We find ourselves in the middle of week 2 of lockdown in the Canberra Dot Advisory office, and it would be too scary to count cumulatively which week of lockdown we are up to for our poor Melbourne crew. As much as we enjoy connecting with our clients, over the past few weeks we acknowledge it hasn’t been for the best reasons. With the current lockdown measures, owning and operating small business has been made far harder than usual.
To the question on everyone’s lips, aside from when will lockdowns be over; what of the small business grants and financial relief measures. While the government departments haven’t provided all of the answers just yet, please find more information on some of the key measures further down in this email.
We know from the majority of conversations that have taken place with clients for the past week, the main concern you all share is the welfare of your employees and how to keep them paid, as well as yourselves. I note that most of you and your employees are probably already aware of the COVID Disaster Relief payments of up to $750 per week available through MyGov for all individuals if they have been stood down due to inability to work under lockdown conditions. Be careful about this one if you operate your business as a Sole Trader as you can’t seek both payments and will likely be better off applying for the Business Support Grant.
For the most part there is no one size fits all, and if you need assistance talking through the options we are happy to register you for a 5-10 minute phone call appointment to discuss your situation and offer suggestions of your next steps. These are fee and obligation free, our team will add you to the phone call register and we will aim to make contact with you within 24 hours of your enquiry.
Alternatively, you can use our book a meeting link here to lock in 30 minutes or an hour with one of our Advisors, please be aware though of the fixed cost for each of these options when you make a booking. If we find that you need further assistance to register for one or more of the schemes, and/or require Accountant Letter/s of support or confirmation we will provide a fixed fee quote for the same. Costs for these services vary depending on the scale of the work required so we are sorry that we can’t provide you cost options prior to understanding your specific needs.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE MEASURES FOR YOUR BUSINESS:
Please note that the state that you apply for assistance in will be based on the state that your ABN is registered too, if you are unsure of where that is you can use the search option at this link: https://abr.business.gov.au/
For ACT Businesses
Unfortunately to this point in the ACT all most of us can do is register their interest in the COVID-19 Business Support Grant (currently $10,000) and Small Business Hardship Scheme (Up to $10,000 of credit towards various business expenses – but not a direct cash injection).
The COVID-19 Business Support Grant offers $10,000 for employing businesses and up to $4,000 for non-employers;
The Business Hardship Scheme offers up to $10,000 of credits towards various business expenses and outgoings but we don’t expect you’ll receive this as an upfront cash injection, more likely a reimbursement after proof of the outgoing can be provided;
These both have a range of eligibility criteria that must be met, most notably that you have suffered at lease a 30% decline in turnover as a result of the COVID-19 Health Restrictions. For some this may be a little more complicated to determine so please reach out if we can assist. To find out more and register your interest in the schemes, please use this link: https://www.act.gov.au/business/business-support/covid-19-economic-support-for-business
For NSW Businesses
For NSW registered businesses, the following should assist you in obtaining some grant/government assistance. Similar eligibility criteria must be met, inclusive of the decline in turnover of 30% experienced in a two week period as compared against 3 potential comparative periods as a result of the COVID-19 Health Restrictions. The main two schemes available here are the Business Grant, and JobSaver, applications for both can now be made through the following links which also offer more information about each:
Please note that these schemes in NSW have been confirmed as tax free
For VIC Businesses
For those businesses that have not previously received any financial support, you may be eligible for a grant of $14,000. You must have been severely impacted by COVID restrictions and you need to show your turnover has dropped by 70% or more and that you were ineligible for other grants. For more information see https://business.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/2031208/Small-Business-COVID-Hardship-Fund-guidelines.pdf.
If you are operating in an industry hit particularly hard by the COVID restrictions i.e. events, live performances or hospitality, you may be entitled to an industry specific grant. You can find the list of these grants at https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs.
If you received a grant previously under the Business Costs Assistance Program, you do not need to apply for Round three, you will automatically receive an additional $2,800 payment. For more information see https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/circuit-breaker-business-support-package/business-costs-assistance-program-round-three.
If you received the Business Continuity Fund payments previously, you are automatically entitled to an additional $2,000 payment. This is limited to those businesses located in the Melbourne CBD. For more information see https://business.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/circuit-breaker-business-support-package/business-continuity-fund.
Banks assistance and deferral schemes
You may wish to seek a holiday from making your usual business loan repayments to save on cash outflows. The below link is to the Australian Banking Association that lists all banks and hyperlinks directly their relief packages.
Where to next?
The team at Dot Advisory want to ensure that you feel as supported as possible throughout these testing times. If you do need assistance, please get in touch. We are all working normal hours from home to be available to you, and while we are currently experiencing significantly higher volumes of requests and questions, we promise to do our best to respond as quickly as we possibly can, and usually within 24 hours.