Changes to COVID-19 support for business

With NSW, Victoria and ACT to exit lockdown at the onset of 70% and 80% full vaccination targets in line with the national Roadmap, various jointly funded COVID-19 business support measures are also changing. Broadly, most business support payments in NSW, Victoria and ACT will start winding down at 70% full vaccination, and the payments are expected to cease when the State/Territory reaches the 80% full vaccination target. However, the wind-down of support levels differ based on the size of business and the State/Territory the business is in.

With the Federal government getting ready to reopen large swathes of the country when various States and Territories reach an 80% full vaccination target, it is also making changes to jointly funded business supports in line with its Roadmap.

NSW

When the State reaches 70% vaccination of eligible population (16 years and over), expected to be around 10 October, the jointly funded JobSaver payments will taper from the current payment rate equivalent to 40% of weekly payroll to 30% of weekly payroll. This means the minimum payment will drop to $1,125 (down from $1,500) per week, and the maximum payment will drop to $75,000 (down from $100,000) per week. From that date, non-employing businesses such as sole traders will only be eligible to receive $750 (down from $1,000) per week.

In addition, once the State reaches the 80% full vaccination target, expected to occur by 31 October, the Federal government will stop funding the JobSaver. However, the NSW government has committed to provide standalone funding the JobSaver from that date at a rate of 15% of a business’ weekly payroll before ceasing completely on 30 November. The minimum and maximum payment from that date is expected to be $562.50 and $37,500 per week, respectively. Non-employing businesses can expect to receive a maximum of $375 per week.

The State government will also continue to fund micro-business grants at a rate of $750 per fortnight after the 80% full vaccination target is reached, however, the grant will also cease on 30 November.

Victoria

The State and Federal government will continue to fund the Business Costs Assistance Program (Round 5) which will enable eligible businesses to receive 2 fortnightly payments between 1 October and 29 October. Eligible non-employing businesses will receive $1,000 per week. Employing businesses with an annual payroll of up to $650,000 will receive $2,800 a week and those with a payroll of between $650,000 and $3m will receive $5,600 per week. Businesses with a payroll between $3m and $10m will receive $8,400 per week.

Those businesses that remain “severely restricted” between the 70% and 80% full vaccination target period will be eligible to receive an automatic payment from 29 October to 13 November. Businesses that have previously received payments under the Business Costs Assistance Program will be eligible for these additional payments.

The licensed hospitality venue fund will also be jointly funded with further payments in October. Weekly payments depends on venue capacity starting from $5,000 (for a capacity of up to 99 patrons) to $20,000 (for a capacity of 500 or more). These payments will begin to taper when the State reaches the 70% vaccination target, with payments to metropolitan Melbourne premises reduced by 25% and those in regional Victoria by 50%.

Lastly, another $600 million has been added to the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund which will support around 65,000 businesses with one-off grants of $20,000. The previous funding pool had been fully subscribed.

ACT

From mid-October to when ACT is expected to reach 80% full vaccination rate, the ACT COVID-19 business grant extension payment of $10,000 will be available for all employing businesses who were eligible for the grant in industries still significantly impacted by the restrictions (non-employing businesses will be eligible to receive $3,750). Businesses with higher turnovers will receive the payment at a greater rate.

In addition, ACT’s COVID-19 tourism, accommodation provider, arts, events, hospitality and fitness grants will also be expanded from mid-October to offer:

  • $5,000 for non-employing businesses;
  • $8,000 for employing businesses with turnover less than $2m;
  • $15,000 for employing businesses with turnover greater than $2m and less than $5m; and
  • $25,000 for employing businesses with turnover greater than $5m.

These extended payments will taper once ACT reaches 70% full vaccination rate and will cease when 80% full vaccination rate is reached.

Need to help to plan for the future?

If your business needs more assistance, we can help you get your applications in quickly before allocation of funding is exhausted for various measures. We can also help you work out your financial position and assist with forecasting, contact us today for expert help and advice to get your business back on the road to recovery.