New grants available to ACT businesses and individuals impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdown

Business Insights

The ACT Government announced a range of measures to support local business and industries impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdown.

On 13 August 2021, a jointly funded package from the Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Governments is announced to deliver grants of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses experienced 30% decline in turnover in the week defined as Friday 13 August – Friday 20 August 2021.

For individuals, COVID-19 disaster relief payments will be paid by Services Australia through the myGov website, and weekly payments will vary between $200 and $750. Applications will be open on 20 August 2021.


NEW COVID-19 Business Support Grant

The grant will provide $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses who have experienced a reduction of turnover of at least a 30 %  in the week defined as Friday 13 August - Friday 20 August 2021  (compared to the prior 7-day period) due to restricted trading conditions.

Eligibility will include:New COVID-19 Business Support Grant

  • Registered in the ACT as verified by an ABN and able to demonstrate primary operation in the ACT as at 1 April 2021;
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (excluding GST);
  • Be registered for GST as recorded on the Australian Business Register before April 2021; and
  • Have total Australian payroll of less than $10 million.

Claim process not yet announced. More details on this program will be available soon.


NEW COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Support is available if you have lost hours of work due to an Australian Capital Territory COVID-19 public health order:


Key dates

Relevant Period

Claims Open

Claims Close

13 to 19 August 2021 20 August 2021 9 September 2021

 


If you don’t get a Centrelink Payment

  • If you lost at least 8 but less than 20 hours or a full day of work for that week, you’ll get $450 if you’re eligible.
  • If you lost 20 hours or more for that week, you’ll get $750 if you’re eligible.
  • A full day of your usual work is what you were scheduled to work but could not because of a restricted movement order. This includes not being able to attend a full time, part time or casual shift of less than 8 hours.

Eligibility

  • You're an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia. 
  • You're 17 years or older. 
  • You didn't get an income support payment, Dad and Partner Pay, Parental Leave Pay or ABSTUDY Living Allowance during the same period. 
  • You didn't get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a territory pandemic payment or a territory small business payment for the same period. 
  • You lost income and didn’t have any pandemic-related paid leave entitlements.
  • You lived in, worked from or visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a territory restricted movement order. 
  • You have been unable to earn your usual income of 8 hours or more, or a full day’s work because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot and were subject to restricted movement. 
  • You’re not getting your usual income and your employer is not getting Retaining Domestic Airline Capability payments on your behalf.

If you get a Centrelink payment

You will continue to get extra $200 on top of your regular income support payment on your usual pay dates.

Eligibility

  • You get an income support payment or ABSTUDY Living Allowance.
  • You're 17 years or older.
  • You're not getting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, Dad and Partner Pay, Parental Leave Pay, a territory pandemic payment or a territory small business payment for the same period.
  • You lived in, or worked from or visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a territory restricted movement order.
  • You were unable to work and earn your usual income of 8 hours or more or a full day’s work because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot and are subject to restricted movement.
  • You don’t have any pandemic-related paid leave entitlements.
  • You reported employment income to us at least once on or after 19 June 2021 or had declared ongoing employment income on or after 19 June 2021.
  • You’re not getting your usual income and your employer is not getting Retaining Domestic Airline Capability payments on your behalf..

Other support programs

Individual

COVID-19 Test Hardship Isolation Paymentworkplace_assurance_1.png

ACT Government initiative to provide a safety net for eligible Canberra workers who are required to isolate after testing for COVID-19 and are waiting for their test result.

To be eligible the COVID-19 test must have been conducted on or after 17 August 2020.

  • $270 to eligible workers who isolate while awaiting COVID-19 test result.
  • Payment covers up to 3 days in isolation.
  • If takes longer than 3 days, may be eligible to receive $90 per day for each additional day they await result.
  • Currently reside in the ACT or work at least  80 per cent of the time in the ACT.
  • Not be a dependant.
  • Be unable to work as a result of having to isolate due to awaiting your COVID‑19 test result.
  • Not be receiving any income as a result  of not being able to work.
  • Have exhausted paid sick leave entitlements including any special pandemic leave or have no entitlement to such leave.
  • Have less than $5,000 in savings.
  • Not be receiving Australian Government income support.
  • Not be employed by the ACT Government, Commonwealth Government, or Government Business Enterprise.

