Information on government support for businesses

This article will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.


The Federal Government has announced several measures in order to help businesses survive through this period.

It is providing up to $100,000 to small and medium-sized businesses (SME) with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million, with a minimum of $20,000 to help companies retain staff and pay other bills.

Under the enhanced scheme from the first package, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld, with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000.

In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. The payment will be available from 28 April 2020.

The government will establish the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which will allow SMEs access to working capital during the virus pandemic.

Under the scheme, the Government will guarantee 50 per cent of new loans issued by eligible lenders to SMEs.

Additionally, the government is temporarily increasing 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.

Big and small businesses will also begin receiving a fortnightly subsidy of up to $1,500 per employee, with payments backdated, in order to help companies pay workers and keep them employed.

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The Victorian Government has put in place a $1.7 billion assistance packages for businesses in the state, with the money delivered in a variety of ways.

The government will provide full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million, with payments beginning last week.

In order to move money into the economy faster, the Victorian Government will pay outstanding supplier invoices within five business days, commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief and 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible businesses.

A business hotline (ph: 13 22 15) for assistance during this period has also been established, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said more support will be provided as the situation develops.

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New South Wales

The NSW Government has pledged $450 million for the waiver of payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for the remainder of the 2019-20 financial year, while $56 million has been placed to bring forward the next round of payroll tax cuts by raising the threshold limit to $1 million in 2020-21.

A range of fees and charges for small businesses have been waived and the NSW Government has allotted $500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.

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Western Australia

As part of its stimulus package, the WA Government has brought the $1 million payroll tax threshold forward by six months 1 July 2020, while payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500.

Small and medium-sized businesses impacted by the virus can apply to defer payment of their 2019-20 payroll tax until 21 July 2020.

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South Australia

The SA Government has pledged $300 million to support individual business and industry sectors directly affected by COVID-19 and has established a $250 million community and jobs fund to support industry sectors facing potential collapse and loss of jobs.

The state government is enacting a six-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll tax up to $4 million, while employers with group annual wages above that amount can defer for six months.

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Employers in Queensland who pay $6.5 million or less in wages will be eligible to receive a refund on payroll tax for two months, while no payroll taxes need be paid for three months.

Businesses can also apply for a deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year, while those who pay more than $6.5 million in taxable wages can still apply for the deferral and refund if it has been negatively affected by COVID-19.

The state government has also established its $500 million Jobs Support Loan scheme, where local businesses financially impacted by the virus can apply for low interest loans of up $250,000 in order to maintain their operations and retain employees.

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Northern Territory

In the NT, the government has allocated $50 million to its Small Business Survival Fund, which includes an initial lump sum payment directed to businesses to help offset immediate cost pressures.

The maximum lump sum is $50,000 for business with more than 20 full time equivalent employees.

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