The ACT has been in lockdown for almost two months, however under 4000 outstanding support grants are yet to be processed for struggling businesses, with the ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr largely blaming it on poorly submitted paperwork.
However, ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja believes that the ACT government is responsible for the delay, and businesses fighting to survive are being let down by the ACT Government.
“Canberrans deserve better. I’m hearing from desperate businesses who have heard nothing but crickets from the ACT government, despite applying weeks ago now. This needs to be fixed urgently” said ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja.
The jointly funded Commonwealth-ACT support package which aims to finance Canberra based businesses has now been operating for over a month, with a team of around 100 people assigned to process more than 8600 applications.
Businesses are able to apply for grants of up to $30,000, depending on their turnover figures.
“So, we’ll cross over 4000 payments being approved today – that’s the advice I have – and the value of approved payments will cross over $60 million,” said ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Data released on Friday 24th September illustrated that 4132 payments have been approved and $66 million has been paid to Canberra business. According to Andrew Barr less than 1 percent (136) of the applications were declined simply because they were not eligible.
However, 3987 support grant applications are outstanding, with 2717 currently being assessed and 1270 cases of businesses needing to send more information to the assessors.
The number of applications needing more information has halved since the scheme started, a shift Mr Barr called “significant progress”.
Andrew Barr says that businesses need to make sure they are doing a better job at filling out their application forms so that the government can process the payments quicker.
“We need complete applications. There’s about 400 that were launched on the first day and that haven’t yet been paid, and they are mostly because we don’t have the information that’s required to make the payment. They been advised repeatedly by email and often by phone call,” said ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr.
Andrew Barr said some of the common reasons for the slow progress of the payments include grants team emails getting caught in spam filters, incorrect bank details and incorrect ABNs.
ACT Government Increases Business Support Grants As Lockdown Is Extended
Canberra based businesses are set to receive a further grant payment of approximately up to $30,000 as a result of the ACT Government’s decision to extend the lockdown for another four weeks.
The extension of the ACT Covid-19 Business Grants means that employing businesses across the territory will be given an extra $10,000, while non-employing businesses will be given an extra $3,750.
It was also announced that an extra one-off top-up payment will be distributed to larger businesses, such as $10,000 for employing businesses with a turnover greater than $2 million and less than $5 million, $20,000 for those with turnovers between $5 million and less than $10 million, and $30,000 for those with turnovers of more than $10 million.
The support package will be co-funded by the Australian and ACT governments following the announcement of ACT’s lockdown being extended for another four weeks until Friday 15th October.
The ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the additional support will help local business through a major period of uncertainty.
“The COVID?19 Business Support Grant program has already delivered over $17 million dollars to businesses suffering from significantly reduced turnover, and tens of millions more will be paid out as we work through applications.” Mr Barr said.
“The ACT Government continues to work constructively with the Commonwealth Government, I thank the Federal Treasurer and his office for their engagement to date, as we try to help Canberra businesses in these tough times.”
The ACT has also revealed that there will be more additional grants for tourism, accommodation, hospitality, arts and events sectors.
Close to 2,000 ACT businesses in in the tourism, hospitality, accommodation, and arts and events industries will be also receive additional one-off grants.
Non-employing businesses will receive $1,000, while those with employees and a turnover of less than $2 million to receive $3,000.
Employers with turnovers of more than $2 million and less than $5 million will receive $10,000, while those with turnovers of more than $5 million set to receive $20,000.
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.
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 1300 1 VAULT (1300 182 858)
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