Restrictions imposed by the government during shutdowns on account of Covid-19 proved detrimental to the health of most businesses across Australia. To help these businesses sustain and to allow them to keep their employees, government has announced a stimulus package. This package, worth more than $66 billion, contains many different programs and grants for business owners in diverse industries.
Financial Help to Retain Employees
Through a scheme called Jobkeeper Payments, government is making it easier for small and medium sized business owners to retain their employees. The program was launched in April 2020 and eligible businesses are getting $1500 per fortnight per employee for a period of 6 months. It could be a sole trader, trust, or a partnership firm.
- Businesses should be registered in Australia as of 1st March, 2020
- Businesses should have suffered a decline of at least 30% in turnover of less than $1 billion and a decline of 50% in turnover of more than $1 billion
- There should be at least one eligible employee
- Businesses should not fall under ineligible businesses category
Boosting Cash Flow
Government is giving away help in the form of tax free credit to enable business owners to pay the wages and salaries of their employees. The amount of money given to eligible businesses varies between $20,000 and $100,000 and it is delivered in the form of credits.
- Your business is registered in Australia as of 12 March 2020
- Annual turnover of your business is less than $50 million
- You must have lodged 2019 tax return or activity statement of GST return on or before 12 March 2020
Financial Help for Trainees
For businesses employing trainees or apprentices, government has announced a subsidy of 50% of the wage paid to each of these temporary employees. This help amounts to $7,000 per trainee per semester up to 31 March, 2021.
- Your business has fewer than 20 employees
- The trainee was doing Australian Apprenticeship in your company as of 1 July, 2020
- For medium sized businesses, number of employees should be fewer than 199 people
In addition to the federal government, individual state and territory governments have also come up with separate programs to help Covid-19 affected businesses.
For example, nearly all states have allowed eligible businesses to defer payroll tax. Companies paying payroll tax of more than $ 1 million have been given three extra months under this deferment. One state is giving away a grant of $17,500 to eligible businesses in addition to deferment of payroll tax, if the amount of payroll tax paid annually lies between $ 1 million and $4 million.
Yet another state is giving away full waiver of payroll tax for the financial year 2019-20 if the affected business belongs to tourism, hospitality, or seafood industry. You need to check with your own state government to know the time period of deferment of payroll tax. Eligibility criteria for businesses are different in different states.
For more information on the above mentioned grants and similar funding assistance, please speak to one of our advisors at the number mentioned below.