Applications for Government support given the recent Qld lockdowns are now open! 

Federal Government support packages are targeted at individuals impacted by the lockdown, and the State Government support businesses.

As Covid has already taught us, some industries are more susceptible to a lockdown and outbreak than others. After a period of relative positivity across the board within the SEQ business community, there is undoubtedly a sense of deja vu, but the support already announced for business owners and those who can no longer work is very different to JobKeeper.

We have summarised for you below the support available and the key eligibility criteria.

[Bookmark this blog as we will continue to update it and stay tuned for a Calm Covid Convo we will be hosting next week with John Knight, Ben Whittaker, and myself on the support available for Queensland businesses].

the LGA’s covered by the support packages

  • Brisbane City Council
  • Gold Coast City Council
  • Ipswich City Council
  • Lockyer Valley Regional Council
  • Logan City Council
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Noosa Shire Council
  • Redland City Council
  • Scenic Rim Regional Council
  • Somerset Regional Council
  • Sunshine Coast Regional Council
  • Regional Council of Cairns [added]
  • Shire of Yarrabah [added]

If you operate a business outside of these LGA’s but are impacted by the lockdown, you may still be eligible for the Business Grant.

2021 COVID-19 Business Support Packages

Businesses across Queensland impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdowns [SEQ started on Saturday 31 July 2021] may be eligible for a Business Support Grant from the Queensland Government.

how much?

  • $10,000 grant [was previously only $5,000] to employing small businesses and non-for-profit organisations with an annual payroll in Queensland less than $1.3 million
  • $15,000 grant to employing medium sized businesses and non-for-profit organisations with an annual payroll in Queensland between $1.3 million and $10 million
  • $30,000 grant to employing large sized tourism and hospitality focused businesses and non-for-profit organisiations with an annual payroll in Queensland of greater than $10 million

who is eligible?

UPDATE: This has been updated based on the Guidelines released by Business Queensland, you can view them here.

To be eligible, a business or not for profit organisation must [at the time of applying]:

  • employ staff [in addition to the business owners and be employed on the business’s payroll];
  • have an Australian Business Number [ABN] for the business or not for profit organisation continuously held since 30 June 2021;
  • be registered for GST;
  • have a Queensland headquarters [i.e. the principal place of business is located in Queensland] and the impacted business was based and trading in Queensland on 31 July 2021;
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are insolvent or an undischarged bankrupt;
  • have an annual payroll of not more than $10 million [except for large tourism and hospitality businesses in the identified tourism and hospitality sector during any of the 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21 financial years;
  • have an annual turnover of over $75,000 during any of the 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020- 21 financial years; For a recently started business, provide financial records to indicate this will reasonably be met in the 2021-22 financial year.
  • demonstrate the business was directly or indirectly affected by a lock down event; [we suggest common sense approach be taken here but please refer below for more information]
  • demonstrate or declare a reduction in turnover of 30% or more during a nominated 7- day period which must include at least 1 full day of a lock down event when compared against turnover achieved by the entity during the same 7-day period in 2019 [or if that 2019 period is not indicative of the entity’s typical weekly turnover, a comparable 7-day period].
    • For comparison, this period should be against either: the same period in July or August 2019; or where the 2019 comparison period is not indicative of the entity’s typical weekly turnover [e.g. a recently started small business or a business that has experienced structural changes], another comparable period can be nominated [e.g. the same period in July/August 2020].
    • For this criteria:
      • Direct impact: businesses that must not operate as specified in the lock down events can self-declare the impact on their turnover in the application form.
      • Indirect impact: businesses that are able to operate for a limited purpose during the lock down events, or whose activities are not specified in the health directions for the lock down events but are impacted by lock down events, or are located outside of the lock down areas must provide evidence to show a reduction in turnover of more than 30% [see Supporting evidence section below].
  • large tourism and hospitality businesses and not for profit organisations must undertake business activities in one of the industry areas in the ANZSIC Codes and meet all of the above eligibility criteria [although can have an annual payroll greater than $10 million].
  • UPDATE: There is an eligibility checker available on the Business Queensland website to assist with this process, you can visit it here

individuals – COVID-19 Disaster Payment

UPDATE: This support payment is now open for those people in the 13 LGAs impacted by the recent Queensland lockdowns.

