Business Update – 1 September 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

We’re thinking of everyone affected by lockdowns around the country and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about your business during this time. Read on for assistance that may be available to you.

Melbourne and Canberra’s lockdowns extended

The lockdown in Melbourne was due to end this Thursday, but authorities announced that they will extend it as the number of COVID-19 infections in Victoria continues to increase. Melbourne’s lockdown is currently in its fourth week and includes a curfew and limits on exercise.

Meanwhile, Canberra will remain in lockdown until at least 17 September. The capital city has been in lockdown for three weeks after a spate of cases believed to have spread from NSW.

Travel Bubble With Singapore Confirmed

Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan confirmed that a travel bubble with Singapore will commence as soon as 80% of all Australians are fully vaccinated. Trade ministers agreed to finalise the rules for quarantine-free travel between both countries by the end of the year. The travel bubble is expected to work similarly to Australia’s arrangements with New Zealand.

Aussie Businesses Spending Big Before Lockdowns

Business investment jumped to two-year highs in the June quarter as firms boost their spending plans for the year ahead. Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week confirmed the economy had a good head of steam in Q2 before the lockdowns likely threw it into reverse.

Business investment climbed 4.4% to reach $32.7 billion, beating forecasts of a 2.5% increase and the highest level since 2019.

GDP Growth Slows in Q2 Ahead of Lockdown Downturn

Even before lockdowns were implemented due to the Delta outbreaks across the country, the country’s economy was already slowing in the June quarter.

According to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, GDP rose 0.7% in the June quarter– down from 1.9% in the March quarter, but beating forecasts of 0.5%. Although annual growth was the fastest in modern history at 9.6%, this was only because the pandemic caused a severe contraction in the June 2020 quarter.
On the positive side, nominal GDP reached a record $2.07 trillion for the year, making it the world’s 11th largest economy.

Extra $40 to $50 Million in COVID-19 Assistance for Childcare Centres

After the Victorian government’s announcement at the weekend to limit childcare centre attendees to the children of essential workers, Education Minister Alan Tudge said $40 to $50 million a week in new support for centres would be provided.

The new support package will provide 25% of a childcare centre’s pre-lockdown revenue if it is subjected to orders for children not to attend, and 40% of an after-school care centre’s revenue. It will be available to all childcare centres locked down for at least 4 weeks.

Furthermore, the funding is expected to provide immediate relief to about 3,600 services caring for children in greater Sydney, as well as another 1,200 services in Melbourne and Canberra.

Victorian Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2 July Extension

The Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension (BCAP2e) gives eligible businesses that had not previously applied for the Program in June, or have since become eligible, with the opportunity to apply for the equivalent of the July Top-Up Payments.

The program offers grants of $4800 to eligible businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses, depending on their industry sector.

Read the eligibility criteria here.

All hotspots: COVID-19 Disaster Payment for recognised lockdowns

This Federal Government support is lump sum payment for workers who cannot earn income because of a state public health order. You can check your eligibility here.

NSW Grants

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

NSW: Micro-business grant

The micro-business grant is a $1500 fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

COVID-19 Business Grant

A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit the Service NSW website.

JobSaver payment

JobSaver is a fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) and provide cashflow support to businesses. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

Small business fees and charges rebate

If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 aimed at helping businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are open and you can check your eligibility here.

You can view more NSW Government COVID-19 Support Packages here, including Jobs Plus, Sydney CBD Friday vouchers, Payroll tax support and support for the tourism industry. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

QLD COVID-19 Business Support Grant

Your business may be eligible for financial support through the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants. $5,000 grants will be made available to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and lockdowns in other states. You must have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the lockdown.

Applications will open in mid-August so we will keep you updated.

The Business Queensland website has an overview of the range of assistance available.

ATO support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions or disasters

The ATO has a range of support options to help those affected by disasters or those experiencing challenges due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

The ATO may be able to:

  • prioritise any refunds owed to you
  • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

If you need help to manage your tax or superannuation obligations, please get in touch with us.

JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period

The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:

  • up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
  • up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years

Register any time until the scheme ends.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees

The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.

4 Strategies to Help Boost Sales

Small business owners know how challenging it is to close a sale. If you find yourself in a limbo– unwilling to give up on poor strategies or commit to potentially effective ones– try the following tactics shared in a Forbes article to improve your closing percentage.

  1. Provide leads with educational materials. It’s easy to close sales when customers truly understand a product or service.
  2. Use a multichannel approach. Don’t restrict yourself to a single sales channel– use social media, video and phone meetings, emails, and other ways to connect.
  3. Tailor your pitch better. Carefully target client needs and deliver a pitch that would appeal to them.
  4. Sell your solution—not the product. Clients want solutions to their problems. So focus on each client’s pain points and deliver a tailored pitch on how you could address those.

If your business is still struggling because of the pandemic, get in touch with our advisors today so we can work out a plan!

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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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