Federal Government

RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES & SOLE TRADERS 

If you’re a small or medium business with an annual turnover of less than $250 million who is dealing with the economic impacts of COVID-19, you may be able to access loans of up to $5 million over a term of up to 10 years. The Federal Government guarantee will be 80% of the loan amount and lenders are permitted to offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 24 months. Loans can be used for a broad range of business purposes, including to support investment.
Loans may be used to refinance any pre-existing debt of an eligible borrower. Loans can be either unsecured or secured (excluding residential property). The interest rate on loans will be determined by lenders, but will be capped at around 7.5%, with some flexibility for interest rates on variable rate loans to increase if market interest rates rise over time. Loans are available from 1 April 2021 until 31 December 2021.
Effective from 1st October 2021, in recognition of the continued economic impacts of COVID-19, the Federal Government will remove requirements for SMEs to have received JobKeeper during the March quarter of 2021 or to have been a flood affected business in order to be eligible under this Scheme.

Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund

If you’re an organisation with the primary purpose of the arts and entertainment and you can demonstrate that – in the absence of this funding – your activity would be substantially less likely to proceed due to a constrained availability of finance as a consequence of COVID-19, you may be eligible for funding. The program is targeting funding towards the arts and entertainment sector organisations to assist in the presentation of cultural and creative projects, activities and events to rebuild confidence amongst investors, producers and consumers.

Batch 6 closed to applications on 24 October 2021. Due to the high volume of applications submitted to this Batch, and the need to provide funding to the sector as soon as possible, applications are being assessed in priority order from when projects commence. Applications that identified a project start date of before 1 February 2022 are being assessed first and an outcome of funding will be known by early December 2021—these will be included in assessment Batch 6. Applications that identified a project start date of 1 February 2022 or later, can expect to know the outcome of their application from late January 2022—these will now be included in assessment Batch 7. The closing date of the final Batch of the program (Batch 7) is 5 December 2021 at 23:59 AEDT. 

The program guidelines were updated in October 2021 to clarify that rescheduling costs for projects impacted by COVID-19 restrictions are eligible, and that existing recipients are eligible to apply for additional costs that will be incurred due to rescheduling because of COVID-19.

If you have any questions or need further information, please email the RISE Fund at: RISE@arts.gov.au or call 02 6271 7971.

 

Employee Relations

Unlike JobKeeper in 2020, there are no Fair Work national “enabling directions” governing stand downs or reduced hours. Businesses should seek legal advice on employment law issues.
Refer to the Fair Work Resources relating to stand downs during lockdowns.

If you make a request to the ATO, you may be eligible for: 

 

Increase in Instant Asset Write-Off

The ATO has increased its instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000 per asset for eligible businesses, who can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

RELIEF FOR INDIVIDUALS

COVID-19 Disaster Payment 

Applications have now closed as a result of vaccination rates in NSW, even if your area is affected by movement restrictions.

 

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

If you cannot earn an income because you must self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19, you may be eligible for a $1,500 lump sum payment to help you during the 14 days you need to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone.

Other COVID-19 Payments

If you need longer term financial help, you may be able to get a payment such as:

 

Help with Paying Amounts Owing to the ATO

If you make a request to the ATO, you may be eligible for: