Business Update – 28 July 2021

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

Greater Sydney Lockdown to Extended by 4 Weeks

What began as a two-week lockdown on June 26 for the more than 5 million people living in Greater Sydney will now stretch until at least August 28, as COVID-19 daily case numbers continue to grow.

Existing rules including the five reasons to leave home and the non-essential retail shutdown will remain. A new 10km travel limit for shopping is now also in place. From midnight Wednesday, Parramatta, Georges River and Campbelltown LGAs will join the Western Sydney lockdown. Essential workers leaving Canterbury-Bankstown will need to be tested for COVID-19 every three days. A list of authorised workers can be found on the NSW government website.

Outside the LGAs mentioned above, non-occupied construction will resume across Sydney from this Saturday.

From 12:01 am July 31 people who live alone can nominate one designated person to visit for companionship.
We’re thinking of everyone affected 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.

New Zealand- Australia Travel Bubble Bursts

NZ has suspended the travel bubble with Australia from 11:59pm on 23 July, as the threat from the Delta COVID-19 outbreaks has become too great. New Zealanders returning home will face a range of quarantine and self-isolation measures.

The pause on quarantine-free travel will be in place for at least eight weeks.

Victoria Exits Lockdown

From Wednesday 28th July, the five-kilometre travel limit and the five reasons to leave home rule will be scrapped in Victoria, as the state exits lockdown.

Schools will open to all year levels from this morning, while pubs, restaurants, bars and cafes are also allowed to reopen but with space restrictions. Only 300 people will be permitted outside, while only 100 will be allowed inside. The one person per four square metre rule should also be followed.

Gyms will be allowed to operate with the same density quotient, while retail stores can open their doors but with mandatory QR code check-ins.

However, no visitors will be permitted to homes for at least two weeks and public gatherings will be limited to 10 people. For funerals and weddings, the number of guests must be capped at 50 people.

Meanwhile, offices can return at 25% capacity and masks will be required. It’s also important to note that masks will remain mandatory inside and outside.

South Australia Records No New COVID-19 Cases on Final Day of Week-Long Lockdown

Lockdown has been lifted for South Australia from Wednesday, as there have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in South Australia on the last day of its shutdown. However, people who are in quarantine need to remain in quarantine for the full 14 days.

Masks will remain mandatory in high-risk public settings, and this rule will likely remain in place for at least a week.

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.

Cash Grants for Victorian businesses affected by lockdown

The Victorian Government has announced further financial support through the Business Costs Assistance Program, ensuring businesses will get another $2800. For businesses who received earlier rounds of the grants, the top-up payments will be automatic. Businesses who didn’t apply or were ineligible in May-June lockdown, their applications will be considered.

Alpine businesses will receive an additional $3000 for closure during peak season and community sport and recreation organisations will also receive $2000 grants for events that have been cancelled or postponed.

South Australian Business Support Grant

Cash grants of $3000 will be available to small and medium businesses that suffer significant loss of income and sole traders can apply for a $1000 grant.

The SA government will also provide $600 weekly support payments to workers in regional South Australia, after areas outside of Adelaide were left out of the Commonwealth “hotspot” declaration, meaning they miss out on disaster payment federal support.

Applications are expected to open within the next fortnight and businesses can register interest on the SA Treasury website.

NZ Freezes Travel Bubble with South Australia, Extends Pause on Travel Bubble with Victoria

Quarantine-free travel from South Australia to New Zealand has been paused, but those who are currently in the state who ordinarily live in New Zealand will be able to return on “managed return” flights starting with the next available flight.

A negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours of flying will be required for eligible passengers, and they must also complete a health declaration confirming they haven’t been at a location of interest.

Meanwhile, NZ’s Ministry of Health extended its pause on quarantine-free travel for Victoria for two days starting on Monday. The freeze would be reviewed again today, as well as the arrangement with New South Wales which was on pause since 22 June.

Tax Implications of COVID-19 Rent Concession

If you’re a landlord who has given a rent concession or a tenant who received a rent concession because of COVID-19, you need to consider this in your tax returns.

Take note that the changes in the income you declare, deductions you can claim, GST, and capital gains tax obligations depend on the type of rent concession and the changes to the landlord-tenant agreement.

If you need some expert guidance, contact us today so our specialists can help you.

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.

Income Statements can be found in myGov in July

Since Single Touch Payroll (STP) came into place in 2019, payment summaries (previously called Group Certificates) now known as Income Statements can be accessed through myGov. These are no longer directly provided by employers. This will be prepared and ready for employees by 14 July if your or 31 July, depending on if the employer has 20+ employees or 19 or less respectively.

How Startups Can Overcome the Challenge of Scaling Up

When a startup tries to make the leap and scale up its operations, it may be faced with issues such as lack of funding, loss of focus, changing market needs, and being overtaken by competitors. So if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, read this Forbes article that shares some steps to improve your chances of success.

  • Build a strong ecosystem. Build a solid foundation by establishing a strong ecosystem of strategic partners and investors.
  • Prove you mean business. Take time to find ways on how to prove the validity of your products or services in order to build a good network of partners and increase your customers.
  • Find your manufacturing match. If you sell physical products, finding a manufacturing partner who shares your vision is crucial.
  • Lower the cost of entry. Find ways to manufacture your products as cost-efficiently as possible not only to make your business more attractive to potential partners, but also to improve your profitability in the future.
  • Build your supply chain. Establish robust supply chains from day one instead of pouring all your resources into R&D or other areas of your business.

Want to access more tailored business advice? Book a one-on-one consultation with our expert advisors today!

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