COVID-19 Business Update – 10 February 2021

COVID-19 Business Update – 10 February 2021

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

Active COVID-19 Cases at Near 2-Month Low

Australia only has 46 active cases of COVID-19, the lowest number in nearly two months. However, authorities warned against complacency. New South Wales, which has now gone 23 days without detecting any local cases of COVID-19, also warned of a drop-off in testing rates among the community.

Vaccinations are expected to start later this month.

COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates Will Be Released

The Australian government revealed plans to release vaccination certificates and said that it is highly likely that such documentation will be required for international travel into the country.

The existing immunisation register will be used to record and digital certificates will be accessible on the Express Plus Medicare app, accessed through My Gov. Hard copies will also be available.

Australian Business Confidence Improves in January

National Australia Bank’s index of business confidence showed Australian business confidence picked up in January, as outbreaks in a few cities were contained.

Business confidence doubled to +10 points in January, while its measure of conditions fell to +7 from a very strong +16 in December. The conditions index was just above its long-run average of +6.

The labour market has recovered faster than expected with the jobless rate declining to 6.6% in December, from a peak of 7.5% in July.

Western Australia Expands Mandatory SafeWA QR Code Register

Additional Western Australian businesses have been added to the list of premises that will be required to use the SafeWA QR code for COVID-19 contact tracing starting 12 February 2021.

These additional venues include retail venues such as supermarkets and shopping centres; commercial buses or vessels that have a capacity of 12 or more people; public and private hospitals; takeaway food and beverage services; and events with 500-plus patrons and functions such as weddings or corporate functions.

Business Events Grant Opportunity

The Business Events Grant helps Australian businesses take part as buyers or sellers at business events such as exhibitions, conferences, and conventions. It aims to ease the financial pressure for event organisers and to encourage businesses to attend business events.

You can apply until 30 March 2021 to get funding of $10,000 per entity up to a maximum of $250,000. Events must be pre-approved and held from 1 January to 31 December 2021.

Upcoming Key Dates

Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:

21 February

  • Activity statements
    January monthly activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment.

28 February

  • Activity statements
    Quarter 2 (October–December) activity statements – final date for lodgment and payment, including electronic lodgment.
  • GST
    Annual GST return or Annual GST information report – final date for lodgment and payment (if required) if you do not have an income tax return lodgment obligation.
  • PAYG instalments
    Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms R and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
  • GST instalments
    Quarter 2 (October–December) instalment notices (forms S and T) – final date for payment, and lodgment if varying the instalment amount.
  • Income tax
    Lodgment and payment due date for self-preparing entities that were not due at an earlier date (if you don’t lodge your previous financial year return on time, your income tax return for the current financial is due by 31 October.)

Contact us if you have any questions.

Upcoming Superannuation Deadline

Here’s an upcoming due date you need to look out for:

28 February

  • Lodge and pay quarter 2 (1 October–31 December) Superannuation guarantee charge statement – quarterly if you did not pay your contributions on time.
  • You can choose to offset contributions you’ve paid late to a fund for each employee against the super guarantee charge for the quarter for those employees.
  • You cannot claim an income tax deduction for the super guarantee charge.

If you need help with your taxes or superannuation, drop us a message.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

When Should I Apply for a Business Loan?

Borrowing money is part of running a company, but it does come with a cost. This means you shouldn’t impulsively take on debt unless there’s a clear benefit for doing so.

Below are the top valid reasons for getting a business loan:

  • Opportunity to expand your business– Whether it’s for hiring new staff, developing a new product, or launching a new marketing initiative, if it will help you grow your future revenues, it is a smart time to get a loan.
  • Replace, repair, or upgrade equipment or systems– It is sometimes difficult to finance new business assets such as equipment, service vehicles, and systems out of your existing cash. A business loan can be used to cover these investments and help you improve your products or services.
  • Refinance existing debt– If you already have a business loan, you may qualify for better terms now compared to when you first borrowed. Refinancing to a better rate will let you enjoy lower monthly payments while covering your debt.

If you require some guidance on deciding what type of business loan to apply for, or need some help with the completion of your requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Get in touch

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