This week we have seen Parliament pass through the initial stimulus package as well as a second package valued at $66.1 billion bringing the total relief to $83.7 billion so far. The government has indicated that further stimulus initiatives will be undertaken.
What does this mean for small business owners?
The government knows that the worsening health crisis in relation to COVID-19 will continue to impact the economy as a whole and as Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, they are trying to “cushion the blow as best we can”. There are over 2 million small businesses in Australia so helping them to survive this crisis is vitally important.
What has been added to the stimulus package?
Apart from the things like the increased instant tax write off and the accelerated depreciation deduction arrangements, the government has also introduced a raft of further measures.
Increased Income Support
One of the most important of these is their expansion of the eligibility for income support payments and establishing a new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. After a push from the Opposition, these support payments also became available to an expanded category of people including sole traders, the self-employed, casual and contract workers. The level of means testing has also been reduced to allow more people to access the payments.
Assistance for Affected Regions, Communities & Industries
$1 billion of the relief package has been set aside to help some key industries over the coming months and year. Tourism, agriculture and education sectors all stand to benefit from this.
Other Help Available
Australian Taxation Office (ATO)
The ATO recognises that these are trying times for businesses as they struggle to survive the COVID-19 crisis. As such, they have relaxed some of their requirements for businesses and are endeavouring to help with cash flow.
The ATO will provide cash flow boosts of up to $100 000 and will deliver them through credits in the activity statement system starting from April.
Individuals are also able to access their superannuation to help them get through this difficult time. According to the ATO website, “the government is allowing individuals affected by COVID-19 to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019–20 and a further $10,000 in 2020–21. Individuals will not need to pay tax on amounts released and the money they withdraw will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.”
Trade Institute of Victoria also here to help
We are fortunate to be able to continue educating our students remotely via virtual classrooms.
All our current and upcoming courses are still proceeding as planned. With work slowing down for many, it might be the perfect opportunity to gain those skills that will see you be more in demand on the other side of this crisis.
To find out more about our courses, visit our website.