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Small business government support: a state-by-state guide

Australian state and territory governments are continuing some longer-term support for small businesses and introducing new measures to help businesses impacted by recent lockdowns around the country

At a glance

  • The majority of grants and support packages require a business to be registered for GST and have an ABN.
  • While every effort has been made to ensure accuracy as at the time of publication – in the evolving situation, support packages and eligibility criteria are likely to change, and information contained on this page may not be complete or may have changed.
  • Remember to check your state’s eligibility requirements on your state or territory government’s website, or search for your state on the Federal Government’s Business site. This is a summary for general information only, none of the material is or should be regarded as advice of any kind.

With some cities back in lockdown and others on high alert (at the time of publication), along with border closures, support for small business recovery is in high demand.  

“It is encouraging to see the Government once again step up to support small businesses over this new period of lockdowns,” says Prospa Co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer, Beau Bertoli. “They are the ‘engine room’ of our economy and a critical part of every community. Small business recovery and success is good for us all.”

Whether as part of the bigger picture of COVID-19 recovery or in immediate support of small businesses facing the impact of new lockdowns, we have collected some key information regarding the main packages available in each state and territory below, and guides to help you understand which businesses may be eligible.  

Along with checking out our guide below, it’s also important to check your eligibility on your state or territory government’s website, or search for your state on the Federal Government’s Business Support website to ensure you’re working with the most up-to-date information. 

New South Wales

COVID-19 Business Grants

This is a one-off payment of $7,500 to $15,000 to help businesses with cashflow support for the first three weeks of lockdown. The amount a business is eligible to receive will depend on its decline in turnover:  

  • Tier 1: $7,500 for a decline of 30% or more 
  • Tier 2: $10,500 for a decline of 50% or more 
  • Tier 3: $15,000 for a decline of 70% or more 

The grant is for businesses that have an annual turnover above $75,000 and a payroll up to $10 million. The decline must be shown by comparing an equivalent two-week period from June and/or July 2019 with the current lockdown period of 2021. 

COVID-19 Micro Business Grants

The NSW Government announced an expansion to its small business support package that applies to small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.  

If a ‘micro business’ can demonstrate a 30% reduction in turnover, it may be eligible to receive the $750 per week grant, so long as the business is the primary income source for a person associated with the business.  

The 30% decline is demonstrated by comparing a minimum two-week period from 26 June 2021 to 26 July 2021 with the same period in June and/or July 2019. 

Find out more information from Service NSW. 

Payroll tax deferrals

Any business paying payroll tax can choose to defer payments on the 2020-21 annual reconciliation return and wages paid in July and August. Interest-free repayment plans for up to 12 months will be available. 

Payroll tax concessions

If your business revenue in an equivalent two-week period in 2019 as compared to 2021 declined by 30%, and your business pays wages of between $1.2 million and $10 million, it may be eligible for a 25% payroll tax waiver for the 2021-2022 financial year.  

Businesses in commercial or retail premises

Landlords cannot lock out or evict business tenants impacted by the lockdown without first going to mediation. Impacted tenants are protected by the Small Business Commissioner and encouraged to negotiate with landlords to reduce or defer rent payments. 

Support for accommodation and creative arts industries

Financial support will be available for eligible tourism accommodation providers that have lost business between 25 June and 11 July due to lockdown measures. Amounts will be based on the number of cancelled ‘room nights’ as follows: 

  • $2,000 for up to 10 room nights 
  • $5,000 for 11 or more room nights  

Not-for-profits, as well as some commercial theatres and music venues, may be eligible to receive financial assistance to help meet costs for current productions and assist with rescheduling once restrictions ease.  

Support program Annual turnover Eligibility Demonstrated decline Amount
COVID-19 Business Grants $75,000+ Payroll up to $10 million 30%+ for specified dates $7,500 one off
COVID-19 Business Grants $75,000+ Payroll up to $10 million 50%+ for specified dates $10,500 one off
COVID-19 Business Grants $75,000+ Payroll up to $10 million 70%+ for specified dates $15,000 one off
COVID-19 Business Grants $30,000 to $75,000 Must be primary income source 30% for specified dates $750 per week during lockdown

The NSW Government website has full details of its COVID-19 Support Package. 

Victoria

Top-Up Payment

The July 2021 Top-Up Payment provides further support to eligible small and medium businesses in sectors impacted by the current restrictions.  

Previous recipients of the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will receive an additional $2,000, and successful recipients of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 will receive an additional $3,000. These payments will be processed automatically in July 2021.

Support program Annual turnover Eligibility Demonstrated decline Amount
Top-Up Payment  n/a  Automatic for previous recipients of the Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2  n/a  $2,000 one off 
Top-Up Payment  n/a  Automatic for previous recipients of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021  n/a  $3,000 one off 

 

Find out more on the Business Victoria website. 

South Australia

Business Support Grant

Small and medium businesses impacted by the lockdown may be eligible for a $3,000 cash grant to cover ongoing operating costs.  

A $1,000 cash grant is also available for eligible small businesses that don’t employ staff, e.g. sole traders. 

To be eligible for the emergency grants, a business must, as at Tuesday 20 July 2021, have an annual turnover of at least $75,000 in 2020-21 or 2019-20, a payroll of less than $10 million in 2019-20, employ people in South Australia (unless applying for the $1,000 cash grant for non-employers) and be able to demonstrate at least a 30% reduction in turnover compared to the previous week due to lockdown restrictions.  

Find out more on the Business South Australia website. 

Fee and tax relief, training and apprenticeship support

Eligible South Australian liquor license holders can apply to have their 2020-21 fees waived for a variety of categories and other eligible venues can take up free short-term licences to sell alcohol for takeaway or delivery with meals. 

