The world is going through an extraordinary time with the outbreak of COVID-19 and we all need to be strong and work together to contain the spread.
A large number of Australian businesses and their employees have already been impacted greatly, particularly in sectors such as travel, accommodation, and hospitality.
At the same time, we are seeing some better outcomes in other industries that have not been as heavily impacted – such as hardware & industrial supplies, landscaping supplies, irrigation, and wholesale. Some industries, such as pharmacy, are even experiencing an upturn.
With that in mind, we all share a willingness to keep business running and the economy ticking over to the extent that is possible, whilst adhering strictly to social distancing guidelines and other important government recommendations.
We have provided some useful information and links below for your reference.
Economic Response to the Coronavirus
If you are operating a Business, there are a number of stimulus packages and other forms of assistance available to you.
The Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months.
If you can’t pay your bill on time, you may be able to delay payment, pay your bill off in smaller amounts, and avoid disconnection.
The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.
The Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak.
Measures include refunds of payroll tax for 2 months, a payroll tax holiday for 3 months, deferral of payments for 2020.
Support for Individuals and Households
If you are employed (self employed or other), you will want to take note of the Centrelink payments in case you are stood down in your position or made redundant. We have listed some links below for more information.
The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight.
Individuals affected by the coronavirus can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus.
MORE INFORMATION ON COVID-19Australian Government World Health Organization
How can I prevent the spread of coronavirus?Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water, including before and after eating, and after going to the toilet
- cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and wash your hands
- avoid contact with others (stay more than 1.5 metres from people)
- stay at home if unwell.
Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.The phone number of your state or territory public health agency is available at www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts
If you have concerns about your health, speak to your doctor.
A Positive Outlook
Please remember, our number one priority must be the health of ourselves and those around us. But secondary to that is maintaining our livelihoods – we must remain positive, take advantage of the measures put in place to help, and believe that we will come out the other side of this and prosper as individuals, as businesses, and as a country.