ACT COVID 2021 Update 13/8

The ACT is now in COVID Lockdown too.

The Everalls team will be continuing to work during the Lockdown albeit from home. The team is very experienced and set up to work from home. However, we would appreciate your patience as we may need to re-prioritise some services to helping clients manage this lockdown.

While we can’t meet in person at the moment we will still be available by phone, email & video-conferencing. Please give us a call if you have any questions.

Government support for businesses caught in the lockdown is still being developed. We will provide updates via email and our website as information becomes available but don’t hesitate to call us if you have any queries.

We will also provide updates via our Social Channels – Facebook and LinkedIn so please follow us if you aren’t already!

In the meantime, this is what we know so far:

Going to work:

The ACT Government publishes their information about the lockdown at covid19.act.gov.au. This also includes the information about which businesses are Essential Providers and allowed to continue operating; and who Essential Workers are.

Businesses may be eligible for business support grants that will provide a lump sum $3,000 payment to businesses with employees and $1,000 to businesses without employees who have experienced a 30 per cent reduction in turnover during the week of lockdown.

COVID-19 Business Support Grant

The ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grant will deliver grants of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses. The grants will be available to local businesses that have experienced at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover in the week defined as Friday 13 August – Friday 20 August 2021 (compared to the prior 7-day period) due to restricted trading conditions.

This program is jointly funded by the ACT and Australian Governments.

Eligibility will include:

  • Registered in the ACT as verified by an ABN and able to demonstrate primary operation in the ACT as at 1 April 2021;
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (excluding GST);
  • Be registered for GST as recorded on the Australian Business Register before April 2021; and
  • Have total Australian payroll of less than $10 million.

A second support scheme has been announced as well:

COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme – up to $10,000

Eligible small businesses will soon be able to apply to the ACT Government to receive credits for payroll tax, utility charges, rates and other selected fees and charges up to a maximum of $10,000 per operator.

To be eligible for credits the applicant must be able to demonstrate 30 per cent loss in revenue.

This scheme is for small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million per annum.

Small businesses can apply for up to $10,000 of support in the form of credit.

  • Payroll tax
  • Utilities
  • Rates
  • A range of business licence fees and charges.

Employers can refer to https://coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au for information about their employees.

Employees are a business’ biggest asset so it is important that you look after them as best you can. Employers may be able to stand employees down without pay because of the lockdown but only if those employees can’t be usefully employed eg working from home. It is important, to talk to your employees and discuss other workplace options available.

These can include:

  • working from home
  • changes to duties, hours of work or rosters
  • taking paid or unpaid leave

Please refer to the Before standing down employees: employer checklist to help make sure you’ve considered all options before standing down an employee without pay.

Individuals may be eligible for COVID-19 Disaster Payments and should refer to the website to determine eligibility. We note that claims will not open until 20 August.

The amount of the payment will depend on how many hours of work you have lost during a week.

So, in terms of what you need to do now, please focus on:

1) Protecting your family and your team – Comply with all Govt Regulations inc Fairwork Australia and stay in touch!
2) Doing business as normal but different – Let your clients know you are still open for business albeit from home and/or let them know of any changes eg office hours, services, etc.
3) Protect your cash flow – Review your budget for the next month, 3 months, and 6 months. Watch your pipeline and your debtors. Find the pain points and work out how to resolve.
4) Work out what you can do now to come back bigger & stronger when the lockdown is over.

Don’t hesitate to call us if you have any queries! We are here to help!

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