Weekly Digest – 2 March 2022
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
WA Border Reopening
After 697 days, Western Australia has finally reopened its borders. From 12: 01am Thursday, a long list of new restrictions is expected to stay in place for four weeks.
Strong Economic Growth at the End of 2021
The economy has reported its equal-best quarter of growth in 46 years, according to ABS National Accounts which showed a 3.4% increase in the December 2021 quarter. The National Accounts provide further evidence of rising inflation that may bring forward interest rate hikes.
Business Investment Rebounds in Q4
Australian business investment rebounded modestly last quarter, as demand recovered from lockdowns. The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed capital expenditure rose a real 1.1% in the December quarter to $33.3 billion. Spending plans for the year to end-June 2022 were upgraded to $144.8 billion.
Business Assistance Package for WA Businesses
The Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package is available for businesses in Western Australia most impacted by restrictions. The assistance includes a $66.8 million Small Business Hardship Grants Program, $2.8 million of payroll tax relief for large hospitality businesses, and $2.1 million for a COVID-19 Commercial Sporting Franchises Support Program.
Financial Assistance for Flood Victims in QLD and NSW
Residents in 26 flood-affected local government areas across Queensland and New South Wales can apply for Commonwealth financial support through Services Australia. Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment (AGDRP) of $1,000 per eligible adult and $400 per eligible child is available.
Safe Transition Industry Support Package
The WA Government has launched a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to assist eligible businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of WA’s borders. It includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.
NSW Unveils $1 Billion Support Package for Businesses
The New South Wales government has unveiled a $1 billion support package for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak. The package will provide a payment of 20% of weekly payroll costs to businesses that can prove at least a 40% decline in turnover across January. Payments would range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 a week.
Eligibility Criteria for Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant in SA Extended
The South Australian government has announced the eligibility criteria for its Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant will be extended to include newer businesses that began operating after December 2020.
The payment will be:
- $3,000 (for employing businesses) or $1,000 (for non-employing businesses);
- Additional $1,000 for CBD businesses;
- Additional $7,000 for tourism, hospitality and other eligible businesses with turnover above $2 million;
- Additional top-up equivalent to automatic payment for businesses that did not receive the automatic payment.
The grant is automatically paid to businesses that have received a COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant or those that received an additional COVID-19 Business Support Grant. You can check for more available grants here.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment
People who are forced out of work to isolate due to being infected or being a close contact are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
You are also eligible if you are caring for a child under 16 years old who is a close contact or infected, or someone with a disability or a severe medical condition who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
The payment was initially given in the form of a $750 lump sum payment for seven days. However, this changed slightly from 18 January into a tiered system. While it remains a lump sum payment, those who lose over 20 hours of work will receive the full $750, but if you lose between 8 and 20 hours, you will only receive $450.
A financial hardship test has also been introduced, which means anyone with $10,000 available and accessible to them will not get the payment.
You can find more information about Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment conditions specific to your state or territory here.
Support for Small Businesses
If your business is struggling, the ATO offers a wide range of support for those affected by the pandemic, natural disasters, mental health issues, or financial difficulties.
Learn more about the available support, and the small business debt helpline for free, independent advice.
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.