Overview of the support for small business

On 22 March 2020, the Federal Government announced an additional economic support package of $66b, which will give businesses cash flow assistance and help them stay open and prepare for recovery on the other side of the Coronavirus pandemic.

In short, the purpose of the Government’s package is to help people keep their jobs, and keep businesses afloat during the economic downturn.

Check your eligibility for the package

The package is available to small and medium-sized businesses and sole-traders who need assistance to get through these challenging times.

There are some eligibility criteria you need to meet for parts of the package, and levels of assistance depend on how you’ve been affected by the economic downturn.

Here’s a basic breakdown of the package, but you should visit the Government’s website to understand what support is available to you.

Type of support available from the Government

SME Recovery Loan Scheme

On 1 April 2021, the Federal Government launched a new SME Recovery Loan Scheme that is designed to help small and medium sized enterprises (SME) that have been hit hard by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The scheme is an extension to the support already available and allows eligible businesses to access finance as JobKeeper is phased out. The scheme includes significant increases in key areas, including loan terms and loan size.

Eligible businesses will be able to use the scheme to refinance existing loans or for a range of other business purposes including maintaining and growing their business.

There are several key benefits of this scheme for eligible borrowers, including:

  • Lenders can offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 12 months.
  • Borrowers can access up to $5 million per ABN.
  • Loans are for terms of up to 10 years.
  • Loans can be either unsecured or secured (excluding residential property).

Learn more about the NAB Business Recovery Loan.

JobKeeper payment for employers and employees

On 30 March 2020, the Government announced the $130b JobKeeper payment. Some businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access the wage subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. The Government assistance will help businesses keep people in their jobs and earn income – even if their hours have been cut.

If you have a question about how we’re providing support with JobKeeper payments, you can get in touch on 1800 JOBKEEPER (1800 562 533).

Read more about the JobKeeper payment or see the JobKeeper factsheet (PDF, 189KB) for more information.

Cash flow assistance for business

The Government will help small to medium businesses with a cashflow injection by paying ATO debts related to your employees’ PAYG Withholding Tax.

Visit the Government's website for more information on ATO assistance and examples of how the cash flow boost can help your business.

To access the Government assistance, you need to continue lodging your monthly/quarterly BAS. So, make sure you keep up to date with your ATO obligations.

Increasing the instant asset write-off

Here’s a short summary of the changes:

  • increase to the write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000
  • available to businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (increased from $50 million)
  • applies to new or second-hand assets first used or installed for use between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2020.

Read more on the Government’s write-off threshold support page or learn about the instant asset write-off from the ATO.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

The Government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees.

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy for the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.

Read more about the wage subsidy.

Support for exporting businesses

The Government has increased funding for the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG), allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing products.

The Government is helping to secure freight access for Australian agricultural and fisheries exporters. Read more about the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

The Austrade website provides regular updates on Australia’s key export markets to help Australian businesses to overcome complex challenges related to COVID-19.

How to get more information

Speak to your accountant for more information on how the Government’s economic support package may benefit your business.

Information from the Federal Government

Coronavirus information and business support from the Government

Economic stimulus package media release

The Treasury’s economic response to Coronavirus

State and territory-based information

In addition to Federal Government support, your state or territory may provide additional support for your business. Keep up-to-date with the latest information and advice from your state or territory.

Information on keeping your business safe

It’s important to stay aware of scams targeted at businesses and individuals during times like these. Remember we would never ask for your pin or account details. You should always be certain that you’re dealing with your bank or relevant government department before providing any information.

How we’re supporting customers

Two women working

Guidance during COVID-19

Read how to bank with us and stay safe and avoid COVID-19.
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COVID-19 support for home owners

Read about the type of support we’re offering home owners during COVID-19.

Business Support Loans

Loans of up to $1 million available for eligible businesses, designed to help support your business.