As the impact of the Coronavirus becomes more apparent, governments at both a state and federal level are offering both financial support and administrative concessions to assist businesses through this time.

In an earlier blog, we outlined some incentives available from the federal government.

In this post, we have outlined the support available from the state government for businesses in Queensland that are impacted by the Coronavirus.

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program – 20th May 2020

The objective of this program is to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions announced by the Queensland Government, to adapt and sustain their operations, and build resilience. The available grant amount is up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business.

In recognition of the significant impacts of COVID-19 on small businesses, the funding can be used towards the following:

  • financial, legal or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification
  • strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching aligned to business development and diversification
  • building the business through marketing and communications activities, for example, content development (web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.)
  • digital/technological strategy development
  • digital training or re-training to adapt to new business models
  • capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 SAFE requirements
  • specialised digital equipment or business-specific software to move business operations online (e.g. logistics program for online ordering)
  • meeting business costs, including utilities, rent.

Full details at: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/adaption

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans – additional funding – 20th May 2020

The Queensland Government has announced an additional $500 million in funding for the COVID-19 Jobs Support Loan scheme taking total scheme funding to $1 billion. The additional funding is available to businesses that have already submitted their application for assistance and have not yet been processed. Applications will continue to be assessed up until the $1 billion in funding is fully committed. No new applications will be received.

Full details at: https://www.qrida.qld.gov.au/current-programs/covid-19-business-support/queensland-covid19-jobs-support-scheme

Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program | Business Queensland

Find out how your business can apply for the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant to help adapt and sustain operations, sustain employment and build resilience.

9 May 2020: Queensland doubles funding for 12-month interest free business loans : QRIDA

Queensland doubles funding for 12-month interest free business loans…

Queensland COVID-19 Jobs Support Loans : QRIDA

QRIDA is a specialist administrator of government financial assistance programs including loans, grants, rebates and subsidies.

Covid-19 Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs 19/5/20 – 20th May 2020 

The Queensland Government has announced a suite of economic initiatives in partnership with the private sector aimed at reigniting the Queensland economy as it emerges from the COVID-19 lockdown. The strategy includes:

  • A commitment to maintaining infrastructure investment at more than $50 billion over the next four years
  • A $400 million Accelerated Works Program to deliver new road, bridge and pavement sealing works across the state
  • A further $200 million in 2020-21 for a Works for Queensland program to support jobs and fund productive building projects
  • An $11.25 million expansion of the Household Resilience Program in cyclone-affected areas

In addition, a number of industry-specific initiatives have been announced to

  • $50 million for tourism infrastructure and more funding towards a domestic tourism campaign;
  • Redirecting $50 million of industry attraction funding under the Making it for Queensland initiative to continue to expand manufacturing capacity for PPE, hand sanitiser and medical supplies to respond to COVID-19; and
  • A $10 million support package to support international students and safeguard Queensland’s global education brand.

Full details are available at: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/

Land Tax Relief – 7th September 2020

The Queensland Government has introduced a number of land tax relief measures to alleviate the impacts of coronavirus on business.

You may be eligible for one or more of the following relief measures:

  • a 3-month deferral of land tax liabilities for the 2020–21 assessment year
    • You do not need to apply for the deferral
  • land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 assessment years
  • waiver of the 2% land tax foreign surcharge for foreign entities for the 2019-20 assessment year.

Full details are available at:

https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax/covid-19

You may be eligible for the land tax rebate if at least one of the following circumstances applies to you:

  • You are a landowner who leases all or part of a property to one or more tenants and all the following apply.
    • The ability of one or more tenants to pay their normal rent is affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    • You will provide rent relief to the affected tenant(s) of an amount at least commensurate with the land tax rebate.
    • You will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.
  • You are a landowner and all the following apply.
    • All or part of your property is available for lease.
    • Your ability to secure tenants has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • You require relief to meet your financial obligations.
    • You will comply with the leasing principles even if the relevant lease is not regulated.

Should you be eligible it is expected that you will apply the rebate first to provide rent relief to your tenants and then apply any remaining rebate to assist with your own financial obligations.

Instructions on how to apply will be available from 14 April 2020 and full program details are available at:

https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/land/tax/covid-19

Payroll Tax relief measures extended – 7th September 2020

The Queensland Government has extended payroll tax relief measures to alleviate the impacts of coronavirus on business.

JobKeeper Payments

JobKeeper payments are exempt from Payroll Tax.

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/exemptions/wages

Refunds

If you are an employer who pays $6.5 million or less in Australian taxable wages (including any grouped entities), you will be entitled to:

  • a refund of your payroll tax for 2 months – we understand that this will be for amounts paid in the months of November and December 2019.
  • a payroll tax ‘holiday’ for 3 months – we understand that this will apply to the months of January, February and March 2020, potentially triggering refunds for these months where these amounts have already been paid.
  • a refund of payroll tax for July and August 2020.

These refunds do not have to be repaid.

You will need the following information to apply:

  • to be registered for payroll tax
  • the 7-digit client number of the taxpayer. You can find the taxpayer name and client number in the top-left corner of OSR Online.

You must apply by 30 October 2020.

Eligible employers should receive an email from the Office of State Revenue outlining the process to access these benefits.

Beyond this you can also apply for a deferral of payroll tax for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year, deferring payment of these lodgements until 14 January 2021.

If you are an employer who pays more than $6.5 million in Australian taxable wages, and have been negative affected by the coronavirus, you can apply for a:

  • refund of your payroll tax for 2 months – we understand that this will be for amounts paid in the months of November and December 2019.
  • deferral of payroll tax for the 2020 calendar year until 14 January 2021

To be receive the deferral you must apply to the Office of State Revenue using via an online form.

Deferring Payments

Payroll tax payments for 2020 can now be deferred for longer.

If you have already been approved to defer payment until January 2021, you do not need to reapply for the revised due dates. These new dates will appear in your year-to-date returns in OSR Online.

You must apply for deferral by 31 December 2020

Full details available at:

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/running-business/employing/payroll-tax/lodging/coronavirus-tax-relief

Loans up to $250,000

The Queensland government will also be offering loans for up to $250,000 to eligible businesses, with a 12-month interest free period.

We expect this to be administered in a similar way to the existing disaster assistance loans provided to businesses affected by natural disasters. This requires a formal application process including the provision of financial statements, tax returns, cash flow forecasts and an assessment of how your business has been affected.

It is then up to the government to assess whether your business is eligible.

Electricity rebates

Small and medium businesses may be eligible for a $500 rebate off energy bills where they consume less than 100,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). This will be automatically applied on your business electricity bills.

Residential households will also be eligible for a $200 rebate that will automatically be applied through household electricity bills.

Other support

The Queensland government is also offering targeted support to businesses in the liquor, tourism, hospitality and fishing industries. If you operate in this industry please contact us for more information.

More information is available at:

https://www.qld.gov.au/about/industry-recovery

https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/support/novel-coronavirus

If you would like to know more about how you can take advantage of these offers in your business or just don’t know where to start, reach out to us at 1300BDEPOT or oneplace@businessdepot.com.au or directly contact one of our team. 

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