Infection control training is available to South Australian customer-facing businesses across sectors including hospitality, aged care, retail and tourism to help businesses with COVID cleaning standards.  

Various initiatives with funding between $1500 and $5200 are available to eligible businesses that employ apprentices or trainees to help continue training them.  

A variety of payroll and land tax deferrals and waivers are available to eligible South Australian businesses impacted by COVID, mostly in relation to 2020 payment periods. 

Support program  Annual turnover  Eligibility  Demonstrated decline  Amount 
Business Support Grant  $75,000+   Payroll of less than $10m, employ people in SA  30% compared to week before lockdown started  $3,000 
Business Support Grant  $75,000+   No employees  30% compared to week before lockdown started  $1,000 

Find out more about COVID assistance available in SA. 

Western Australia

Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants 

Eligible small businesses impacted by the Perth and Peel lockdown in June 2021 can apply for a $3,000 grant to help offset costs associated with loss of perishable goods and bookings.  

Eligible businesses must have had an annual turnover of $75,000 or more and a payroll of less than $4 million in the 2019-2020 financial year, and must demonstrate a primary business activity that fits into one of the designated industry categories. 

Support program  Annual turnover  Eligibility  Demonstrated decline  Amount 
Small Business Lockdown Assistance Grants  $75,000+  See below  Subject to audit – see below $3,000 one off 

Eligibility for assistance in WA is complex, with criteria including turnover, payroll, location and industry – consult the WA Government’s Small Business Development Corporation. 

Queensland 

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program

Grants of between $2,000 and $10,000 are available to eligible regional Queensland small or micro businesses that have been highly impacted by shutdown restrictions. The grants are aimed at helping businesses adapt to new conditions, respond to opportunities, upskill staff and build resilience for longer-term growth.  

Eligibility requirements include being able to demonstrate your revenue has declined by at least 30% since 23 March 2020 due to COVID-19, employing fewer than 20 employees, having an annual turnover of more than $75,000 for the last financial year and payroll of less than $1.3 million. 

Relief for tourism operators

Fees and charges relief is being offered to eligible tourism and hospitality operators including waiving some licensing permit and application fees, and park permit assessment fees. 

The Queensland government has also introduced a state land rent waiver for tourism operators impacted by COVID-19. This includes a refund of rent for the first quarter of 2020 if already paid by eligible businesses.  

Small Business Skills Hub QLD

The Small Business Skills Hub is offering free online training and learning opportunities for small businesses with fewer than 20 employees which have been impacted by COVID-19 to assist with recovery. 

Support program  Annual turnover  Eligibility  Demonstrated decline  Amount 
Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program  $75,000+  Regional small or micro business, fewer than 20 employees, payroll of less than $1.3m  30% for specified dates  $2,000 to $10,000 one off 

Find more details on support available in Queensland. 

Northern Territory

Territory Business Lockdown Payment Program

An extended closure payment of $1,000 for eligible businesses impacted by the recent lockdown in NT was announced on 8 July 2021 and applications closed on 16 July 2021.  

The NT Government states that ‘the program will start as from the issue of a direction by the chief health officer for the NT that a lockdown is in place’, suggesting that should the NT face restrictions again, applications may reopen. 

Find out more from the NT Government 

Small Business Survival Payment NT

The Survival Payment is to help small businesses come back from the impacts of COVID. Eligible businesses must have a turnover of at least $75,000 but less than $10 million and be able to demonstrate a minimum 50% decline in turnover experienced in October 2020 compared to October 2019. Amounts of between $2,000 and $10,000 are available to eligible businesses. Applications will remain open until funds have been exhausted.

Support program  Annual turnover  Eligibility  Demonstrated decline  Amount 
Territory Business Lockdown Payment Program extended closure payment  $75,000 to $10m  Less than 20 FT employees   Businesses impacted by recent lockdown  $1,000 
Small Business Survival Payment $75,000 to $10m  Subject to criteria – see below 50% for specified dates  $2,000 to $10,000 

Learn more details on the Small Business Survival Payment in NT. 

Tasmania

Business Loan Growth Scheme

The Growth Scheme is to support eligible businesses to adapt and develop enhanced business models or new projects that contribute to employment and economic recovery. 

Loans from $20,000 to $3 million are available to eligible businesses that have a turnover of less than $10 million across that last two financial years and can demonstrate a history of profitability pre-COVID-19 or can demonstrate sound prospects for a new venture.  

Tax & registration relief measures

Eligible Tasmanian businesses can potentially take advantage of a variety of payroll and land tax waivers and rebates, and apply to save or waive fees on business vehicle registrations. 

Support program  Annual turnover  Eligibility  Demonstrated decline  Amount 
Business Loan Growth Scheme  Less than $10 million across that last two financial years  History of profitability, prospects for a new venture  Subject to evidence – see below Loans from $20,000 to $3 million 

Find out more details on support available in Tasmania. 

Australian Capital Territory

Economic Survival Package

A variety of support measures are available to help ACT businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19, including access to one-on-one tailored business advice, waivers for assorted licensing and registration fees and payroll tax deferrals.  

You can find out more about these measure on the ACT Economic Survival Package site. 

National live music venue support

Live Music Australia is providing up to $100,000 in funding to eligible small to medium venues across Australia as part of the Government’s four year $20 million package.  

Applications for the current round of funding close 9 August 2021. Click here for more details. 

Remember to check your state’s eligibility requirements on your state or territory government’s website, or search for your state on the Federal Government’s Business site. This is a summary for general information only, none of the material is or should be regarded as advice of any kind. 

Need flexible access to funds? A Prospa Small Business Loan may be able to help ease the pressure. Apply now.

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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.

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