To support WA tourism businesses to reactivate and adapt to a gradual reopening of the travel market, the WA Government, through Tourism WA, has committed $10.4 million to the Western Australian Tourism Recovery Fund, under the WA Tourism Recovery Program.
This Fund gives eligible small tourism businesses including accommodation providers, tour and transport operators and tourism attractions or experience businesses with annual Australian taxable wages of less than $1 million, an opportunity to apply for a $6,500 cash payment.
New laws to provide support for commercial and residential tenants and landlords
The Residential Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will introduce:
- a moratorium on eviction for six months except in limited circumstances including, for example: if a tenant is causing serious damage to the property or injury to the landlord or a person in adjacent premises; the landlord or tenant is experiencing undue hardship; a tenant is experiencing family violence and the perpetrator needs to be evicted; the tenant abandons the premises; or the agreement is frustrated;
- a prohibition on rent increases during the emergency period;
- that any fixed term tenancy agreement due to expire during the emergency period will continue as a periodic agreement;
- relieving lessors of the obligation to conduct ordinary repairs if the reason they cannot do so is COVID-19 related financial hardship or a lawful restriction on movement; and
- enabling a tenant to end a fixed term tenancy prior to its end date without incurring break lease fees (tenants will still be liable for damage and rent arrears).
The laws will apply equally to tenants in public and private housing, park homes as well as boarders and lodgers.
Updated information relating to these changes is available on the Consumer Protection website.
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.
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.
Here is where you register your business if you are interested in this for your employees.
ATO has information for small businesses to help them through the COVID-19 impact.
Tips for small businesses to prepare for COVID-19.
Financial assistance, eligibility and timing for new government support is found here.