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COVID-19 grants

COVID: Grants for small and micro businesses

(Updated: October 2021)

Small and micro businesses consistently bear the brunt of COVID-19’s economic impact on Australia and have been calling out for COVID-19 small business grants. Now, more than a year into the pandemic, the federal and state governments’ message is clear: If you’re a sole trader or small business impacted by the pandemic, there is COVID-19 financial assistance available to you.

We have put together an updated list of all the grants and relief schemes that are available to small and micro businesses everywhere in Australia. Check them out and see if you’re eligible.

*Updated October 1, 2021*

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Payments for employees who cannot earn an income if they are required to self isolate, quarantine, or care for someone with COVID-19.

Jobmaker Hiring Credit

A scheme to incentivise businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years (before October 6, 2021, currently). Eligible employers can claim payments for eligible additional employees for up to 12 months from their employment start date.

Instant Asset Write-Off

The $150,000 Instant Asset Write-Off provides businesses with an asset write-off of up to $150,000 for assets costing less than the instant asset write-off threshold which are purchased and used in the year that the write-off is claimed.

There is no application required. The write-off is applied when you lodge your tax for the relevant year.

Indigenous Business Australia Support

Provides advice and working capital assistance of up to $200,000 for Indigenous businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.

SME Recovery Loan Scheme

Businesses who have received Jobkeeper or who have been affected by a flood may be eligible for a business loan.

Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements

Support for businesses that engage a new apprentice – to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter. There is no cap on the number of eligible trainees/apprentices.

Banks’ COVID-19 relief program

Support for small businesses to be able to defer bank loan payments and waive certain banking fees.

International Freight Assistance Mechanism

The Mechanism will temporarily assist in reducing the impacts of COVID-19 on key international supply chains and will help businesses get their products on flights and to international customers quickly. Only small businesses dealing with international markets will be eligible.

Backing Business Investment

Support to be able to deduct the cost of new depreciating assets at an accelerated rate using the backing business investment – accelerated depreciation rules.

COVID-19 Business Grant NSW

One-off grants are available to help NSW businesses, sole traders and not-for-profits survive the impacts of the recent COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions. Funding amount vary depending on the severity of the decline in turnover experienced.

COVID-19 Micro-Business Grant NSW

Payments of $1500 per fortnight to micro businesses (small business, sole traders or not-for-profits) who have experienced reduced turnover due to COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the government.

Jobsaver NSW

A payment equivalent to 40% of the weekly payroll for NSW businesses, sole traders and not-for-profits impacted by recent COVID-19 restrictions (from 18 July 2021 onwards). Federal Government support for this scheme is scheduled to end by the end of October. The NSW state government has committed to continuing to funding half of the scheme for small businesses beyond the end of October.

The NSW State Government will fund the equivalent of 15% of weekly payroll for eligible businesses.

Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate

Rebates of up to $1500 for small businesses, sole traders and not-for-profits to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and encourage growth by reducing the cost of running a business.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment – NSW

Monetary support if you couldn’t work due to a Public Health Order, lockdown, quarantine or caring for someone with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Tax Relief

Various tax relief measures for NSW businesses including the option to defer their payroll tax payments and a 25% reduction to help reduce overheads for eligible businesses with a 30% decline in turnover.

Performing Arts Support Package

Support to for arts venues, producers and promoters impacted by the cancellation or postponement of performances resulting from lockdown from 26 June 2021.

Free Mental Health Training and Coaching

COVID-19 Business Support Grant

Funding of up to $10,000 for ACT small businesses whose turnover has significantly declined as a result of public health measures in place since 12 August 2021 to respond to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Business Support Grant – non employing businesses

Support for non-employing, sole trader businesses whose turnover has significantly declined as a result of public health measures in place since 12 August 2021 to respond to COVID-19.

Small Business Hardship Scheme ACT

Support in the form of credit for small businesses impacted by the lockdown. Up to $10,000 is available through this scheme.

Accommodation and Tourism Venue Operator Support Program

A full rebate of up to $75,000 on fixed water and sewerage charges for the first 2 quarters of 2021-22 for ACT accommodation providers and private tourism operators that have experienced a significant loss of revenue.

Small Tourism Operator COVID Recovery Payment

Funding of up to $15,000 for small tourism operators affected by ongoing border closures due to COVID-19.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment – Australian Capital Territory

Payments for employees who cannot earn an income if they are required to self isolate, quarantine, or care for someone with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Small Business Commissioner

The Commissioner has been re-instated during the ACT lockdown to connect businesses with relevant areas of government so that business can access information on commercial tenancy measures, including financial assistance where eligible. The Commissioner can can help resolve and facilitate disputes as well as point to relevant government funding.

Contact details for the Covid-19 Local Business Commissioner are:

Phone: 02 6207 1585

Find out more about the small business relief available in the ACT here.

Payroll Tax Relief

Various tax relief measures for eligible Victorian business – including the waiving of 2019-20 payroll tax and exempting additional payments under the JobKeeper program from payroll tax.

Disaster Payments – Victoria

Payments for employees who cannot earn an income if they are required to self isolate, quarantine, or care for someone with COVID-19.

Live Performance Support Program (Presenters) Round 2 VIC

Funding to live performance event presenters affected by the cancellation or postponement of events due to lockdowns and public health restrictions. Funding of either $7,000 or $5,000 for one event and a further $5,000 for a second event, to a maximum amount of $12,000.

Deep Cleaning Rebate

A rebate grant amount of up to 80% of the cleaning costs to a maximum of $10,000 for small and medium-sized to help offset the costs of hiring professional cleaning services to conduct a decontamination clean.

