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.

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.

Temporary full expensing

You may be able to claim a tax deduction for the full cost of eligible depreciating business equipment or vehicles if you:

  • first held, and first used or installed, the equipment or vehicles between 7 October 2020 and 30 June 2022
  • have a business with an aggregated turnover of less than $5 billion
  • only claim the portion of the asset you use for business.

This can include second-hand assets if your business has an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million. You may also be able to claim deductions for the cost of improvements you made to new or existing equipment or vehicles. A limit applies to the cost of passenger vehicles.

Read more about temporary full expensing or learn about the instant asset write-off.

Talk to your accountant or tax advisor to confirm if your business is eligible for temporary full expensing.

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

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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 Recovery Loans

An SME Recovery Scheme Loan of up to $5 million designed to help Australia businesses recover. Find out if you’re eligible to apply for long term funding to help your business recover.