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COVID: Grants for small and micro businesses in 2022 (Updated: February)

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 February 3, 2022*

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.

New Business Assistance

New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme) provides support to people interested in starting their own business or who need help to refocus an existing micro-business. This support includes accredited small business training, personalised mentoring and support from a NEIS provider, NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks, and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).

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 Business Support Hardship Review

If your business or not-for-profit organisation was not eligible for the 2021 COVID-19 business grantCOVID-19 micro-business grant or JobSaver payment, you may still be able to access financial support by submitting your details to the COVID-19 business hardship review panel. Businesses must be able to demonstrate financial hardship as a result of NSW public health orders. Funding amounts will vary.

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

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.

COVID-19 ACT Hardship Payments 

This grant is different to the Small Business Hardship Scheme in that it is aimed at employees who miss work as a result of complying with public health orders and guidelines. Payment amounts vary.

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 Commercial Tenancy Support Measures ACT

ACT business tenants, commercial landlords and owner-operators of commercial properties who were significantly affected by COVID-19 can access support measures including a commercial rates credit of up to $5000.

Economic Survival Package ACT

Multiple economic package of various support measures to help businesses survive the impacts of COVID-19. The support measures are wide reaching and include:

  • Small business support schemes
  • Financial support for local tourism industry
  • Food business registration, outdoor dining and liquor licensing fee waivers
  • Payroll tax waivers, deferrals and exemptions
  • Rental relief for ACT government owned property tenants
  • Commercial tenancy support measures
  • Advice and Support

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

COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program VIC

A $2000 voucher for not-for-profits, community organisations and trader associations with funding to help them reopen in a COVIDSafe way. This can be used to claim selected expenses.

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.

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.

Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund 3

A program to provide funding to Victorian small landlords who are experiencing hardship as a result of waiving rent for their tenants. Grants of up to $6,000 per tenancy, and up to $10,000 for landlords experiencing acute hardship are available.

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

Business Hardship Grants

This program provides one-off grants of $2,000 for non-employing businesses and $6,000 for employing businesses whose turnover has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. Closing date: March 31, 2022

Liquor Licence Holders 

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

COVID-19 Small Business Advice and Financial Guidance Program

Funding of between $750 and $1500 for small businesses to engage an appropriate consultant to provide advice or services that will help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

Close date: 30 May 2022.

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.

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.

Event Ready Grant Program

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

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.

COVID-19 Border Business Zone Hardship Grant QLD

Funding – of $5,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses – in the border zone impacted by the QLD-NSW border closure.

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 February 4th, 2022*

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