Scott Morrison announces rent relief package for commercial tenants affected by coronavirus

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced new rental waivers and deferrals for commercial tenants hit by the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Understanding the JobKeeper package

Today the $130 billion JobKeeper package will be introduced into the Australian Parliament. This is one of the most significant pieces of policy in Australia’s history. 

It is essential that we know who will be impacted and how, and whether adjustments can and should be made to make the package more inclusive and equitable. 

BCEC has released a series of research briefs to inform the design and impact of the JobKeeper package. This includes estimating job losses across sectors and states and territories, analysing the winners and losers of the JobKeeper package and developing alternative designs. 

Their most recent release which profiles the 1 million short-term casual workers that are currently excluded from the JobKeeper payment.  

Read on and download the reports below. 

Short-term and long-term casual workers: how different are they? 

Job Keepers and Job Seekers: How many workers will lose and how many will gain?

Potential Job Losses in the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.

COVID-19 Stimulus Packages
This is a great table which tells you about the package, who is eligible, when it’s available and how to access it. This table also tells you about the Jobkeeper Fund. This is where businesses impacted by a downturn because of coronavirus will be able to access a wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum of six months.

  • Electricity bills for around 95,000 small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum. The credit is available for current customers (as of March 31, 2020) and will be allocated from May 1, 2020 to reduce current and future electricity bills. The measure will provide some $236.8 million in relief to businesses such as cafes, delis, restaurants, beauticians and small retail stores that have been heavily impacted by recent trading restrictions to contain COVID-19.  
  • Payroll tax will be waived for a four-month period between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for small-to-medium sized businesses with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20. This will deliver around $165 million in relief to around 10,700 businesses that will not be required to pay payroll tax for this period. The payroll tax waiver announced today replaces the payroll tax deferral already announced for particular small-to-medium sized businesses.
  • $100.4 million has been allocated to waive a wide range of licence fees for small and medium‑sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months. This includes licences for building services, plumbers and electricians; tourism businesses operating in national and marine parks; boat registration and mooring fees for tourism operators and commercial fishers; commercial fisheries licences; taxi booking service authorisation fees; settlement agent licence fees; and other statutory planning fees. Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid, benefitting around 5,500 businesses with a liquor licence.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.  
  • No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments. For electricity, this will apply to Synergy and Horizon Power customers who consume 50MWh or less.

Jobkeeper register
Here is where you register your business if you are interested in this for your employees.

ATO

ATO has information for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 impact.

Preparing for COVID-19

Tips for small businesses to prepare for COVID-19.

Support for business

Financial assistance, eligibility and timing for new government support is found here.