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18 March 2020

Small business support amid COVID-19

COVID-19 is having a significant impact on Australian small and family businesses. The federal government has announced an initial $17.6 billion stimulus package designed to help small and family businesses.

As part of this initial package, available measures for small and family businesses include:

$6.7 billion measure Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Tax free payments of between $2,000 and $25,000 to eligible business with a turnover of under $50 million, to provide temporary cash flow support to businesses that employ staff. This will work by giving eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages receiving a payment equal to 50 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $25,000. Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $2,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.

$1.3 billion measure Supporting Apprentices and Trainees

Employers of apprentices and trainees who employ less than 20 full-time staff can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent, of up to $7,000 per quarter, for each trainee or apprentice they employ. This applies to trainee and apprentice wages paid for the period from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020 up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee.

Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off

The government is increasing the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000, and expanding access to businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million until 30 June 2020. Backing Business Investment Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million can, until 30 June 2021, deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

More information on these measures can be found at https://business.gov.au/