COVID-19 Assistance Programs

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

Australian Federal Government
SA Government
Other Sources

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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SA Government

Jobs Rescue Package

Payroll tax relief with a 6-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4 million. Supporting community organisations, businesses and industry sectors severely affected by COVID-19.

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VET Package

This will support non-government training providers in their critical role of meeting the skills needs of the state, to adapt and remain viable as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to evolve.

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Regional Growth Fund

For projects that unlock new economic activity in regional areas and strengthen regional communities.

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$20 million tourism industry boost

Grants from $20,000 to $500,000 are available for businesses in the tourism sector for new and improved regional accommodation and quality tourism product and experiences that attract more visitors and a higher return. Grants provided will fund up to 30% of the total project cost.

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Economic and Business Growth Fund

The State Government committed $100 million to the Economic and Business Growth Fund (the Fund) to promote economic growth in South Australia by encouraging growth of existing industries, developing new industries, building international connections, and attracting foreign and national direct investment.

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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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