State and Federal Government Support during COVID-19

Many businesses and stakeholders are experiencing challenges in navigating the various program and support streams available. 

Below is a summary of key programs and resources available to business in Victoria that may assist when communicating with your stakeholders.   

Translated text - support for businesses during COVID-19 restrictions

The JobKeeper Payment

Businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees through the JobKeeper payment. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over.

For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut.  The JobKeeper payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the self-employed. The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months. Businesses can register at this ATO

For more information if you are an employer click here and for more information if you are an employee click here.  

Visit The Australian Treasury for more information.

COVID-19 Support for Sole Traders

The JobKeeper Payment for Businesses without Employees:

Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Learn more about JobKeeper Payment for sole traders.

The increased instant asset write-off

Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.  Read more about the increased instant asset write-off .

Backing Business Investment (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.  Learn more about Backing Business Investment.

Increased and accelerated income support

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months. Find out about the increased and accelerated income support.

Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries

The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus.  Read more about the assistance for affected regions, communities and industries.

SME Guarantee Scheme

This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. Learn more about the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

Early access to superannuation

You can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.  Read more about early access to your superannuation.

Tax support

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help.

COVID19 Manufacturer Response Register Portal

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)'s portal for Australian manufacturing, component suppliers and skilled design, engineering and manufacturing experts enables manufacturers to register their interest and core competencies in support of the national response to COVID-19. 

For more information visit the COVID19 Manufacturer Response Register Portal.

Accelerating Commercialisation Grants Announced

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews MP, recently announced that another ten businesses have been offered Accelerating Commercialisation grants under the Entrepreneurs' Programme.

Accelerating Commercialisation helps Australian entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors and start-ups reach their potential sooner, which in turn boosts jobs and economic growth. Aiming to:

  • Accelerate the commercialisation of novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services
  • Support new businesses based on novel intellectual property with high growth potential
  • Generate greater commercial and economic returns from both public and private sector research and facilitate investment to drive business growth and competitiveness.

For more information on the grant recipients and to learn how to apply, visit business.gov.au

Victorian Government’s NEW Business Support Fund

Business Support Fund applications are now open as part of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival and Jobs Package. 

Firms are eligible for $10,000 if they:

•    Employ staff,
•    Are highly impacted by COVID-19 business restrictions.
•    Have a turnover of more than $75,000.
•    Have a payroll of less than $650,000.

Click here for more information.

Stage 3 Restrictions in Victoria

For information about the current stage 3 restrictions in Victoria please visit the Victorian Government and the DHHS websites.

Otherwise you can also call the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services on 1300 650 172. 

 

What is an Essential Service?

The AusIndustry national Contact Centre has been getting numerous enquiries about what constitutes an Essential Service. Currently there is NO national definition.

Click here to view the list of firms / industries that are designated NON-ESSENTIAL (and have already been ordered to close down).

 Until further notice, all remaining businesses can and should keep operating where possible (as long as social distancing measures are adhered to).

 For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health.

Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020

The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, today released the guidelines for the Energy Efficient Communities Program - Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020.

This will assist businesses and community organisations to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies and to better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills through:

  • Energy generation and storage systems.
  • Equipment upgrades that reduce energy consumption.
  • Energy audits.
  • There is an estimated $3.8 million available and the grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project costs, with a minimum grant amount of $1,000 and maximum $12,500. 

There will be a maximum of two projects funded per electorate with the first two eligible projects per electorate funded. An eligible application will not automatically be approved. We will decide which grants to approve taking into account submission time and date and distribution across federal electoral divisions.

Before applying, applicants should check business.gov.au to see if we have already received enough applications from the applicant’s electorate. The website will be updated regularly.

The program closes on 18 May 2020, and all details including eligibility requirements can be found at business.gov.au.

Mental Health Support

If you know of anyone that you are concerned about in relation to their mental wellbeing, some of the supporting groups are:

  • Salvation Army (Disasters and emergencies support) - phone 1300 662 217
  • Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 13 11 14
  • Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1300 224 636
  • Headspace  (Youth mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1800 650 890