UPDATE: QLD Government COVID-19 Job Support Loan
About the scheme
To assist SME businesses get through this extremely challenging time, the QLD Government has announced that it will provide support on procuring loans for SME businesses.
Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the QLD Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for new unsecured loans to be used as working capital, with the goal that the guarantee will enhance the lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.
Outline of details of loans below:
· SME must be under $50m turnover and affected by COVID-19
· Applies to maximum of $250,000 loan
· Loan term will be maximum of 3 years
· Repayment holiday of up to 6 months from commencement of loan
There will still be lenders’ credit assessment. The scheme will commence early April and be available till 30 September 2020
Should you require any further information, contact your bank manager or financial advisor.
More Information: Job Support Loan Guidelines
Applications and to register your interest: https://applyonline.qrida.qld.gov.au/login
States’ and Territories’ economic stimulus packages
The Governments of most States and Territories have announced economic stimulus and relief packages. The following brief summary focuses on the assistance that is proposed to be available to businesses, in particular payroll tax. The packages also contain measures for households and the health system.
The States and Territories will defer the date of their respective Budgets.
The Queensland Government’s $4 billion economic relief package includes:
- initiatives to support small business, such as:
- a $500 million loan facility comprising low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free period, to help businesses to retain employees and maintain operations;
- financial workshops and mentoring to help SMEs;
- a small business hotline;
- a $1.1 million ‘Market Ready’ initiative to provide tailored export advice to SMEs;
- a $500 rebate off energy bills for businesses that consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours;
- rent relief for businesses that rent state government premises;
- support for industry, including:
- grants for the fishing industry;
- a three-month extension of the catch area for tropical rock lobster;
- a temporary waiver of fishing boat licence fees and quota fees;
- fees and charges relief for tourism operators;
- market diversification and resilience grants for agriculture, food and fishing exporters and their critical supply chain partners, as well as industry organisations.
A payroll tax relief package contains the following measures for eligible employer groups:
The Australian Capital Territory
Under the ACT Government’s $137 million economic survival package:
- small businesses can now access the Canberra Business Advice and Support Service;
- licenced venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their food business registration and on-licence liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020 and outdoor dining fees for 2020–21 will be waived;
- the ACT Government will provide support for the Vocational Education and Training Sector by increasing subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships and other VET students to access nationally recognised training in areas linked to skills needs across a range of industries;
- small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year will see rebates of $750 automatically applied to their next electricity bill in around June or July 2020;
- the Rideshare vehicle licence fee will be automatically waived for 12 months for rideshare operators from 1 April 2020;
- hospitality (cafes, pubs, hotels, clubs and restaurants), creative arts and entertainment industries will receive a one-off, six-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020. Businesses will need to apply online via ACT Revenue Office;
- all ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020–21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022. Businesses will need to apply on the ACT Revenue Office website;
- commercial property owners with an Average Unimproved Value below $2 million on their property are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge of $2,622 (equivalent to the annual fixed charge) to their 2019–20 general rates, in the fourth quarter.
New South Wales
The NSW Government‘s $2.3 billion health and economic package includes:
- $450 million for the waiver of payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for three months (the rest of 2019–20);
- $56 million to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020–21;
- $80 million to waive a range of fees and charges for small businesses.
The Northern Territory
The NT Government has announced a $65 million Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan and an additional $50 million fund to support small business.
The package includes:
- a $10,000 Business Improvement Grant available to all businesses, followed by an additional $10,000 grant if they contribute $10,000 of their own. The grant can be used to purchase goods and services to make permanent physical improvements to a business (land and/or building) that help improve its efficiency and customer experience;
- an Immediate Work Grant of up to $100,000 given to not-for-profit and community organisations to engage local businesses to do repairs, renovations and upgrades to their property and facilities. The first $50,000 will be paid as a grant, and the NT Government will also match any renovation costs that exceed $50,000 on a dollar-for-dollar basis up to a maximum of $100,000 total;
- a freeze on government fees and charges — including Power and Water tariffs;
- an extension of the payroll tax exemption for hiring Territory employees to 30 June 2021;
- free and practical business advice for businesses available through the Business Enterprise Centre, and other direct support for businesses.
The $50 million Small Business Survival Fund will deliver grants to help keep businesses alive, even when they have to shut. The NT Government will release more details.
The South Australian Government’s $350 million stimulus package includes:
- a $12 million skills package under which South Australian small businesses will be given additional funding to hire new apprentices and trainees. The Skills for Business scheme offers small businesses up to $5,000 for every new apprentice or trainee hired on a paid training contract, as well as advice on how to address a business’ skills and training needs and access subsidies. The additional funding support will apply to new paid training contracts signed by 31 August 2020;
- the bring forward of the opening of the third funding round of the Regional Growth Fund. Applications are now being sought for the $5 million competitive round for projects that will strengthen regional economies and provide tangible social benefits to local communities.
The Tasmanian Government’s $420 million stimulus package includes:
- $20 million in loans that are interest free for three years to small businesses (with a turnover of less than $5 million) in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production and exports sectors;
- payroll tax liability waivers for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses for the last four months of 2019–20;
- other affected businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will be able to apply to have their payroll tax waived for April to June 2020;
- payments terms by Government agencies will be reduced from 30 days to 14 days to assist with small business cash flow;
- a $5,000 grant for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction, and manufacturing industries;
- a payroll tax rebate for one year, to businesses that employ a young person aged 24 and under, between April and December 2020;
- $80,000 funding to the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide Human Resources and Industrial Relations assistance.
The Tasmanian Government will also make one-off payments of $250 to eligible individuals or up to $1,000 to families for those who are required to self-isolate. Eligibility includes those with a Health Care Card or a Pensioners Concession Card and those on low incomes who can demonstrate a need for financial support.
Under the Victorian Government’s $1.7b Economic Survival Package:
- small- and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million will be eligible for full refunds of payroll tax for 2019–20 — cash payments will start flowing this week and will save eligible business up to $113,975 a year. This assistance is a cash refund, not a loan;
- the same businesses will be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of 2020–21 until 1 January 2021;
- commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief — a move private landlords are also being encouraged to undertake;
- 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses;
- the Victorian Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within 5 business days; and
- the hospitality sector will be supported by liquor licensing fees being waived for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses.
The Western Australian Government’s $607 million stimulus package includes $114 million in payroll tax measures to support small businesses:
- small businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million that pay payroll tax will receive a one-off grant of $17,500;
- $1 million payroll tax threshold brought forward by six months to 1 July 2020;
- impacted businesses that pay $7.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages can defer payroll tax payments until 21 July 2020.