UPDATE: Regional Council of Cairns and Shire of Yarrabah have been declared Commonwealth COVID Hotspots from 11:59pm on 8 August 2021 and as such should now qualify for this Disaster Payment if they meet the below criteria.

This support payment will be available from Services Australia and paid to the individual impacted. Applications are now available and we understand payments are being processed very quickly.

how much?

  • $750 per week where you lose 20 hours or more of work
  • $450 per week where you lose between 8 and 19 hours of work

This payment will continue for the length of time the lockdown remains in place, and the above LGA’s are declared a Commonwealth Hotspot.

who is eligible?

  • You live in, work from or have visited one of the above LGA’s, which have been declared a Commonwealth hotspot from 11:59pm on 30 March 2021
  • You live in, work from or have visited a location subject to the Queensland restricted movement order
  • You had paid employment, and because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot or are subjected to restricted movement, you cannot attend work
  • You don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
  • You aren’t receiving the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, or a state-based pandemic payment.
  • UPDATE: Claims for this payment close on 28 August 2021 

More details are available here.

UPDATE: Other Business Support Packages

Queensland Treasurer announced a number of targeted COVID-19 support packages designed to support specific industries significantly impacted by COVID-19. These mostly relate to the Tourism and Hospitality sectors, however there are some important measures for small to medium businesses.

Business Queensland has COVID-19 business assistance finder where you can drill down into specific support packages and grants available to your industry, business size and location. The “Assistance Finder” can be found here.

We have summarised the main announcements provided in today’s update below.

Payroll tax relief

who is eligible?

  • Businesses operating in the hospitality or tourism sector
  • You currently pay payroll tax in Queensland
  • You lodge payroll tax returns monthly
  • You have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns in Queensland

how to apply?

  • You can apply to defer paying your liability for July 2021 for 6 months
  • If you have already paid your July 2021 liability the deferral will be applied to your August 2021 return
  • No refunds of July or August liability will be available
  • You need to apply no later than 30 September 2021

You can apply to defer your payroll tax here.

Marine Tourism Rebate

who is eligible?

  • Marine tourism vessel operators that have suffered losses of income due to impacts of COVID-19 travel restrictions
  • The rebate is designed to offset the cost of berthing fees at privately-owned or privately-operated marinas for businesses operating in eligible local government areas

how to apply?

  • Details on how to apply for the rebate will be available soon but you can register your interest to receive updates at tourism@dtis.qld.gov.au

Waiving of Liquor and gaming licenses

who is eligible?

  • Waiver of fees for operators who are licensed under the Liquor Act 1992 or the Wine Industry Act 1994 as at 30 June 2021
  • If you have already paid your license fees for the 2021-2022 period these will be refunded
  • Licensees that have not paid are no longer required to pay their fees
  • Application fees associated with changes to trading hours or licensed areas will also be waived between now and 30 June 2022.

COVID-19 Cleaning rebate

how much?

  • 80% of cleaning costs associated with ‘deep cleans’ of exposure sites up to a maximum of $10,000.

who is eligible?

  • Small and medium businesses and non-for-profit organisations – defined as businesses with an annual payroll in Queensland of not more than $10 million
  • Businesses [including sole traders] need to have Queensland based businesses premises [i.e. principal place of business is located in Queensland]
  • The business must be listed as an exposure site on the Queensland Health contract tracing [exposure sites]
  • Undertake a professional clean [also known as a ‘deep clean’] of the affected worksite in accordance with Queensland COVID-19 cleaning, disinfection and waste management guidelines
  • Eligible for cleaning expenses incurred in the 2021-2022 financial year for the above ‘deep cleans’ including businesses implicated by the South East Queensland and Townsville lockdown that commenced on 29 June 2021.

how to apply?

  • An online process will be available to provide business details, cleaning invoices and evidence of payment on the Business Queensland website soon.

Of course, these payments are not going to go very far for anyone severely impacted by the lockdown.  Industries like hospitality, tourism, travel, accommodation and fitness will need to review where they are at once again in their business to limit their exposure and have a plan should  Queensland enter another lockdown.

If you need assistance in accessing the above support payments or Grants or help understanding what this means for your business,  give us a call on 1300BDEPOT or email us at oneplace@businessdepot.com.au