 Pandemic leave disaster payment

A lump sum payment OF $1,500 for each 14 day period if you need to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone and can’t earn an income. This replaces the ACT COVID-19 hardship isolation payment. 

Eligibility

  • You have coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • You’ve been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19.
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who has COVID-19.
  • You care for a child, 16 years or under, who’s been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19
  • You’re at least 17 years old and live in the Australian Capital Territory
  • You’re an Australian resident or hold a visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • You're unable to go to work and earn an income
  • You have no sick leave entitlements, including pandemic sick leave, personal leave or leave to care for another person.

Businesses

Covid-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme – up to $10,000

Eligible small businesses will soon be able to apply to the ACT Government to receive credits up to a maximum of $10,000 per operator for;

  1. Payroll tax
  2. Utilities
  3. Rates
  4. A range of business licence fees and charges.

Eligibility

  • Demonstrate 30 per cent loss in revenue.
  • Small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million per annum.

More details will be available soon.


Payroll tax waivers, deferrals and exemptions

Wages paid to new employees who are apprentices or trainees employed after 1 August 2020 are exempt from payroll tax from the start of their employment until 30 June 2022.


Local Tourism IndustryCOVID-19 TEST HARDSHIP ISOLATION PAYMENT

Accommodation and Tourism Venue Operator support program – up to $75,000

Eligible accommodation providers and private tourism venue operators can receive a full rebate on their fixed water and sewerage charges for the first two quarters of 2021-22.

Eligibility

  • 30 per cent reduction in revenue in July 2021 compared to April 2021
  • Applications now open close at 5pm on 17 September 2021

Small Tourism Operator COVID Recovery Payment – up to $15,000

Small tourism operators and operators can apply for reimbursement of up to $15,000 per ABN for eligible expenses incurred in June and July 2021 under the Accommodation and Tourism Venue Operator support program.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you need to demonstrate 30 per cent loss of revenue in July 2021 compared to April 2021 and requirements set out in three categories:

  • Tourism businesses with a turnover between $75,000 and $10m per annum (can apply up to $15,000 plus GST)
  • Tourism businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000 per annum (can apply up to $15,000 plus GST)
  • Seasonal Tourism Businesses (can apply up to $15,000 plus GST)

Hire car and charter bus registration fees

Current vehicle registration fees waivers for hire cars and charter buses registered in the ACT has now been extended to 31 March 2022


Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund

The Tourism Cooperative Marketing Fund (TCMF) will be brought forward in 2021/22 to encourage Canberra-based organisations or businesses to collaborate on innovative marketing campaigns that increase awareness of Canberra and region as a leisure destination.

Funding of $500,000 will be available to applications from two or more entities in two categories. A focus of the Fund will be to encourage collaboration with accommodation providers.


COVID-Safe Tourism Co-Investment ProgramFOOD BUSINESS REGISTRATION, OUTDOOR DINING AND LIQUOR LICENCING FEE WAIVERS DUE TO COVID

The 2021/22 COVID Safe Tourism Co-investment program will be brought forward and will offer $750,000 in funding to encourage the development of new experiences to attract overnight visitors to Canberra.


Hospitality

Food business registration, outdoor dining and liquor licencing fee waivers:

  • The food business registration fee waiver has been extended until 31 March 2022. If food business registration has been prepaid for more than one year in advance, an additional 12 months will be added to the licence.

  • The outdoor dining permit fee waiver has been extended for another 12 months, until 30 June 2022.
  • The annual licence fee waiver for some liquor licensees has been tapered to provide a 50 per cent fee reduction for 12 months from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022. Eligible licensees include nightclub licence, restaurant and café licence, bar licence, general licence, catering licence, special licence and club licence. Businesses do not need to contact the ACT Government for these waivers. They will be applied automatically as part of the normal annual fee licencing process

Micro-producer

Micro-producer application fee reduction

  • Micro-producers will receive a 90 per cent reduction off their application fee in the first year of their off licence from 22 May 2020 if they produce and sell up to $100,000 of liquor on their licenced premises.

For further information

If you require further information about the COVID-19 lockdown and grants available, please contact your local RSM adviser to find out more in relation to these measures.