State Government funding packages
Updated 5 August 2020
All State and Territory Governments around the country have announced stimulus packages to address the COVID-19 crisis.
These packages apply in addition to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 support packages.
MEA will keep members updated with details of support packages for businesses (including how to apply for assistance) as they come to hand.
Australia Capital Territory
Business Support Grants
The ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grants will deliver support of $20,000 for employing businesses and $7,500 for non-employing businesses over the five-week lockdown period where those businesses’ turnover has declined by 30 per cent or more as a result of the COVID-19 public health measures.
Applications are now open. Follow the links for the Guidelines, Frequently Asked Questions, and the application form.
The package includes:
- $20 million in funding to fast track infrastructure projects and maintenance on government-owned community, school, and other buildings.
- ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest-free until 1 July 2022. Business will need to complete an online application at revenue.act.gov.au to confirm eligibility.
- Increased subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships to access nationally recognised training.
Subsidies will be provided directly to RTOs with no application required.
- $750 rebate for small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year.
Rebates will be automatically applied to the next electricity bill in June or July 2020.
- Commercial property owners with an average unimproved value below $2 million are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge. Rebates will be applied automatically.
- $150 rebate on residential rate bills in 2020-21
- Freeze on levy for fire and emergency services, vehicle registration, parking, and public transport.
A dedicated phone line has been established to help businesses understand the support available to them through the ACT Economic Survival Package. Phone: 02 6205 0900.
Small business hardship scheme
Eligible small businesses will be able to apply to the ACT Government to receive credits for payroll tax, utility charges, rates, and other selected fees and charges up to a maximum of $10,000 per operator.
To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate a 30 per cent loss of revenue from June quarter 2021 to September quarter 2021 and have a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million.
The COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme will open in October 2021. Detailed guidelines for the Small Business Hardship Scheme will be made available in the coming weeks.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment
Employees who are unable to earn an income during the lockdown may be able to access the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment.
Payment amounts will vary from $200 to up to $750 depending on the hours of work lost during the lockdown and other eligibility criteria.
More information about the scheme and how to apply is available on the Services Australia website.
New South Wales
COVID-19 Business Grants
A one-off payment to help businesses with cashflow support for the first 3 weeks of lockdown.
- $7,500 to $15,000 depending on the decline in turnover
- A revenue decline of 30 per cent or more
- Annual turnover above $75,000
- Payroll up to $10 million
Fortnightly payments to help maintain employee headcount and provide cash flow support to businesses.
- Employing businesses: 40 per cent of their weekly NSW payroll, with payments between $1,500 and $100,000 per week
- Non-employing business: $1,000 per week.
- A revenue decline of 30 per cent or more
- Turnover between $75,000 and $250 million.
Payroll tax deferrals
Businesses can defer their payment of the 2020-21 annual reconciliation, July and August 2021 monthly return periods until 7 October 2021. Interest-free repayment plans for up to 12 months will be available.
- Deferral of the 2020-21 annual reconciliation payment as well as the July and August Monthly payments until 7 October 2021
For more information visit Revenue NSW
Payroll tax reduction
A 25 per cent reduction to help reduce overheads for eligible businesses with a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
- Eligible customers will receive a 25 per cent reduction in their 2021-22 payroll tax liability if they have experienced a 30 per cent decline in turnover.
- A decline in turnover of 30 per cent
- For NSW businesses with grouped Australian wages of no more than $10 million.
For more information visit Revenue NSW
Additional funding for NT businesses
Small Business Financial Fitness Fund
The Small Business Financial Fitness Fund will support businesses to access financial sustainability training programs specific to their needs.
This program will help businesses build a greater understanding of their financial position and develop strategies to improve sustainability.
Applications for individual businesses (individual grants) to attend training open on 1 March 2021.
Business Support Grants
Your business may be eligible for financial support through the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants, if it has been affected by the August 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns in Queensland.
