making it easier for business owners requiring support during these difficult times.
There are a variety of programs on offer throughout Australia to help ease the burdens many small business owners have encountered:
- The Pandemic Leave Disaster payment is available to any Australian resident or visa holder who must isolate or quarantine because of a COVID diagnosis. Anyone over the age of 17 is capable of applying for this program which will provide a lump sum to cover lost income relative to your circumstances. The program also covers applicants who need to care for someone with COVID-19 and who cannot work for at least 8 hours a day, helping to cover hardship costs for small business owners with family members who have COVID.
- For small business owners looking to boost hiring in the wake of COVID, the JobMaker Hiring Credit is still available until October of 2022. Applicants can receive up to $200 a week for hiring younger workers, with a full $200 payout for hiring employees between 16-29 years of age and $100 for hiring employees 30-35. This program is a great way to help younger employees hit hard by COVID-related unemployment while helping employers to ease the transition back to a full working staff.
- For small businesses with an aggregated asset turnover of less than $500 million, the $150,000 Instant Asset Write-Off allows eligible business owners to write off any asset acquired with the acquisition time period that costs less than $150,000. This is a great program for small businesses who may be cash-strapped to invest in necessary equipment to boost production and improve revenue.
Small Business Covid-19 Support Grant
Beyond nationally-based programs aimed to help small businesses with various aspects of each business that have been affected by COVID, each territory also offers a variety of programs to help transition back to normal workflows.
- The ACT government is offering the COVID-19 Hardship payment and the COVID-19 Disaster Payment-Australian Capital Territory in a manner similar to the Pandemic Leave Disaster payment to compensate small business owners unable to work because of quarantine or illness. Small business owners are also eligible for the Economic survival package ACT that offers waivers and exemptions for various licensing fees associated with food service vendors or payroll taxes.
- NSW government is offering a similar program to the Economic survival package with its Small Business Fees and Charges rebate as well as COVID-19 Tax relief measures to reduce business-related expenses. The COVID-19 Disaster Payment New South Wales, offers compensation for those affected by COVID-19 illness.
- The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment Northern Territory is the sole territory-related COVID relief package aimed to help those who are either ill, isolated or caring for someone sickened by COVID-19. Among the application requirements are owning assets less than $10,000 before the date of application.
- In addition to the COVID-19 Disaster Payment Queensland, resident small business owners also have access to the Queensland COVID-19 cleaning rebate to cover pandemic related cleaning costs. Those in the tourist industry can access the Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling service to navigate tourism-related challenges in addition to various tourist-related fee waivers for tourist operators and hospitality providers.
- Small business residents of Tasmania have access to an abundance of resources including the business growth loan scheme to provide $20,000 to 3 million for businesses with less than $10 million in holdings after 2 years of operations. Additional financial assistance is available through the small business vehicle registration relief package, event ready grant program, rapid response skills initiative grant for those who’ve lost work due to downsizing, and the COVID-19 Small business advice and guidance program to address small business related challenges
- Victoria also offers a host of programs including the Victoria Sick pay guarantee, the COVIDsafe Outdoor activation voucher program, the coronavirus payroll tax program, the COVID-19 disaster payment and the Jobs fund Victoria that can provide up to $20,000 of wage subsidies for 12 months for employers who hire employees from critical needs demographics.
- Western Australia small businesses may be eligible for support through the Getting the Show back on the road program for performing artists and vendors and the Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-Engagement initiative that provides $6,000 in funding for hiring an apprentice and $3,000 for hiring a trainee who was let go because of the pandemic.
Small Business COVID Acceleration
In addition to these many programs, small businesses can also find additional small business COVID-19 hardship funds and resources. Small to medium-size non-governmen organisations that lost more than 70% of staff because of the pandemic are eligible to apply for the Small Business COVID hardship fund through the respective territory.
Additional grants and rebates offered on a territory basis can assist with pandemic-related costs, such as Western Australia’s Hardship grant which gives $3,750 for sole traders and up to $20,000 for businesses with employees of 20 or more and less than $4 million in revenue. A variety of other programs, including tax waivers, continue to be available for businesses throughout Australia and through independent territories.
Making the most of Small Business Covid Hardship Funds
Although COVID was not good for business, Australia is doing good by its small business owners by offering a variety of funding, grant and waiver programs on a national and state/ territory level basis. For more information on these grants, please call the number below and speak to a consultant today.