Community News

Small Business Matters

JobKeeper and Other Government Assistance for Small Business

Welcome to a new financial year. After the last three months of uncertainty, restrictions are beginning to ease and some of our local businesses are able to re-open their doors. But things are still different, social distancing is to be observed, and many businesses require you to sign in when you visit.

Many businesses in the Valley have been doing it tough over this time and have had to rely on the assistance of both the Federal and State Governments, particularly if they have had to close their doors, and this has had a flow on effect to our community.

Some staff have been very fortunate to be able to meet the criteria for their employer to be able to apply for, and receive, the famed JobKeeper subsidy. This subsidy is provided to an employer to assist them in retaining their staff during this time.

This was part of the second Government COVID-19 stimulus package which was announced on 22 March 2020 and included additional small business support in the way of cash flow boost for employers through the lodgement of their PAYG withholding.

JobKeeper was put in place for all small business which experienced a minimum 30% drop in GST revenue over the period of a month and where the employer committed to continuing to pay their eligible staff a minimum of $1,500.00 gross (before tax) wages per fortnight.

This subsidy is still available, so if your business is just now feeling the effects of the economic downturn and meet the eligibility criteria, have a chat with your tax or BAS Agent to find out how to register.

Once registered, you do not need to re-test to see if you continue to meet the criteria for future months, however, you must report your earnings to the ATO before the 14th of the following month to continue to receive the subsidy.

This subsidy has been slated to end in September, however, the Government may decide to exclude certain sectors as they recover. For example, those in Child Care industry will no longer be eligible from this month.

Other financial assistance has been provided by State Government in the form of grants. The first such grant of $10,000 was for any small business which had been highly impacted by the restrictions implemented by Government to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Applications for this grant closed on 30 June 2020 and has been used to assist many small businesses with paying overheads during the downturn.

Applications are currently open for the NSW State Government Small Business Recovery Grant. This is to assist those businesses with marketing and advertising expenses and assist with staff training to work safely under the current COVID-19 health conditions.

Of course, as residents of the Clarence Valley, we all have a responsibility to support our local business community, and one of the easiest ways to do this is to Shop Local, follow them on Social Media and give them a “Like”.

Remember, if you are a small business owner, you are not alone during this time. Reach out to your Tax or BAS Agent to help you with these applications if you think you might be eligible.

Written for the Clarence Valley Independent by Cathryn Hopson of Hands On Bookkeepers – Providing clarity around your finances giving you peace of mind so that you can focus on growing your business.