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How is your state supporting small business recovery?

Over the past few weeks, Australian state and territory governments have announced grants, waivers, credits, refunds, exemptions, vouchers and more to help the small business sector bounce back. Here's what you need to know.

Following on from October’s Federal budget announcement – which saw the small business sector centred in many of the economic recovery plans – the states and territories have announced their own measures and extensions aimed at giving small businesses a much needed boost in order to jump into 2021 with confidence.

“It’s great to see government support and tax relief for small business and continued recognition of the vital role the sector plays in supporting jobs and our economic recovery,” says Prospa’s CEO, Greg Moshal.

Massive boosts in infrastructure investment will provide the big-ticket stimuli to recovery, and that is certain to filter down to small businesses.

But the states and territories are also implementing a wide range of more targeted grants, concessions and programs as a way to build confidence in the short to medium term.

Here are some of the big-ticket items for small business owners, broken down by state.

New South Wales

The NSW Budget was handed down on 17 November 2020 and included a generous $39.3 million small business program, some interesting voucher systems and payroll tax relief.

Here’s what NSW small businesses need to know about:

  • Vouchers of up to $1,500 for SMEs that don’t pay payroll tax, to be used towards the cost of any government fees and charges. Available as a rebate from April 2021 to June 2022.
  • Business Connect program funding increased to $39.3 million to extend the advice and skills training program from one to four years (this includes the $9.8 million amount allocated in April 2020). The training in this program will include important programs, such as how to build resilience.
  • Commercial tenancy relief extended into the first three months of 2021 at the reduced level of 25%. To qualify, tenants must have faced at least a 30% reduction in turnover due to the pandemic.
  • In partnership with the City of Sydney, the state government has pledged $15 million to help revive Sydney’s CBD.
  • One-off $100 ‘Out and About’ vouchers for all adults to spend at hospitality and entertainment venues to stimulate the sector’s recovery.
  • The payroll tax-free threshold will increase by $200,000 (up to $1.2 million) and payroll taxes will temporarily decrease from 5.45% to 4.85% as of July 2020 to June 2022.
  • $5 million for a tendering support service to help small businesses negotiate government contracts.
  • A $10 million return to work program to support women back into the workforce.
  • $300 million to support infrastructure, small business and tourism in regional NSW.

For full details, click here.


The Victorian Budget, delivered on 24 November 2020, focused on upskilling business owners and offering tax relief.

Here’s what Victorian small businesses need to know about:

  • A $6 million Small Business Support Toolkit to fund mentoring and coaching services to help small business owners digitise their businesses and pivot to meet changing consumer behaviours.
  • $2.6 billion in funding to support more than 125,000 businesses in hard-hit sectors, such as hospitality, tourism accommodation, retail and the creative industries.
  • A tax credit (for businesses with a payroll of $10 million or less) of 10 cents in every dollar for the next two years for SMEs that rehire staff, add hours or hire new staff (this is expected to aid in the creation of around 10,000 jobs).
  • $250 million in wage subsidies, committed to creating 200,000 jobs focused on those hardest hit by COVID-19 shutdowns, including women, young people, older workers and those without formal qualifications.
  • A 50% stamp duty concession when purchasing commercial and industrial properties in regional Victoria is set to be brought forward from 1 July 2023 to 1 July 2021.
  • The option to pay taxes annually, instead of monthly, for employers with tax liabilities under $100,000.

For full details, click here.

Western Australia

The WA Budget, handed down on 8 October 2020, features a heavy reliance on the infrastructure industry and includes exemptions on various licensing fees.

Here’s what Western Australian small businesses need to know about:

  • $27.1 billion has been set aside to invest in infrastructure projects over a four-year period.
  • $100 million allocated to waive some licence fees for sectors affected by COVID-19, including the trade, commercial fishing and tourism industries (this includes liquor licence renewal fees).
  • Payroll tax exemption for wages paid using the JobKeeper scheme.
  • Payroll tax waived for four months for businesses with annual wages under $7.5 million (ending 29 February 2021)

For full details, click here.

South Australia

Following the 10 November 2020 budget, South Australian small business owners can expect a second round of State Government small business grants, payroll tax relief and a generous package for the taxi, bus and tourism industries.

Here’s what South Australian small businesses need to know about:

  • $5 million allocated to a Business Advisory Services Scheme to support small to medium businesses in developing sustainable business practices.
  • The deadline for small businesses to apply for a second round of $10,000 grants has been extended to the end of February 2021. The second round of grants also includes a $3,000 grant for owner-operated businesses who do not employ other staff.
  • Payroll tax exemptions for JobKeeper payments and on wages paid to new eligible apprentices and trainees (for their first 12 months on the job).
  • 15-month deferral of payroll tax for businesses with annual wages below $4 million.
  • Commercial owner-occupiers who own the land they run their business on will be eligible for 25% off their 2019-20 land tax liabilities, where they are eligible for the JobKeeper payment from 31 October 2020 and have an annual turnover of less than $50 million.
  • $10 million allocated to support the taxi, bus and tourism Industries.

For full details, click here.


In Tasmania’s 12 November 2020 budget, it was announced that small business owners can expect support digitising their business, as well as benefit from the trickle-down effects of a $5 billion infrastructure investment into community facilities.

Here’s what Tasmanian small businesses need to know about:

  • $5 billion infrastructure investment with plans to build more homes, better schools, roads, bridges, irrigation systems, dams and renewable energy assets, and health and justice facilities.
  • Applications opened to a new $60 million Business Growth Loan Scheme offering low-interest loans of between $20,000 to $3 million.
  • Extension of the payroll tax rebate and small business grants schemes for apprentices, trainees and youth employees until June 2022, to all industry sectors.
  • An additional $50,000 to continue the Digital Ready for Business Program for mentoring small businesses in how to take advantage of the digital economy.

For full details, click here.

Northern Territory

On 10 November 2020, as part of its budget announcement, the NT Government outlined several new programs that territory small businesses could access.

Here’s what Northern Territory small businesses need to know about:

  • The $7.8 million Small Business JobMaker Booster to fill gaps in the federal JobMaker program.
  • A $4 million Small Business Pivot Grant program has been designed to help businesses affected by COVID-19 adapt to the new economic environment and design their businesses to reach new markets.
  • A $5 million Small Business CX program offers one-off grants to small business owners looking to improve their customer experience.
  • The $5 million Small Business Saver Grant program will assist local small businesses in reducing their ongoing costs.
  • $2 million for the creation of a Small Business Fitness Fund to offer financial sustainability training for small business owner’s specific needs.
  • The $2 million Small Business Supply Chain Solver program for those struggling with supply chains due to COVID-19.

For full details, click here.


Queensland was the most recent state to hear its government’s plan for COVID-19 recovery, announced on 1 December 2020.

Here’s what Queensland small business owners need to know:

  • A new $100 million fund for helping SMEs with growth potential.
  • Up to $196 million in Small Business Adaption Grants of up to $10,000.
  • $100 million in electricity bill relief for small businesses.
  • Continued tax relief through payroll tax refunds, payment waivers and deferrals; exemptions for payroll tax on JobKeeper payments; and land tax relief, deferrals and payment extensions.
  • Introduction of a procurement target of 25% of all government spending to go towards SMEs.

For full details, click here.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT state budget is due to be announced in early 2021.

For the most current and complete information on Government initiatives, please refer to the relevant Government website.

The information in this post is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. Nothing contained in this post constitutes advice or an endorsement or recommendation of any kind by Prospa. Any links to third party websites are strictly for informational purposes only. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information as at the date of publication, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information for any reason, including due to the passage of time, or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.