Article by Avant Group - COVID19 Government Funding Guide: State by state

COVID19 Government Funding Guide: State by state

Posted: April 8, 2020

Last updated: April 27th, 2020

Federal and state governments have announced a range of support measures for businesses to help support companies through the COVID-19 crisis.

The funding your business is eligible for will depend on a number of factors such as your business location, industry, annual turnover etc.

We will continue to update this page regularly as more government funding measures are announced.

If you believe you are eligible for any of the funding measures below, Avant Group offers a complimentary grant eligibility assessment service. You can email [email protected] or phone our head office on (03) 8640 0914 to determine your eligibility.

NATIONAL

  • EMDG Funding Boost – Funding for scheme increased by $49.8m for FY19/20, this funding is in addition to the previous $60m committed by the government. More information here.
  • Jobkeeper Payment – The Federal Government will provide businesses with a wage subsidy of $1,500 per employee, per fortnight before tax. The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer. More information here.
  • Employer Cashflow Boost – Small to medium businesses and not for-profits (NFPs) with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million that employ staff are eligible for payments between $20,000 and up to $100,000 to help with cash flow so they can keep operating, pay bills and retain staff. More information here.
  • Temporary tax relief for financially distressed businesses – Federal Government is temporarily increasing threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company. More information here.
  • SME Guarantee Scheme – SMEs with turnover up to $50m will be eligible to receive guarantee of 50% to SME lenders. Guarantees up to $40b in new lending. More information here.
  • Instant asset write-off increased – Threshold increased from $30k-$150k and now includes business with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500m until June 30, 2020. More information here.
  • Backing Business Investment (BBI) – Eligible businesses will be able to deduct 50% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation. More information here.
  • Apprentice Wage Subsidy – Small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time workers will receive 50% of an apprentice or trainee’s wage. For each apprentice or trainee, the government will provide up to $7,000 in wage assistance per quarter up to a maximum of $21,000. The wage subsidy will be open to businesses with fewer than 20 full-time workers and employers of any size that re-employ someone who loses their position as a result of the coronavirus downturn. More information here.
  • Assistance for affected regions, communities & industries – $1 billion to support regions, communities and industries most affected by COVID-19. More information here.
  • International Freight Assistance Mechanism – $110m to assist agricultural and fisheries sector to help export produce into key overseas markets. Register your interest and find out more information here.
  • Mandatory Code for Commercial Landlords: The Federal Government has established a mandatory code, where landlords will be required to reduce rent proportionate to the trading reduction in the tenant’s business – through a combination of waivers and deferrals of rent – over the course of the pandemic period. More information here.

VIC

The Victorian Government

  • $500 million Business Support Fund for businesses most impacted by COVID-19. More information here.
  • $500 million Working for Victoria Fund – Fund to help employ displaced workers. Register your interest here.
  • $10k one-off grant to put towards utilities, rent, salaries etc. Easy to apply yourself, closes June 1st 2020. More information here.
  • Payroll Tax Refund – for businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million, will have FY19/20 payroll tax waived. More information here.
  • Liquor Fees – waived for 2020. Businesses who have already paid will be reimbursed. More information here.
  • Land tax deferral – opportunity for non-residential landowners to defer land tax under December 31, 2020. More information here.
  • Outstanding Suppliers Relief – VIC Government to pay all outstanding supplier invoices
  • Commercial Rent Costs – VIC Government working closely with commercial tenants in government buildings who can apply for rent relief.

City of Melbourne

  • $5 million in total grants for SMEs
  • $10 million to support local business/keep city residents in jobs
  • $2k for training and professional development
  • $5k for investing in online and ecommerce activities
  • $10k for capital works projects (matched funding)

More information here.

