Business Update – 4 August 2021
Australia’s Path to Reopening International Borders
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a four-stage plan which will determine when COVID-19 restrictions can be eased. In a nutshell, 80% of Australian adults will have to be vaccinated before international borders can open. So far, about 15.7% of adults have been fully vaccinated.
While no timetable has been announced, the PM expressed that Phase B, wherein 70% of the population is fully vaccinated, could be reached by the end of the year. You can check out the details of the four-stage plan here.
Brisbane’s Lockdown Extended to Sunday
At this stage Brisbane will remain in lockdown until Sunday 8th August the region battles an outbreak of the delta variant of COVID-19. The lockdown was due to end on Tuesday, but it was extended due to the emergence of new cases in the local community, mainly in schools.
EKKA Holiday postponed
Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced the Brisbane EKKA Holiday has been postponed from Wednesday 11th August to sometime later in the year. This cancellation also applies to other local government areas including Redland, Moreton Bay, Logan, Somerset etc due to have public holidays on Monday 9th August.
Sydney Lockdown Restrictions
Sydney’s lockdown has been extended to at least 28 August, and three more local government areas have been added to a hard lockdown, which now includes an outdoor mask mandate and a 5km radius travel limit.
The restrictions cover eight LGAs: Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown, Liverpool, Cumberland, Blacktown, Parramatta, Georges River, and Campbelltown.
Meanwhile, the week-long lockdown in Blayney, Cabonne, and Orange local government areas in the central west of the state has been lifted. The Guardian has put together a comprehensive guide on the current COVID-19 restrictions in place for New South Wales.
NSW Border Bubble Restrictions Tightened
Victoria has tightened its border restrictions with New South Wales, as two new COVID-19 cases were recorded. NSW border residents can only enter Victoria for six essential reasons: access to goods and services (including medical care and a COVID test), for care and compassionate reasons, for work, education, vaccination appointments, and sports and exercise. The changes took effect at 11:59pm on Tuesday.
We’re thinking of everyone affected and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about your business during this time. Read on for assistance that may be available to you.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment for recognised lockdowns
This Federal Government support is lump sum payment for workers who cannot earn income because of a state public health order. You can check your eligibility here.
The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.
NSW: Micro-business grant
The micro-business grant is a $1500 fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.
To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.
COVID-19 Business Grant
A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.
Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit the Service NSW website.
JobSaver is a fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) and provide cashflow support to businesses. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.
Small business fees and charges rebate
If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 aimed at helping businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are open and you can check your eligibility here.
You can view more NSW Government COVID-19 Support Packages here, including Jobs Plus, Sydney CBD Friday vouchers, Payroll tax support and support for the tourism industry. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.
Cash Grants for Victorian businesses affected by lockdown
The Victorian Government has announced further financial support through the Business Costs Assistance Program, ensuring businesses will get another $2800. For businesses who received earlier rounds of the grants, the top-up payments will be automatic. Businesses who didn’t apply or were ineligible in May-June lockdown, their applications will be considered.
Alpine businesses will receive an additional $3000 for closure during peak season and community sport and recreation organisations will also receive $2000 grants for events that have been cancelled or postponed.
ATO support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions or disasters
The ATO has a range of support options to help those affected by disasters or those experiencing challenges due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.
The ATO may be able to:
- prioritise any refunds owed to you
- set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
- remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.
If you need help to manage your tax or superannuation obligations, please get in touch with us.
JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period
The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:
- up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
- up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years
Register any time until the scheme ends.
Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees
The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.
How Small Brands Can Compete with Major E-Commerce Companies
With advanced supply chain and shipping logistics capabilities, diverse offerings, and retail dominance, it can be overwhelming for small businesses to compete with major e-commerce companies.
However, instead of focusing on beating shipping speed, price points, or product offerings, small- and medium-sized e-commerce players can differentiate themselves by doing what the huge brands can’t. This Forbes article shares some ways smaller brands can compete with the big names.
- Find your niche. Determine what your business excels at, and focus on that.
- Make customer service king. Short wait times and knowledgeable people ready to help every time customers call elevate the customer experience.
- Run lean operations. Ensure your operations run efficiently by establishing strong inventory management, demand forecasting, and enterprise resource planning and e-commerce platforms.