With Melbourne still in lockdown and no sign of restrictions easing soon, the state government recently announced a further round of grants for struggling businesses. At the federal level JobKeeper eligibility will need to be re-assessed to allow businesses to access lower rates of payments.
The original JobKeeper scheme finishes on 28 September 2020. After this date businesses will need to re-assess their eligibility. JobKeeper 2.1 is extended until 28 March 2021.
- Eligibility for the period 28 September 2020 – 4 January 2021 is based on turnover in the September 2020 quarter compared to the September 2019 quarter (30% or more decline).
- Eligibility for the period 4 January – 28 March 2021 is based on turnover in the December 2020 quarter compared to the December 2019 quarter (30% or more decline).
From 28 September 2020, payments reduce to $1,200 per fortnight, then $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. If you were previously engaged in the business for less than twenty hours per week rates drop to $750 from 28 September 2020, and $650 from 4 January 2021.
- Employees must have worked eighty plus hours per month before 1 March 2020, or 1 July 2020, to access the higher rates.
- Business participants must have worked eighty plus hours per month before 1 March 2020, to access the higher rates.
Prior to the end of September businesses will need to assess if employees are eligible for the higher or lower rates and potentially adjust future pay runs based on this.
You can read more about the Australian Government Corona Virus response here.
Third Round of the Business Support Fund
Applications are now open for the third round of the Business Support Fund from the Victorian State Government. Depending on annual payroll, a business may receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000. Follow the link to determine whether your business is included in the list of eligible sectors. Download the full list of eligible sectors
Other criteria include:
- Operating a business located within Victoria; and
- Participating in JobKeeper
- Employing people and registered for WorkCover
- Have had an annual payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20; and
- Be registered for GST
- Hold an ABN
- Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator
Further information (and application form) can be accessed using the following link.
Sole traders are eligible for grants of $3,000, however strict conditions apply. Applicants must:
- be a non-employing business operating in Victoria
- operate from a premises that is not their residence (either a tenant of commercial premises or licensee in commercial location as a mobile food business)
- hold a valid ABN
- be a current participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper payment scheme
- operate in an industry sector that has been heavily restricted or closed as a result of continued restrictions
- have not received a BSF grant
You can read more about the Victorian State Government’s response for Sole Traders here.
Businesses may also be able to access other support programs from the Victorian Government.
More information about support for businesses is available on the Business Victoria coronavirus (COVID-19) business information page.
I also encourage all businesses to look at grants that are being offered by local municipal councils and other organisations.
Please contact JHL Accounting if you have any further questions or need assistance with the application process.