Community News

Coronavirus information for business

April 01, 2020

As you know we're going through an unprecedented health crisis and the impact on small businesses is significant. This is something that affects all of us, and we can only get through it by working together.

My team has been contacting local Chambers of Commerce and small business representatives in the last couple of days about the impact of the coronavirus on local Southside businesses.

As you may have seen in the media, the federal government recently announced a stimulus package to combat the impacts of COVID-19. The Labor state government has also announced a substantial package, and I thank my state colleagues for their work.

Federally, Labor has been calling for stimulus to support our economy, our businesses and our workforce, for some time now.

As always, details are rapidly changing, but I hope the below helps.

Do you have questions about the government's small business support measures?

Up-to-date information about the support being offered to businesses is available at www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus.

If you have a specific enquiry, you can email treasury at [email protected]

You can also phone Treasury on 02 6263 3030 (Mon-Fri, 8.30am - 5.30pm AEST).

Commonwealth support for businesses

This is a general summary and is not financial advice. Information is correct at the time of printing but is subject to change. The implementation of these measures is up to the Commonwealth government. More detailed information is available at treasury.gov.au

Cashflow

Up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000:

  • Eligibility:
    • Small and medium-sized business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers.
    • NFPs, including charities, that have an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and employ workers.
  • Calculation of the amount (up to $100,000 in total, paid in separate lots):
    • a payment equal to 100 per cent of salary and wages withheld, with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000;
    • an additional payment in the July – October 2020 period equal to the total of the previous payment.

Insolvency prevention

Measures aimed at preventing insolvency:

  • temporary increases to:
    • the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company; and
    • the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive
  • temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent
  • temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis

Tax Office

Tailored arrangements with the ATO (eg temporary reduction of payments or deferrals, or withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups).

Depreciation

Instant asset write-off:

  • Increased from $30,000 to $150,000;
  • expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

Accelerated depreciation:

  • 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.

Apprentices and trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage for 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice.

Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter).

Jobkeeper payment 

Businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus may be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying employees. Under the JobKeeper program, businesses can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months. 

This assistance is designed to keep employees connected with their employers. 

Businesses need to register their interest through the ATO:  https://www.ato.gov.au/general/gen/JobKeeper-payment/

More information about this program including fact sheets for employers and employees can be found at https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/jobkeeper

New business point of contact in Treasury:

[email protected]

Credit measures

New credit measures include:

  • a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending
    temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers
  • 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)
  • support from the RBA and APRA

Banks financial hardship teams

  • Assistance could include:
  • deferring loan payments,
  • waiving fees and charges,
  • helping with debt consolidation,
  • waiving penalties for early withdrawal of a term deposit or deferring upcoming credit card payments and increasing emergency limits

Call your bank’s financial hardship team. Phone numbers can be found here:
www.ausbanking.org.au/campaigns/financial-hardship/

State measures

The Queensland Labor government has announced its own support package. I am grateful to my state Labor colleagues for their swift and strong support. 

For state measures that may support your business, you can read about the industry support package for Queensland at www.qld.gov.au/industryrecovery


These are difficult times, for households and business alike.

General Coronavirus Information and Contacts

Please visit www.terributlermp.com/corona for general information and contacts.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to get in touch with me at [email protected].

OUR STRONG VOICE FOR THE SOUTHSIDE