You may be eligible to receive a grant, based on the payroll size of your eligible business or not-for-profit organisation in Queensland. This grant may be used for business expenses.
|Business type||Payroll size||Available funding|
|Employing Queensland small businesses and not-for-profit organisations||less than $1.3 million||$10,000|
|Employing Queensland medium-sized businesses and not-for-profit organisations||between $1.3 million and $10 million||$15,000|
|Employing Queensland large-sized tourism and hospitality focused businesses and not-for-profit organisations||more than $10 million||$30,000|
|Non-employing sole traders based in Queensland||n/a||$1,000|
Support for commercial tenancies
Since COVID-19, South Australia has legislated specific changes for tenants and landlords in commercial arrangements. The changes include:
- Ensuring lessees cannot be evicted during COVID-19 due to failure to pay rent, failure to pay outgoings or business failing to open in the terms specified in the lease
- Unless otherwise agreed between lessor and lessee, the rent must not be increased during the period if the lessee is suffering COVID-19 related financial hardship
- Requiring the lessor to not on-charge land tax if suffering COVID-19 related financial hardship.
As a first step, lessees and lessors are encouraged to commence discussions on any matters relating to leases including deferral of rent, rent free periods or any other modifications to leases which will help both parties through this difficult time.
If agreement is reached, any changes should be documented and executed by all parties.
The Office of the Small Business Commissioner has more information for lessees and lessors, including information on lodging a dispute.
Registration freeze for light and heavy vehicles
Small businesses looking to suspend activity due to the COVID-19 business downturn and trading restrictions can apply to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles to freeze their business vehicle registrations for both light and heavy vehicles.
Registrations can be reactivated at no cost to them when the business restarts. The maximum period that a registration can be frozen is 12 months.
Business Growth Loan Scheme
The Tasmanian Government has announced a $60 million Business Growth Loan Scheme.
The scheme provides businesses with concessional loan funding to adapt and transition to sustainable post-COVID operating models.
Loans from $20,000 to $3 million are available for eligible businesses and new projects. The scheme is open for 12 months or until all funding has been fully allocated, whichever occurs first.
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
Business in Victoria that do not qualify for other support programs and have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent are encouraged to apply for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, which provides grants of $14,000 to successful applicants.
More information about business support programs is available at Grants and programs.
All Victorians are encouraged to book their vaccination appointment by visiting portal.cvms.vic.gov.au or by phoning the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.
Financial support for small and medium businesses
The WA Government is investing $114 million to support small and medium businesses:
- a one-off $2500 credit on electricity bills for small businesses
- no utility disconnections or charging of interest on deferred electricity payments
- waiving licence fees for businesses in industries such as hospitality, tourism, retail and building trades
- waiving liquor licence renewal fees for 2020, with refunds provided to businesses that have already paid
- increasing the payroll tax exemption threshold to $1 million from 1 July 2020
- providing a one-off grant of $17,500 to businesses with a reconciled 2018-19 Australia-wide payroll of between $1 million and $4 million
- waiving payroll tax for 4 months from 1 March to 30 June 2020, for businesses with an Australia-wide payroll of less than $7.5 million
- waiving rent for small businesses in WA Government-owned buildings until 30 September 2020, including convenience stores in train stations, cafés in government buildings, restaurants in tourism precincts, such as Elizabeth Quay and Yagan Square and eligible small businesses leasing land from the WA Government, such as caravan park and eco-tourism operators
- alternative tax payment arrangements
- waiving late payment penalties for transfer duty and landholder duty.
For more information visit the Small Business Development Corporation’s website.
WA small businesses to receive $17,500 grant
From 20 July, thousands of Western Australian small to medium-sized businesses will begin receiving a one-off grant of $17,500 from the WA Government to help them recover from the impacts of COVID-19.
Payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million will be eligible for the grant, which will be sent automatically to all qualifying businesses.
Eligibility for employers not registered for payroll tax in 2018-19 will be determined on their reconciled 2019-20 Australian taxable wages, with grants paid later in 2020.
It is expected 7,400 Western Australian businesses will benefit from the grant.
For more information see the WA small businesses to receive $17,500 grant to assist during COVID-19 media statement.
Commercial tenants and landlords
The WA Government has introduced a new code of conduct to help commercial tenants and landlords reach agreements about rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It provides guidelines to assist with negotiating rent relief agreements during COVID-19 to ensure businesses can survive, and requires landlords to:
- offer relief at least proportionate to the reduction in turnover that the business has suffered
- provide at least half of that rent relief as a waiver, with the rest to be either deferred or waived.
The code is applicable for small businesses who have an annual turnover of less than $50 million, and who either qualify for the JobKeeper scheme or have experienced a decline in turnover of 30 per cent or more during the emergency period (6 months from March 30, 2020). Small charities only need to show a 15 per cent reduction in turnover.
Small commercial tenants and their landlords are encouraged to visit the Small Business Development Corporation website for practical advice about reaching an agreement on rent relief.