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Support for Small Businesses and Individuals in response to COVID-19

We recognise this is a difficult time for everyone, and hope this guide will assist you in understanding and accessing the various types of help out there. The team at Easy Payslip urges you to be safe, and to follow the government guidelines.

Here we outline the types of help and financial support that is available:

As of the 27 March 2020 the Government has announced two stimulus packages to help businesses cope with the recent events of COVID-19.

Government Funding

The Australian Government is ensuring that the economy is supported in the midst of Coronavirus. They have to date (27/3) announced two packages worth $86.3 billion. There will be an additional $100B for emergency banking measures.

How do the measures support my businesses?

1. Cash Flow Assistance for Businesses

Small-medium businesses with a turnover of less than $50M that have employees, are eligible for cash flow assistance, from $20,000 to $100,000. This is calculated based on your BAS submissions starting with the March submission due in April.

The way it works:

Businesses will receive a credit for the total PAYG tax withheld for the January - March quarter, up to $50,000.

They will then receive another credit for the total PAYG tax withheld for the April - June quarter, as long as the total of the two payments does not exceed $50,000.

Businesses will receive a minimum $10,000 credit in total, even if their PAYG withheld is less than that.

They will then receive an additional credit for the June quarter, totalling 50% of the total credits received above. Then, that same amount again as a credit in the September quarter.

Further details and some examples can be found here.

2. Trades Assistance

There is some specific assistance for employers to retain their apprentices and trainees. Employers with less than 20 full-time staff, including an apprentice/trainee that was still training by 1st March 2020, are eligible. They can receive a wage subsidy of 50% of the apprentice/trainee’s wage for a max of 9 months (January 1st - 30th September 2020), up to $21,000 per apprentice/trainee ($7000 per quarter).

Employers can start to claim in April 2020 up to December 2020. Approval for this subsidy will be subject to an assessment by the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN).

Further details and examples can be found here on page 5.

3. Business Investment Support - Increasing Asset Write Off

Businesses with a turnover of up to 500M are able to instantly write-off assets valued up to $150,000. It has been increased from the existing $30,000, and is available until 30 June 2020.

This provides immediate cash flow benefits for businesses, as the cost of these assets can be immediately deducted from their company’s taxable income. The threshold applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can write-off multiple assets.

Further details and examples can be found here.

4. Backing Business Investment - Accelerated Depreciation

A 15 month investment scheme is being introduced to allow accelerated depreciation deductions. Under the rules, 50% of an eligible asset can be written off in the first year, with the existing rules applying to the balance of the asset.

Further details and examples can be found here on page 3.

5. Supporting cash flow needs for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)

The Government will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending. This will provide businesses with funding to meet cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. This will assist otherwise viable businesses across the economy who are facing significant challenges due to disrupted cash flow.

The Government is also cutting red tape by providing a temporary exemption from lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. This reform will help small businesses get access to credit quickly and efficiently.

Further details and examples can be found here and also here.

6. Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

A number of measures are being introduced to provide a safety net to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push businesses facing financial distress into insolvency, and force the winding up of the business.

The measures include:

  • Changes around when creditors can issue statutory demands
  • Increased threshold required to initiate bankruptcy proceedings
  • Temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent
  • Providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide targeted relief for companies dealing with unforeseen events arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis

Further details and examples can be found here.

How do the measures support individuals and families?

7. Payments to support households

To support the 6.5M Australians on the different types of income support, two separate $750 payments will be made from the 31st March 2020 to veteran, eligible concession card holders, income support and social security recipients. The first payment will be made from 31 March, and the second from 13 July.

Further details here.

8. Income Support for Individuals

Over the next six months, the Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This will be paid to both existing and new recipients of JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit.

Further details here.

9. Temporary Release of Superannuation

The Government is allowing individuals affected by the Coronavirus to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21.

Further details here.

Further detailed information about all these initiatives can be found in the government website, and advice should always be sought from professionals where required.

Please reach out if we can assist, we are open for business and available to help. You can give us a call on 02 8084 9222 or email us at