SA

  • $1 billion stimulus package announced for the state
  • Business Growth Fund – to be expanded, more details to come
  • $250 million community and jobs fund, to support for sporting, arts and recreational bodies and other affected industries
  • $50 million for local project, includes road and hospital upgrades and new tourism infrastructure
  • Business groups with annual Australian grouped wages of up to $4 million will receive a six month payroll tax waiver. Eligible groups will not pay payroll tax for the months of March through to August 2020. For those groups above the threshold that can demonstrate significant impacts from COVID-19, a six month deferral of payroll tax payments can be applied for, so that payments due in April through to September can be paid in October 2020
  • $10,000 emergency cash grants to help cover ongoing or outstanding business operating costs. More information here.
  • $5k Creative Development Support Grant to support artists, songwriters and producers in developing and/or releasing new original music composition or content
  • $20k Music Business Project Support Grant – to support self-managed artists, artist managers, promoters, live music venues, and other music businesses/organisations who facilitate the creation, production and performance of original music.
  • $20k Music Industry Initiatives Support Grants – to support individuals or organisations with a proposal for new innovative approaches, initiatives and activities that will support or stimulate the music sector during the restriction period imposed by the threat of COVID-19.
  • Businesses and individuals with land tax quarterly installments due, can defer the third and fourth installments for six months
  • The government will increase the existing land tax transition fund relief from 50% to 100%
  • The criteria for claiming Job Accelerator grants will be relaxed to account for reductions in employment levels due to COVID-19
  • Liquor licensing fees will be waived or reduced with respect to a number of licence categories
  • The Government will provide a once off boost of $500 and bring forward the 2020/21 Cost of Living Concession to a number of eligible applicants
  • Rent relief is available to businesses that have been forced to close, or have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The State Government will provide full rent relief to impacted tenants of commercial, retail, industrial and other non-residential sites from the date they closes their businesses or were impacted up until June 30th, 2020. More information here.
  • A land tax relief package will be provided to eligible landlords with a 25 per cent reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties. Landlords of SME business tenants which have been significantly affected by COVID-19 are required to pass on the full benefits to tenants. Read more here.
  • Regional Growth Fund Opens, with grants from $50,000-$2 million available for new or improved capital works, infrastructure, facilities and similar investments. Applications close 11 May 2020, visit PIRSA website for more information.
  • Financial support available for taxi drivers, a $4,300 payment to eligible operators and waiver of the year’s operator accreditation and vehicle fees. Read more here.
  • For fee relief in the mineral and petroleum sectors:
    o Deferral of costs linked to exploration and licence fees for the minerals and petroleum sectors to alleviate the impact of containment measures
  • o Deferred until 31 December 2020 for licence fees
    o 12 month waiver of committed expenditure for all mineral exploration licence holders
    o Expansion of allowable expenditures towards minimum Petroleum Retention Licence requirements during a period of low oil prices
    • For fee relief in the nature based tourism businesses:
    o Commercial tour operator licence fees waived for 6 months from April 1
    o Rents for properties leased on crown land are also waived
    o Package is $850,000 in relief
    o Things like bushwalking, camping, bus and coach tours, boating and fishing experiences, marine mammal and cage diving operators, tourism and hospitality sites
    o Part of the Jobs Rescue Package
    • Queries and submissions for the Jobs Relief Package should be sent via [email protected] and [email protected]

More information here.

QLD

  • $2.5k-$50k Diversification Grants: Grants for businesses in the agriculture, food and fish exporting industries to diversify their business and access new markets. More information here.
  • 6 month deferral of payroll tax for all businesses with the capacity to agree a repayment plan with the Queensland OSR at the end of the 6 month period
  • Coupled with this group employers with annual taxable Australian wages of less than $6.5 million can also obtain a refund of two months payroll tax as well as a payroll tax holiday for three months
  • For group employers with annual taxable Australian wages of greater than $6.5 million, where their businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 (eg reduced turnover, customers, profits etc) they will also be able to obtain a refund of two months payroll tax
  • $500 million loan facility has been announced to enable businesses to retain staff and maintain their operations. These low interest loans will be up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period.
  • The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority is responsible for the administration of these concessional loans and is currently taking expressions of interest in the lead up to rolling these loans out as soon as possible.
  • Waiving / rebating / deferring certain fees and charges relief for tourism operators and hospitality providers (e.g. liquor licence application fees, Marina charges and Passenger levies).
  • Small and medium businesses who consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours may be entitled to a $500 rebate of their energy bills.
  • $500 million to assist workers who lose their job or income and to help them find jobs in the industries that are vital to getting us through this crisis – health care, agriculture, food production, transport, cleaning and mining.
  • Providing rent relief for businesses who rent premises from the state government
  • Give Queensland households $200 off their utility bills
  • Queensland will also invest an extra $1.2 billion to expand:
    o fever clinics
    o emergency department capacity
    o acute care services
    o regional aeromedical services for our remote communities.

TAS

In Tasmania the stimulus referable to payroll taxes is more targeted as follows: To encourage the employment of young people, a youth employment payroll tax rebate will be introduced from 1 April 2020.

