Business guide to Coronavirus

How to stay in the black with COVID-19

As some businesses are in recovery mode others continue to be tested on staying in business from the impacts of the pandemic. 

The challenge of staying in the black has been massive with some industries hit harder than others. The pressure to manage equipment costs, shop fronts with reduced cash flow has been crippling. There is a lot of support available during this time. Let’s look at your options. 

Government business support

As loan repayment deferrals by Australian banks come to an end, the next phase of support will include assistance from specialised hardship teams to help businesses unable to make reduced payments.

The Australian Government is also offering financial support:

  • Increased instant asset write-off: asset write-off has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021, providing the asset has been purchased by 31 December 2020. 
  • Temporary full expensing: for assets you start to hold or use for the first time from 7:30pm 6 October 2020 to 30 June 2022, you can deduct the business portion of the asset's cost under temporary full expensing.
  • Backing business investment (BBI): this a time-limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term by accelerating depreciation deductions. It applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million can deduct the cost of an eligible asset in the income year the asset is installed or first used. 
  • Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries: an initial $1 billion in support has been committed to aid industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of coronavirus. Find out more on the Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Fund.
  • SME guarantee scheme: Phase 2 of the existing scheme will remain open to eligible borrowers until 30 June 2021. If you already had a government guarantee loan in Phase 1 you may be able to apply for a new loan totalling up to $1 million in Phase 2 or refinance your Phase 1 loans into Phase 2 loans. The purpose of the SME Government Guarantee loan is to help support cash flow, and enhance lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit.
  • Tax support: the Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief on some tax obligations for businesses affected by the pandemic. This is on a case-by-case basis. For more information call the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218.
  • Tourism Aviation Network Support Program: will provide half-price airfares on thousands of fares each week across 12 tourism regions from April 1, 2021. The program is designed to encourage domestic travel and help support tourism operators, businesses, travel agents and airlines. 
  • Business Events Grants Program: the $50 million program designed to help restart business events sector will be extended by three months to support business to hold multi-day business events. The minimum amount will be reduced to $5,000 to allow smaller businesses the opportunity to apply. The program will extend support for events scheduled through to 31 March 2022 to allow events that were postponed the opportunity to benefit from it. Applications will be extended to 30 June 2021. 

The Government may extend some of these programs or introduce new initiatives and schemes to help support Australian businesses navigate the challenges and get back in the black. 

Siobhann Provost

Senior Writer, My Business

Siobhann has over 18 years human resources business partnering experience in large organisations. She more recently established and led a people advice team of senior workplace advisors before moving into content writing.

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*Based on 958 meters switched between 1 July 2019 to 3 April 2020