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COVID-19 – Government Stimulus Package Announced: What You Need to Know

Dear Clients

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews this morning announced Step 1 measures to be imposed in Victoria at 12.00 midday yesterday, to contain the Coronavirus. The Premier’s announcement focused on limiting peoples attendance at social venues, including;

  • Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • Gyms and indoor sporting venues
  • Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
  • Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
  • Religious gatherings, places of worship, weddings or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).


There are no fixed timelines attached to these restrictions being lifted. Unless VACC members fall into one of the above categories they should continue with the running of their businesses but with all care taken to maximise social distancing. Where staff can work from home employers should consider if this is an option for them.

Jobs Packages for small and medium businesses – including apprenticeship support

Attached is an Australian Government Fact Sheet – Economic Response to the Coronavirus – incentives to employers covering two areas:

  1. Small to Medium Businesses with an annual turnover under $50,000,000 can receive up to $100,000 – Via ATO and business activity statements – will receive credits or refund.  https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses
  2. Small Businesses (<20 staff) who have apprentices started before 1st March 2020 can receive up to $21,000 – Contact your Apprenticeship Network Provider


The Victorian State Government have set up an Economic Survival and Jobs Package for small to medium businesses impacted by COVID-19. To register your interest in receiving more details provide your contact information here:

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/economic-survival-and-jobs-package


ATO Advice – Cash Payment Boost

As part of the stimulus package announced by the Federal Government earlier this month, a Cash Payment Boost was listed as a stimulus measure.

The incentive is an addition to the enhancement to the instant asset write off.

Please find attached information compiled by Stanwycks on accessing the Cash Payment Boost, which includes:

  • Eligibility
  • Timing
  • ATO administration relief

What is Aggregated Turnover?

To clarify this concept – “Aggregated Turnover” is generally your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of any business:

  • Connected with you; or
  • That is your affiliate.

If your business is in a company or trust, your aggregated turnover includes your annual turnover, plus the annual turnover of all the entities that are connected or affiliated with your company/trust.  These connected or affiliated companies may be based in Australia or overseas.

An entity is connected with you if:

  • You control or are controlled by that entity; or
  • Both you and that entity are controlled by the same third entity.


Importantly, the ATO specifically note that Employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.

It is important to highlight that these administrative measures being implemented by the ATO are not automatic (like for example the Bushfire Relief Measures were).  Any business owner wanting to obtain assistance is required to contact the ATO on 1800 806 218, to discuss their situation.  Given the highly fluid nature of current events, we are still seeking clarification on the ATO’s criteria to define a business as being impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Useful information regarding access to credit from Australian Banks

The Australian Government has announced a package that they will support the Australian small business sector as a result of the crisis COVID-19.

Part of the government’s stimulus package, it has been announced that Australian businesses with less than $50m turnover may be able to access an unsecured loan of up to $250k.

The criteria or features surrounding those loans will see:

  • no repayments for six months;
  • no establishment or account fees;
  • no interest will be payable unless the loan is used.


As an example, the Commonwealth Bank has advised that these loans will be available from today. Take this link and read more on how these loans may be of assistance to your business.  Banks are also offering advice on the suite of offerings announced by the Federal Government.

Useful Links

The following links are provided for members:

Government websites:

Department of Human and Health Services
https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/

Australian Taxation Office
https://www.ato.gov.au/General/New-legislation/The-Australian-Government-s-Economic-Response-to-Coronavirus/

Treasury
https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

BusinessGov
https://www.business.gov.au/

Victorian State Government
https://www.vic.gov.au/

Worksafe Victoria
https://www.worksafe.vic.gov.au/

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