New South Wales and Victoria State Governments have both announced an increased level of business support measures to lessen the burden of recent state lockdowns, while the federal government has also increased its support for individuals as the covid-19 crisis continues to drag on.
NSW Government Opens Applications For JobSaver
On Monday 26th July, applications for the JobSaver scheme opened for NSW based businesses who have been impacted by the latest covid-19 lockdown. Applicants who are successful will receive 40 percent of their weekly payroll, at a minimum of $1,500 and a maximum of $10,000 per week, as long as they maintain their full-time, part-time and long-term casual staffing level as of 13 July.
Non-employing businesses, such as sole traders, can expect $1,000 payments per week.
Payments distributed to businesses under the JobSaver scheme will be paid on a fortnightly basis by Service NSW and will be backdated to 18 July 2021 which was week 4 of the Greater Sydney lockdown. Businesses who suffered a decline in turnover for the first three weeks of restrictions will be covered by the 2021 Covid-19 Business Grant.
To be eligible, businesses must have a turnover of between $75,000 and $50 million for the financial year that ended 30th June 2020, and demonstrate a decline in turnover of 30 percent or more over a minimum two-week period from the start of the Greater Sydney lockdown on 26th June, compared to the same period in 2019.
Service NSW has admitted that some businesses will not meet the eligibility criteria but may still be eligible for JobSaver.
This means that new businesses, or those who were operating under unusual trading conditions in 2019, are encouraged to contact Service NSW directly to ascertain their eligibility.
In line with the business grant program, businesses in highly impacted industries will be required to provide details of their qualified accountant, registered tax agent or registered BAS agent for compliance checking, while businesses outside the highly impacted industries list will be required to produce a letter from their practitioner that verifies their decline in turnover.
Letters used for the business grant program can be resubmitted when applying for JobSaver.
Victorian Government Announces $280 Million Support Package
On Wednesday 21st July, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced an injection of $282.5 million to Victoria’s business support package, which will now total $484.3 million with the goal to support over 90,000 businesses and sole traders across the state during the course of Victoria’s fifth lockdown.
Victorian Businesses who are eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive an additional $4,200, taking the total payment to $7,200. Businesses who are eligible for the Business Costs Assistance Program will receive a top-up of $2,800, taking the grant’s total to $4,800.
Further to the across-the-board top-ups, businesses in the alpine hospitality sector, retail and accommodation, and experience operator sector which were pre-eligible for grants of up to $15,000 will receive an additional $3,000 to shoulder some of the burden that restrictions have imposed on high-season earnings.
Eligible public events and events suppliers who have been negatively impacted by the lockdown will receive support of up to $25,000 and $10,000, respectively, as part of another grant extension, this time to the Impacted Public Events Support Program.
On top of this the Live Performance Support programs, will also receive a new round of funding, which will see eligible presenters receive $7,000 and suppliers receive $2,000.
Martin Pakula, the Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery believes that boosting the business support grants was vital in ensuring businesses re-emerge from the pandemic able to resume driving the state’s economy.
“We’re making sure the businesses most affected by the lockdown have a chance to emerge from it in decent shape, so they can continue to play their vital role as employers and drivers of Victoria’s economy,” said Martin Pakula, the Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery.
Federal Government Announces Increase of Covid-19 Disaster Payments
In the final week of July, the Australian Government announced another increase to the national Covid-19 Disaster Payment, with workers who lose 20 or more hours a week to receive a new rate of $750 a week, up from $600.
Workers who have lost between eight and 20 hours will receive $450 per week, up from $375.
Individuals who currently receive welfare payments like JobSeeker, pensions and the Youth Allowance will also receive $200 a week if they can demonstrate a loss of more than eight hours of work.
The new rates will apply from 2nd August and will be available from day one of any potential lockdown in the future.
The newly updated Covid-19 Disaster Payment rate is the same as was offered to workers by the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper wage subsidy. However, when asked why it wasn’t reinstated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it wasn’t the right solution for the problems the nation faces now.
“JobKeeper was a great scheme, but you don’t play last year’s grand final this year,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The Prime Minister stated that because there hasn’t been a rise in the number of people receiving payments from JobSeeker offered cause for optimism, and that workers understand their employers are being supported.
“Because they understand they are getting up support from the government, they are staying with their employers,” Mr Morrison said. “That means that in a month, hopefully, when business returns, they will go back into work with those employers, they will get on with their jobs, and our economy will draw back to life” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The team at C&D Restructure and Taxation Advisory are here to help. As part of the Vault Group we can offer the full suite of financial products and advice to help you navigate the business landscape. Schedule a meeting here via Calendly or give us a call on 07 36086800.
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