Coronavirus Support for Small Businesses

This page will be updated regularly with the latest information and support

We understand the hardship and uncertainty around COVID-19 and its potential impact on you and your business, and we would like to keep you informed with the latest information about the much-needed financial support available so you can easily access these resources. We’re backing you to get through this difficult time.

Three-Step Plan for Reopening Australia

The government released a Three-Step Plan recently, aims to gradually reopen Australia after the Coronavirus crisis and make Australia COVID-safe. States and territories may adjust according to their circumstances. The government hopes the last step could be achieved by July, and below are the details about each step:

The restrictions on connection with friends and family will be relaxed, and some businesses reopen with COVIDSafe.

Australians can do more:

Step two is very similar to step one, double the number of people allowed to a gathering, and most business reopen with COVIDSafe.

Australians can do more:

Reopening of business and community with minimal restrictions in COVIDSafe way.

Australians can do more:

Support Available for Businesses

 Last updated 24 April

What is it?

To support commercial tenants affected by coronavirus, the government announced new rental waivers and deferrals. Landlords cannot terminate leases or drawing on a tenant’s security while tenants must remain committed to the terms of your lease.

The waivers must constitute for at least 50% of the reduction and rental deferrals must be spread over the remaining time of the lease term and for at least 2 years.

Hold on evictions and a code of conduct for renters

The Government has announced a temporary hold on evictions and a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These measures will be implemented by State or Territory Government.

Eligibility

When

From 3 April 2020 for the period during the JobKeeper Program remains operational

Fact Sheet

 Rent relief package

 Last updated 24 April

What is it?

The JobKeeper wage subsidy allows businesses impacted by COVID-19 have access to $1,500 (before tax) fortnightly payments for each full-time or part-time staff members up to 6 months so that they can retain their employees.

JobKeeper payment rules:

To ensure the integrity and the efficient operation of the JobKeeper payment, the Government has announced the operation of some rules. Find out more information about the JobKeeper Update here.

Extension of time to enrol for the JobKeeper scheme

The Australian Commissioner of Taxation has extended the time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods, from 30 April 2020 until 31 May 2020.

Eligible employers

Eligible employees

How to claim

When the payment start?

Businesses are expected to receive the first payment in the first week of May 2020, however they will be backdated to 30 March 2020.

Fact Sheet

 JobKeeper Payment for small businesses, including sole traders

 Last updated 29 April

What is it?

The government is providing $20,000 to $100,000 tax-free cash flow support to eligible businesses so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff. This will be done through 2 sets of cash flow boosts.

Eligibility

How to apply?

You DON’T need to apply as the payment will be automatically calculated by ATO.

When can you receive it?

(1). Initial boost:

The initial cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system from 28th April 2020 upon employers lodging activity statements for each monthly or quarterly period from March to June 2020.

(2). Additional payment:

Fact Sheet

 Cash flow assistance for business

 Last updated 02 April

What is it?

To help small businesses retain apprentices and trainees, the government is offering a wage subsidy of 50% of their wages for 9 months from January 1 to September 30, 2020.

Eligibility

Businesses with less than 20 employees will be eligible to reimburse up to a maximum of $21,000 per apprentice or trainees ($7,000 per quarter).

When to apply?

Businesses can claim from early April 2020 and final claims must be lodged by 31 December 2020.

How to apply?

Contact an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) provider.

Fact Sheet

 Supporting apprentices and trainees

 Last updated 25 March

What is it?

The government temporarily increasing the threshold to $20,000 and more time to respond to demands from creditors. Temporary relief will also be available from directors’ personal insolvent trading liability.

How to apply?

You DON’T need to apply as ATO will tailor solutions for your circumstances.

When

These relief measures will apply for 6 months.

Fact Sheet

 Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses.

 Last updated 02 April

What is it?

To provide cash flow benefits for businesses, the government has been increased the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and extended to businesses with turnover less than $500 million.

Eligibility

When does it apply?

This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second-hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.

Fact Sheet

 Delivering support for business investment.

 Last updated 02 April

What is it?

To support business investment and economic growth, the Government is offering a time limited 15 month investment incentive by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Eligibility

When does it apply?

This applies to first used or installed ready for use assets immediately until 30 June 2021.

Fact Sheet

 Backing business investment.

Supporting the Flow of Credit

What is it?

To help businesses access working capital and meet their cash flow needs, the Government will provide a guarantee 50% to eligible lenders of new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs.

Eligibility

When does it apply?

Early April 2020 and be available for new loans made by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.

How to apply?

Contact your financial institution for more information. The Government is working with banks and other lenders at the moment.

Fact Sheet

 Coronavirus SEM Guarantee Scheme

What is it?

The Government is providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for 6 months for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers to access to credit faster and easier.

Fact Sheet

 Access to credit for small business

What is it?

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) provides banks an access to at least $90 billion in funding at a fixed interest rate of 0.25% to reduce borrowing costs for households and businesses. A further easing in the cash rate to 0.25% to support the economy.

Fact Sheet

 Supporting the flow and reducing the cost of credit - RBA

What is it?

The Government is providing the Australian Office of Financial Management (AOFM) with $15 billion to invest in structured finance markets used by smaller lenders, including non-Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (non-ADIs) and smaller Authorised Deposit-Taking Institutions (ADIs).

This program will help smaller lenders who are not able to benefit from the RBA’s term funding facility, to maintain access to funding and support competition in the lending market. This in turn will help keep mortgages and other borrowing costs for businesses low.

Fact Sheet

 Supporting Non-ADI and smaller ADI lenders in the securitization market

What is it?

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has announced temporary changes to its expectations regarding bank capital ratios. The changes will support banks’ lending to customers, particularly if they wish to take advantage of the new facility being offered by the RBA.

Fact Sheet

 Ensuring banks are well placed to lend

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FAQs about COVID-19 Support