  • $100k tourism and hospitality training fund More information here.
  • $2.5k Small Business Emergency Support Grants, open for applications. More information here.
  • $10k-$50k for arts and digital screen productions affected by COVID-19. Closes May 4, 2020. More information here.
  • $15k Small Business Hardship Grant for seafood, tourism/accommodation, hospitality, retail, arts/entertainment and fitness sectors. Details to be announced soon. More information here.
  • $20k-$250k Business Support Loan Scheme for eligible business. More information here.
  • $5k Small Business Grants Program for hiring an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction and manufacturing industries. More information here.
  • Payroll Tax waiver for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry for the last four months of 2019-20. More information here.
  • Tourism industry – government to waive several lease, licence ad parks’ entry fees for tourism operators from April, May & June 2020. More information here.
  • Liquor License Fee – 50% discount on liquor licencing fees and all application fees waived for calendar year 2020. More information here.
  • Tasmania will also establish a $20m facility for the provision of interest free loans (for up to 3 years), for the purpose of purchasing equipment or restructuring business operations, to businesses within the hospitality, tourism, seafood and export sectors with turnover of less than $5m
  • Loans of up to $50m in total (over 3 years) will also be provided to local governments to encourage investment and associated employment to upgrade, renovate and maintain tourism assets
  • One-off $5,000 grants will be provided to businesses that hire an apprentice of trainee, from a fund of $2.1m
  • Tasmania will also provide funding for various initiatives referable to COVID-19 aimed at supporting the health sector, citizens and businesses through the crisis
  • Government leased property (to private/commercial tenants) will have rent waived for 6 months
  • Small business customers will have their next quarterly energy bill waived with energy prices to be capped for 12 months
  • Business Continuity Grant – one off grant up to $750 to fight the impact of COVID-19 for small businesses
  • Business Vehicle Registration Relief – freeze for light and heavy vehicle registration (can be reactivated for free after a maximum of 12 months), and heavy registration and motor tax waivers for 12 months
  • Provide A Digital Ready for Business Program to be boosted with $150,000 to assist business owners taking business online
  • For Government fees and charges:
    o Water and electricity bills will be waived for the 1st quarterly bill received after 1 April this year for small business customers on Tariff 22, 94, 82 or 75 in those small business on market contracts that could access those tariffs
    o Electricity prices will be capped and water prices will be frozen next financial year
    o The government will freeze all fees and charges subject to the Government Fee Units Act 1997
    o Roads component of motor tax and vehicle registration will also be waived where that business has been significantly impacted by measures taken to manage COVID-19
    o Land tax will be waived for 2021 FY for commercial property owners financially impacted by COVID-19, where land tax is paid by the business owner

NT

  • $50 million Small Business Survival Fund: Grants for small businesses to help adjust to changing trade conditions. More information here.
  • Business Improvement Grant This is aimed at helping businesses get customers back into premises by undertaking improvements to a NT business. All eligible businesses will receive $10,000. If the recipient also wants to put in their own $10,000, they will then get an additional $10,000 from the Government. This can create a $30,000 cash pool to spend on upgrades and purchases from other businesses operating NT. This could include buying new equipment, new shop fit-outs and physical changes to attract customers.
  • Business Structural Adjustment package worth $5 million This package will assist businesses who need to physically adjust to the 100 person rule or to establish or upgrade their online presence to adjust to changing behaviours of consumption. All businesses can apply, but the Department of Trade Business and Innovation will be focusing on the hospitality sector first, such as restaurants. Terms and conditions will be released soon.
  • Immediate Works Grants Package worth $5 million This package reintroduces the Immediate Works Grant for incorporated not-for-profit and community organisations – including clubs – to undertake repairs, renovations and upgrades to their premises/facilities. Applicants can apply for grants of up to $50,000 with no co-contribution required. This will be increased to a maximum of $100,000 as the NT Government will match renovations costs that exceed $50,000.
  • Handbrake Government Fees and Charges and Electricity Prices All Government fees and charges – including electricity, water and car registration will be frozen (no increase due to indexation) until 1 July 2021. Electricity prices for small and medium businesses (those paying regulated tariffs) will be frozen from 1 July 2020 (no increase due to indexation) until 1 July 2021.
  • Home Improvement Scheme grants of $30 million Between $4,000 and $6,000 in grant money for NT homeowners and landlords who spend over $5,000 with local NT businesses on repairs, maintenance and improvements to their land and or buildings.