Jobs Victoria Fund

Wage subsidies of up to $20,000 for businesses, sole traders, social enterprises and organisations to take on new, eligible staff.

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program

This program provides $1200 rebates to help small businesses access a range of digital business tools. The Victorian Government has partnered with suppliers to help build or upgrade websites, improve cash flow, start online marketing, manage jobs and projects, and keep better track of stock. Closes on December 5.

Find out more about the small business relief available in Victoria here.

Business Support Grant July 2021

Funding is available for SA small and medium-sized businesses that have suffered a significant loss of income or have been forced to close as a result of the restrictions imposed from 20 July 2021.

Additional Business Support Grant SA

Support for SA businesses in industry sectors that are significantly impacted by the COVID-19 density rules and other trading restrictions applicable from 28 July 2021.

SA Business Hardship Grant

This program provides funding to SA employing and non-employing businesses whose turnover has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Available are one-off grants of $2,000 for non-employing businesses and $6,000 for employing businesses.

Liquor Licence Holders 

Fee relief support and other initiatives are available to support liquor licence holders impacted by COVID-19.

Skilling South Australia

Several initiatives so businesses can access extra support to continue skills training their apprentices.

Tax Relief Measures SA

Various tax relief support for South Australian businesses impacted by COVID-19 including a six month payroll tax waiver.

Find out more about the small business relief available in South Australia here.

Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants

A one-off payment of $3,000 to WA small businesses affected by the circuit-breaker lockdown and interim restrictions between 29 June 2021 to 3 July 2021.

Getting the Show Back on the Road

Funding to performing arts organisations, live music producers and presenters, festival organisers and commercial event companies to help them stage a show or tour during these uncertain times.

Small business and charities electricity credit

A $500 credit for businesses or charities who incurred electricity costs at 2 February 2021 and meet the eligibility requirements.

Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive

Financial assistance to businesses who employ an apprentice or trainee whose training contract was terminated or cancelled by a previous employer on or after 1 March 2020.

Payroll Tax Relief

Payroll tax will be waived from March to June 2020 for employers whose Australian taxable wages are less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020. Also various payroll tax support measures and a one-off grant of $17,500.

WA Tourism and Travel Agent Support Fund 2021

One-off cash payments of between $2,000 and $10,000 for businesses operating in accommodation, tourism attraction and experience, tour and transport (travel and transfer services), and travel agents.

Find out more about the small business relief available in Western Australia here.

Tradies/Contractors Program NT

Tradies or contractors can apply to supply goods and services to businesses, not-for-profits and homeowners under the NT government’s economic recovery response to the coronavirus.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Payments for employees who cannot earn an income if they are required to self isolate, quarantine, or care for someone with COVID-19.

Arts and Culture Interruption Support Program

Support for workers who have lost money from cancelled arts and cultural activities due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Includes Darwin Festival performances, theatre productions and live music gigs.

Tourism Survival Fund

Funding to assist businesses impacted by a lack of international visitors due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Visitation Reliant Small Business Support Program

A once off payment for eligible businesses with an annual turnover of more than $75,000 and less than $10 million, who can prove a significant reduction in turnover (minimum of 30% drop) as a result of travel restrictions during the period July 2021, compared to the same period in 2019.

Find out more about the small business relief available in the NT here.

Business Hardship – Border Closure Critical Support Grant

This program provides funding to Tasmanian businesses that are being impacted by the lockdowns and border restrictions that are in place in other states.

Business Vehicle Registration Relief Package

The Business Vehicle Registration Relief Package provides small businesses that have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 with vehicle registration savings and deferrals.

Liquor and Gaming Licence Fees, Discounts and Reimbursements

Fee waivers and reimbursements including 50% reimbursement for 2020 liquor licence fees that have already been paid, full reimbursement of liquor licence application fees and grant fees already paid from 1 January 2020, and many more.

Business Growth Loan Scheme

Loans from $20,000 and up to $3 million to help businesses develop and transition to sustainable post-COVID-19 operating models.

Rapid Response Skills Initiative

A scheme to assist individuals who have lost work due to retrenchment, downsizing or business closure as a result of COVID-19 to reskill and connect to work.

Tax Relief Measures

Various tax relief measures for businesses in Tasmania including payroll tax waivers, land tax waver, and more.

Event Ready Grant Program

Funding of up to $5,000 for event organisers to help them develop and implement COVID-19 safe practices.

Find out more about the small business relief available in Tasmania here.

Business Support Grants

Funding of $5,000 for Queensland businesses to help them survive and recover from August 2021 lockdowns.

COVID-19 Disaster Payments

Payments for employees who cannot earn an income if they are required to self isolate, quarantine, or care for someone with COVID-19.

COVID-19 Cleaning Rebate

Support for small and medium businesses and not-for-profit organisations that have been listed as an exposure venue by Queensland Health. A rebate to cover up to 80% of the cost of a deep clean.

Support for Tourism Operators and Hospitality Providers

Various fees and charges relief is available for tourism operators and hospitality providers whose business has been impacted by COVID-19.

Queensland Tourism Business Financial Counselling Service

Free financial counselling support for Queensland tourism businesses to help them navigate the impacts of COVID-19.

Read our last blog for updates on the 2021/22 Federal Budget and what small business owners can expect.

Tax implications for COVID-19 Small Business Grants

If you have already received or expect to receive any COVID-19 support payments, you need to check whether you need to pay tax on the payment/s.

Some grants are taxable, some are not.

The ATO has made a handy quick reference guide for the tax implications for businesses who have received COVID-19 grants.

The Minister has the power to declare which government COVID-19 business support programs are to be eligible grants. The ATO will update this page when additional formal declarations are made.

*Updated August 28, 2021*

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