By Phil Ringuet
With the COVID pandemic once again tightening its grip around many parts of Australia, today we’ll run you through hardship and grant options that could be available to you or your business.
Setting all politics aside, it’s safe to say no one wants to be here. Yet here we are – this time with no JobKeeper or the original JobSeeker payment to help keep us afloat.
So what COVID grants, schemes and hardship arrangements are available to small businesses and individuals this time around?
Let’s run through this year’s COVID support options below.
Loan deferrals on home and business loans
Impacted small businesses with loans in good standing are being supported by lenders with repayment deferrals of up to three months.
For home loan holders, lenders are also providing a range of support measures, including loan deferrals on a month-by-month basis.
Since July 8, more than 14,500 home loans have been deferred, while more than 600 business loans have been deferred.
“Support is available to all small businesses and home loan customers significantly impacted by current lockdowns or recovering from recent lockdowns, irrespective of geography or industry,” says Anna Bligh, CEO of the Australian Banking Association.
Business grants and payments
As you’ll see below, each state and territory has their own grants and schemes available for businesses and individuals.
As the situation is constantly evolving, it’s worth double-checking to see if your business is eligible for any other grants or payments not listed below.
NSW: If you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation in NSW and you’ve been impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible for a one-off grant of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000. Apply here by September 13.
Victoria: There are several grants in Victoria for employing and non-employing businesses. The Small Business COVID Hardship Fund provides $10,000 grants for eligible SMEs that have experienced a reduction in turnover of at least 70%. Apply here by September 10. The Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two offers grants of $4800 to eligible businesses in specific industries. Apply here by August 20.
Queensland: Lockdown-impacted businesses in Queensland can apply to receive a grant ranging from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of their annual payroll. Grants of $1,000 are also available for non-employing sole traders. Apply here by November 16.
Western Australia: The Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grant: Round Two provides $3000 cash flow support to small businesses in industry sectors most impacted by the recent circuit-breaker four-day lockdown and interim restrictions. Apply here by August 31.
South Australia: Small and medium-sized businesses forced to close as a result of the state’s lockdown (beginning 20 July 2021) may be eligible for a $3,000 emergency cash grant. Sole traders may be eligible for $1000. Apply here by October 17.
ACT: COVID-19 Business Support Grants will provide up to $10,000 for employing businesses and up to $4,000 for non-employing businesses that experienced a turnover decline of 30% or more as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown health restrictions. Find out more here.
The federal government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help workers unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 state public health order.
This may involve a lockdown, hotspot or movement restrictions. How much you can get depends on your location and circumstances. It’s available to eligible ACT, NSW, QLD, SA and Victoria residents.
Tenant and landlord support
NSW landlords who reduce rents for tenants hard-hit by the pandemic will be able to access up to $3,000 per tenancy agreement.
For landlords to be eligible, their tenant’s take-home weekly income must have fallen by 25% or more. The tenant also needs to continue to pay at least 25% of the rent payable.
Meanwhile, the Victorian Government has made it a requirement for commercial landlords to provide rent relief that matches their tenants’ fall in turnover in response to coronavirus, where the tenant is eligible for commercial tenancy relief support.
Get in touch today
Last but not least, it’s worth noting that there are refinance or restructure options you can explore in order to reduce your business or home loan repayments each month (without hitting the pause button). These include:
- asking for a better rate or moving to a lender that can provide one;
- extending the length of your loan;
- switching to interest-only payments for a period of time; and
- consolidating debt.
So if your business or household is one of the many doing it tough again, please get in touch today – we’re ready to assist you through 2021 and beyond, in any way we can.
An Important Message
While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.