The state and federal governments have agreed to share the cost of the latest lockdown support to businesses and individuals who have lost work or income during July 2021.
With Jobkeeper and the cash flow boost long gone, this support package comes at a time when small businesses are feeling desperate and vulnerable.
Individuals who have lost 20 or more hours of work during the lockdown will be eligible for $600, while people who lose 8-20 hours will get $375. Meanwhile, businesses will receive grants of up to $10,000.
Lockdown Support for Victorian Businesses
Business Costs Assistance Grant: up to $10,000 a week depending on various factors (TBC)
The Victorian Government and Federal Government are yet to strike a deal for co-funding the latest COVID-19 business support payments.
However, it is expected that the business support payments will be up to $10,000 a week (depending on staff count, turnover reduction etc) for those that have lost at least 30 per cent of turnover during the current lockdown.
The support will be via a Business Victoria application process which is yet to be announced.
Business Costs Assistance: automatic $2,000 or $3,000 (VIC)
This program provides grants of either $2,000 or $3,000 and is targetted at businesses directly affected by the extended restrictions, including hospitality venues, event suppliers, accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.
Automatic payments have began to be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays and swiftly get money into the pockets of businesses who need it most
If you were one of 90,000 businesses that receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June 2021 lockdown you will automatically receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments of $3,000 or $2,000 respectively.
It applies to businesses that:
- have incurred direct costs as a result of the current restrictions;
- cannot predominantly work remotely;
- are located within Victoria;
- have payroll less than $10M & registered with WorkCover;
- are registered for GST as at 27 May 2021; and
- operate in non-essential retail, hospitality, tourism, events & related services, education, healthcare and social assistance (refer to this list).
If you have not yet received any correspondence regarding the above grant, but believe you meet the eligibility requirements please contact us ASAP.
Support for Businesses in other States
Support for NSW Businesses – up to $15,000
The NSW Government has announced grants of up to $15,000 for businesses adversely impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdowns in July 2021. Eligibility for the grant is streamed into general business, and hospitality and tourism.
The value of the grant is determined by the impact of the lockdown on your turnover. Your business will need to prove a decline in turnover across a minimum 2 week period after the commencement of the major restrictions.
|50% to <70%||$10,500|
|30% to <50%||$7,500|
The grant is limited to businesses (including sole traders) with:
- A NSW registered ABN or able to demonstrate they are physically located and primarily operating in NSW; and
- Annual turnover of more than $75,000 for the year ending 30 June 2020; but
- Below the NSW Government 2020-21 payroll tax threshold of $1.2m as at 1 July 2020; with
- Fewer than 20 full time equivalent employees.
Applications for the grant open 18 July 2021 and requires evidence to support eligibility which includes copies of lodged returns, accountants letter with supporting reports and a declaration. Payments will be processed from late July 2021.
Other financial support packages in NSW include the Microbusiness grant (up to $1,500 per fortnight for those with less than $75k turnover) and the Jobsaver program (fortnightly payments dependent on staff count and turnover reduction).
Support for QLD Businesses
A Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant of between $2,000 and $10,000 is available to eligible regional Queensland businesses. The grant requires your business to have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30% because of COVID-19 for at least one month since 23 March 2020. The grant is accessible to businesses with less than 20 staff.
Financial support for Individuals
If you can’t work because you or someone in your household is impacted by COVID-19, support is available.
There are two payments accessible to individuals: the COVID-19 Disaster Payment; and, the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a weekly payment available to eligible workers who can’t attend work or who have lost income because of a lockdown and don’t have access to certain paid leave entitlements. If you are a couple, both people can separately claim the payment.
The disaster payment is generally accessible if the hotspot triggering the lockdown lasts more than 7 days as declared by the Chief Medical Officer (you can find the listing here).
In Victoria it is available from 15 July 2021 to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. The requirement to be in a Commonwealth declared hotspot has been removed and the payment will apply to anyone in Victoria impacted by the lockdowns who meets the other eligibility criteria. And, the 7 day requirement has been removed so that the payment will be made for the period from 15 July 2021 (paid in arrears from 23 July 2021).
In NSW it is available from 18 July 2021 to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria. The requirement to be in a Commonwealth declared hotspot has been removed and the payment will apply to anyone in NSW impacted by the lockdowns who meets the other eligibility criteria.
|Area||Date of declaration||Disaster payment accessible from|
|City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick||23 June 2021||1 July 2021|
|Greater Sydney including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong||26 June 2021||4 July 2021|
|All of New South Wales||18 July 2021|
|All of Victoria||15 July 2021||23 July 2021*|
How much is the payment?
The payments are as follows:
|Hours of work lost|
|Disaster payment amount||Between 8 and 20||20 or more|
|Weeks 2 and 3 of a lockdown*||$325||$500|
|From week 4 of a lockdown onwards||$375||$600|
* Eligible Victorians will receive the higher rate from week one of the lockdown
The payment applies to each week of lockdown you are eligible and is taxable (you will need to declare it in your income tax return).
The COVID-19 disaster payment is emergency relief. It is available if you:
- Live or work in an area that is subject to a state or territory public health order that imposes restriction on movement and is declared a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot, or
- Have visited an area that is a Commonwealth COVID-19 hotspot and you are subsequently subject to a restricted movement order when you return to other parts of New South Wales or interstate.
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia, and
- Are aged 17 years or over, and
- Have lost 8 hours or more of work or a full day of your usual work as a result of the restrictions – losing work includes being stood down by your employer, not being assigned any shifts for the week of restrictions and being unable to work from home. Losing a full day of what you were scheduled to work but could not work because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full-time, part-time or casual shift of less than 8 hours, and
- Don’t have paid leave available through your employer (other than annual leave), and
- Are not receiving income support payments, a state or territory pandemic payment, Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment or state small business payment for the same period. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
A liquid assets test of $10,000 previously applied to the disaster payment but was removed from Thursday, 8 July 2021.
How to apply for support
You can apply for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment through your MyGov account if you have created and linked a Centrelink account.
If you don’t have a myGov account, you can create one. If your myGov account isn’t linked to Centrelink, you can prove who you are through myGov to link to Centrelink.
Apply for the Pandemic Leave Payment by phoning Services Australia on 180 22 66.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is for those who have been advised by their relevant health authority to self-isolate or quarantine because they:
- Test positive to COVID-19;
- Have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case;
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19; or
- Care for a child, 16 years or under, who has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case; or
- Care for a person who has tested positive to COVID-19.
How much is the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment?
The payment is $1,500 for each 14 day period you are advised to self-isolate or quarantine. If you are a couple, you both can claim this payment if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Who is eligible to receive it?
The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is available if you:
- Are an Australian citizen, permanent resident or temporary visa holder who has the right to work in Australia; and
- Are aged 17 years or over; and
- Are unable to go to work and earn an income; and
- Do not have appropriate leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or carers leave; and
- Are not getting any income support payment, ABSTUDY Living Allowance, Paid parental leave or Dad and Partner Pay. Income support payments include Age Pension, Austudy, Carer Payment, Disability Support Pension, Farm Household Allowance, JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment, Partner Allowance, Special Benefit, Widow Allowance, Youth Allowance and Income Support Supplement, Service Pension or Veteran Pension from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs.
The payment is taxable and you will need to declare it in your income tax return.
If you are uncertain of your eligibility, talk to Services Australia. If you are concerned about the impact of disaster relief payments on you, feel free to talk to us.
For further information please contact us on 1300 878 876 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org..