COVID-19 Assistance Programs

The information on this page was updated on September 28, 2020.

Australian Federal Government
WA Government
Other Sources

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Australian Federal Government

Boosting Cashflow for Employers

Businesses with an annual turnover of up to $50m will receive a payment equal to 100% of your salary and wages taxes withheld with a minimum payment of $10,000 even if you are not required to withhold tax on salary and wages. A maximum payment of $50,000 will be available.

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Supporting apprentices and trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice or trainee’s wages paid until 31 March 2021.

Small businesses (less than 20 employees) who retain an apprentice or trainee. Medium-sized businesses (199 employees or less) are now eligible for the subsidy, for wages paid from 1 July 2020 – 31 March 2021.

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2nd Stimulus package – relaxation of insolvency measures

There will be more flexibility with respect to creditor initiated insolvency and voluntary administration actions. Moving the limits of the outstanding amount from $2,000 to $20,000 and timing to respond to 6 months instead of 21 days.

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Instant Asset Write-Off (IAOW)

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

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EMDG additional funding

Increased funding so that eligible applicants will receive their full entitlement.

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SME Guarantee Scheme Phase 2

Federal Government will guarantee half the value of new bank loans to SMEs (Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million) to unlock up to $40B in finance.

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Business Wage Subsidies

The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.

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$500m Loans for exporters

The new COVID-19 Export Capital Facility will target loans to established and previously profitable exporters who, due to COVID-19, are unable to gain finance from commercial sources.

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Rental relief package

Businesses with turnover under $50 million that are eligible for JobKeeper payments will be protected by new laws to be passed in each State.

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$50M NBN Relief

Relief measures will include waiving wholesale monthly costs paid by internet providers for small and medium businesses facing COVID- 19 related financial hardship, and providing internet providers with discounted access to new business-grade services until 31 January next year.

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Australian Energy Regulator – Statement of Expectation

Protecting customers and the energy market during COVID-19 – Not binding, however expectation that small business owners who indicate they are experiencing financial stress to be offered a payment plan or hardship exemptions.

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Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund

Grants between $75,000 and $2m are available to assist companies in the arts and entertainment sector to restart, re-imagine or create new activities, including festivals, concerts and tours, that have been impacted by Covid-19.

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Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries

Includes: An initiative to help agricultural and fisheries sector to export produce into key overseas markets, with return flights bringing back medical supplies.

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Includes: For small regional businesses (19 employees or less) to access free and confidential financial counselling.

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WA Government

Small business advisory service

Free business advice to help current and aspiring small business owners in Western Australia. This service can assist with a short-term problem, a longstanding issue, or discuss ideas to help you grow your business.

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WA Rent Relief Plan

Rent waived for six months for eligible tenants of buildings owned by government agencies and trading enterprises, effective immediately.

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Third economic package

Includes: $502m for small businesses including a reduction in electricity bills and licences fees waived

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Free training for impacted trainees

Training costs will be covered for apprentices and trainees who have had their contracts cancelled or suspended to continue their training ‘off the job’ for up to 6 months.

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New Industries Fund

Up to $800k from the $16.7m New Industries Fund allocated to support start-ups and SMEs affected by COVID-19.

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Industry support for travel agents

The program will support travel agents to continue paying their fixed operating expenses to provide support while the Federal Government formulates a longer-term solution.

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Grants for commercial landlords

The program provides landlords, who provide rent relief to their small business tenants, with partial compensation through a grant that is linked to their land tax obligations. Assistance will be provided through a capped grant program of $100 million. Grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to encourage landlords to quickly negotiate rent reductions with eligible tenants.

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Lotterwest: Strengthening and Adapting Organisations

The objective of this grant program is to support organisations and community groups to prepare for, and implement, longer-term organisational changes. This support will foster a more innovative, collaborative and resilient network of not-for-profit organisations and community groups that can better serve the needs of communities during and following the crisis.

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Other Sources

Electricity and Gas Network Relief Package

Energy networks across New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia have announced a suite of measures to provide support to customers enduring hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Westpac – Tailored help for small businesses

Businesses with less than $50m turnover. Assistance will include

  • Unsecured 3-year term loan up to $250,000
  • Interest rate reduction on existing loans, overdrafts and cash loans
  • Deferment of repayments for up to 6 months.
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ANZ – COVID-19 support package

Small and Medium Business customers with ANZ. Assistance will include:

  • Decrease variable interest small business loan rates
  • Six-month payment deferral with interest capitalised
  • Temporary 12 month increase in overdraft
  • Rate reduction for new small business loans for 2-3 years
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CommBank – COVID19 Support

Small and Medium business customers with CBA. Assistance includes:

  • Unsecured loans with no establishment or account fees, and no repayments required for 6 months
  • Automatic deferring of loan repayments
  • Reduced rates on business loans and overdrafts
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NAB – COVID19 Assistance

Small and Medium Business customers with NAB. Assistance includes the following:

  • Defer principal and interest for up to 6 months on a range of business loans
  • Interest rate reduction on existing and new loans and overdrafts
  • Deferred business credit card payments
  • Request merchant terminal (including HICAPS) fees are waived for up to 6 months.
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Facebook – USD $100m Small business grants programme

Up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in more than 30 countries will be able to receive a grant from Facebook. To be eligible to apply, your business must:

  • have between 2 and 50 employees
  • have been in business for over a year
  • have experienced challenges due to COVID-19
  • be in or near a location where Facebook operates
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