The Australian Government has announced a $189 billion economic plan in response to coronavirus COVID-19.
On 12 and 22 March 2020, the government announced measures to help the economy withstand and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Support for businesses includes:

Cash flow assistance for businesses

  • Providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses, and not for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000.
  • Providing 50 per cent wage subsidies to eligible employers of apprentices and trainees for up to nine months from 1 January to 30 September 2020.
  • Up to $125 billion in support for credit to flow through $20 billion of loan guarantees for small businesses, and actions announced on Thursday 20 March to support $90 billion of business lending.
  • Eligible employers that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 100% of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $50,000.

Eligibility for Employers payments

  • Eligible employers that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $10,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax. The payments will only be available to active eligible employers established before 12 March 2020.

Timing of Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments

  • The Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payment will be applied to a limited number of activity statement lodgments. We will deliver the payment as a credit to the entity upon lodgment of their activity statements. If this places the entity in a refund position, we will deliver the refund within 14 days.
  • Quarterly lodgers will be eligible to receive the first payments for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020.
For more information about the eligibility and timing of the payments please go to the following ATO website.

Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business

  • A Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme which will support small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get access to working capital to help them get them through the impact of the coronavirus.
  • A temporary increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive.

Delivering support for business investment

  • An increase the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • A time limited 15-month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions.

Best practice for businesses is to have a continuity plan.

  • Small Business Victoria provides low cost mentoring services to help you work through or develop a recovery plan. You can book an appointment with a mentor here.
  • CPA Australia has developed some high-level tips to help businesses respond to COVID-19, including staying up-to-date with information, considering the potential impacts on your business, putting a contingency plan in place and seeking professional advice if required.
  • You can a detailed summary of potential actions and more resources for business on the CPA Australia website. These include Disaster Recovery Toolkits and tax information for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Support for workers and households

  • 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
  • Allow individuals in financial stress as a result of the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.
  • The Income support for individuals fact sheet for individuals please click here
  • The Income support fact sheet for households please click here

Working for Victoria Fund

  • Under the Working for Victoria Fund, displaced workers will be eligible to apply for different types of work.
  • Some displaced workers will have skills that can be readily transferred to new roles. The Government can also assist skills development or help people in obtaining immediate accreditation to commence work.
  • As a displaced worker, to register your interest in receiving more details of the program please provide your contact information here.
    Businesses that need workers can get in touch here.
Please note: This information has been updated in line with part two on the Australian Government’s economic response announced on Sunday 22 March, 2020.
For the latest advice, information and resources, see the DHHS coronavirus page.
  • If you suspect you, your staff or a regular customer may have the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) call the DHHS dedicated hotline on 1800 675 398.
  • National Coronavirus Health Information Line – 1800 020 080 (this number operates 24/7 – if you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450)
  • Chartered Accountants Australia provides information on business and tax impacts.
  • The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry provides resources  for businesses and it offering free annual membership up to $700 value so all Victorian businesses can access its services.
  • The Australian Banking Association  recommends contacting your bank to access any assistance on offer due to the financial impact of coronavirus on your business. This could include deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans. If you’re not sure who to contact, the ABA’s website has a list of hardship contact details.
  • The ATO can provide tailored support to businesses feeling the effects of COVID-19. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or getting behind with your tax and super obligations, contact the ATO (on 1800 806 218) or speak to your tax professional.