WA

  • $159m Lotterywest COVID-19 Relief Fund, prioritising the not-for-profit sector. More information here.
  • $17.5k grant for small business with payroll between $1-$4m will automatically be paid by cheque, ensure your postal address is up to date. More information here.
  • Payroll tax waived for four months for businesses with annual wages under $7.5 million More information here.
  • Rental payments to be waived for small businesses & not-for-profit groups for six months More information here.
  • $2.5k one-off credit on electricity bills for small businesses that consume less than 50MWh per annum More information here.
  • Liquor license renewal fees for 2020 waived More information here.
  • Interest-free payment options for range of taxes and duties for affected businesses More information here.
  • WA will also freeze household fees and charges as well as increase the level of Energy Assistance payments to support vulnerable households
  • An exemption from exploration expenditure to be considered if tenement holders unable to meet the requirements due to COVID-19. Valid until 31 March 2021. Applications done through department of mines, industry, regulation and safety
  • $91 million allocated to double the Energy Assistance Package in 2020-21 to provide additional support to vulnerable Western Australians
  • No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments. No interest will be charge on deferred bill payments
  • $3 million will be provided to fund opportunities for local COVID-19 research
  • Special team established to help support members of the tourism industry
  • 6 month grants of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor with takeaway or delivered meal with applications fast tracked and fee waived
  • From 23 March, late payment penalty tax will be remitted in full for those taxpayers who demonstrate COVID-19 has directly or indirectly affected their financial circumstances
  • $100.4 million allocated to waive a range of licence fees for small and medium businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months
  • Businesses can apply for interest free payment plans if required.
  • $9 million relief package to support taxi and on-demand transport industry
    o $4.7 million to regional taxis
    o $2500 cash payments to authorised on demand booking services that hold active passenger transport vehicle authorisation
    o Waiver of PTV authorisation renewal fees for the next 12 months
    o Camera requirement for metro and regional taxis delayed until 1 July 2021

NSW

  • $10k for funding unavoidable business costs e.g. utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice. Grant open until June 1, 2020. Easy to apply yourself, more information here.
  • Payroll tax deferral for businesses with payrolls over $10 million for six months. Check eligibility criteria here.
  • Gaming machine tax for club, pubs and hotels deferred for six months.
  • Rent deferral for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees
  • Waiver of a range of fees and charges for small businesses (including bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies)
  • $250m to employ additional cleaners of public infrastructure and $250m to bring forward maintenance on public assets as well as a further $500m to bring forward other capital works and maintenance
  • $700m funding boost to NSW Health to support various activities directly referable to COVID-19
  • Deferral of gaming tax and lotteries tax as well as parking space levies for six months
  • $1 billion Working for NSW Fund created to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain staff – it has already been used to hire Service NSW staff and additional cleaning services
    Increased funding for support with regards to homelessness, energy account assistance and charities including Lifeline.

More information here about the overarching NSW Financial Stimulus package.

ACT

The ACT government announced the following stimulus measures:

• Hospitality (cafes, pubs, hotels, clubs and restaurants), creative arts and entertainment industries will receive a one-off, six-month waiver of payroll tax from April to September 2020
• All ACT businesses with Group Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022
• Licensed venues will receive a 12-month waiver of their food business registration and on-licence liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020 and outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived. In cases where food business registration has been prepaid for more than one year in advance, an additional 12 months will be added to the license
• The ACT Government is providing support for the Vocational Education and Training Sector by increasing subsidies for apprenticeships and trainee ships and other VET students to access nationally recognised training in areas linked to skills needs across a range of industries
• An additional payment of $1.5 million will be made, as well as the existing $1.8 million in the Clubs Diversification Fund freed up to support clubs to keep staff employed at the award rate
• Small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year will see rebates of $750 automatically applied to their next electricity bill in around June or July 2020
• The Rideshare vehicle licence fee will be waived for 12 months for Rideshare operators from 1 April 2020 as part of the normal licencing processes. In cases where licences have already been prepaid 12 months in advance, an additional 12 months credit will be added to the license at the next due date. The ACT Government will also waive all government leased taxi plate fees, including wheelchair accessible taxis to help support this vital service
• Commercial property owners with an Average Unimproved Value below $2 million on their property are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge.
• The ACT Government is providing $20 million to fast track infrastructure projects and maintenance on government-owned community, school and other buildings as well as suburb maintenance. The program will focus on: works that can start immediately, be undertaken using local suppliers and workers, and meet social distancing requirements. This fund will be utilised this financial year.
• The Government will provide more funding for the removal of dead trees, planting of new trees and maintenance of surrounding areas to redeploy existing government contractors impacted by event cancellations.
• Artists may be eligible to receive funding of up to $10,000 to support arts development and the sustainability of arts practice over the next six to nine months through a $500,000 grants program. This may include the development of works to be exhibited or performed into the future, research and development, making new works or sharing of works through online platforms.