Financial Assistance for Small Businesses
Founded in 2010, Savvy had a singular vision: to bring Australians the best finance and insurance solutions from all over the market using the latest in technology. Through determination and hard work, Savvy has gathered a team of experts and made valuable connections to financiers, banks and lenders all over Australia to provide the best finance and insurance deals in Australia.
Savvy have been kind enough to share their state-specific expertise with the Concrete Pumping Association of Australia. If you are a small business and think you could benefit from some expert financial advice, please take the time to read through this article. It may be the most helpful decision you make all year!
WHAT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESS AMID COVID-19?
Small business has done it tough in Australia this year due to government restrictions and lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID-19. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to grants, assistance, and how to better manage cash flow.
Is financial assistance available to your small business? Here is a list of what’s on offer Federally and in each state and territory.
The Federal Government introduced a business loan guarantee scheme. The government will guarantee unsecured loans up to $250,000 for three-year terms with a six-month repayment “holiday.” This jumps to a maximum of $1 million loans over five years in which the lender may choose to exercise the repayment deferral or not.
Until 31st December 2020, Australian businesses can instantly write-off $150,000 in business purchases.
Victoria has a raft provisions as it is still struggling through Stage 4 Lockdown. Most businesses are not expected to return to normal trading until at least the 26th of October.
The State Government announced $3 billion in additional funding, in addition to a CBD Support Fund worth $20 million, a payroll tax deferral scheme, Regional Tourism Accommodation Support, and cashflow support for businesses.
Eligible businesses will receive one-off grants of:
- $10,000 if its annual payroll is less than $650,000
- $15,000 if its annual payroll is between $650,000 and $3 million
- $20,000 if its payroll is between $3 million and $10 million.
The Government is also pledging $100 million in support for sole traders as part of a $290 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package, for the hospitality industry to transition to outdoor dining after lockdown restrictions are eased.
For more, visit Business.vic.gov.au.
New South Wales
New South Wales has launched a business concierge service to help struggling businesses through bushfires and COVID-19 impacts. Businesses in council areas near the border can apply for the Southern Border Small Business Support Grant, which is worth between $5,000-$10,000. Businesses can also apply for an Export Assistance Grant, also worth up to $10,000. Fee waivers, financial counselling, rent deferrals, and small business seminars are also available.
For more, visit Service.nsw.gov.au.
Tasmania is offering lifelines to new and existing businesses such as the business vehicle registration freeze, a Small Business Continuity Grant, and free coaching and industry specific support. They can also apply for the Small Business Sustainability and Recovery Grant Program.
The Tasmanian Department of State Growth is offering free digital coaching as part of its response to the pandemic. Enterprise Centres Tasmania can also help you connect with business advisors and mentors for no cost.
For more, visit https://www.business.tas.gov.au
Queensland is offering eligible businesses a payroll tax relief and/or refund for those effected by COVID-19 restrictions. It is also offering supply chain support and applications for PPE and medical consumables producers or importers to supply direct to the Queensland State Government.
Mentoring, sector-specific support such as tourism lease/rent payment waivers, land tax rebates, state land rent relief, and licencing fee relief are also on offer.
As of writing, Regional Queensland businesses may apply for a Small Business COVID-19 adaptation grant to move parts of their business online or pivot to other sectors.
For more, visit https://www.business.qld.gov.au
South Australian Government has introduced a stimulus package worth of $1 billion. It includes a $300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund and a $250 million Community and Jobs Support Fund.
The Jobs Rescue Package gives small business emergency cash grants of $10,000 that have suffered a significant loss of income or been forced to close because of restrictions. Some businesses can also access the $100 million Economic and Business Growth Fund.
For more, visit https://www.treasury.sa.gov.au
Small businesses in Western Australia can apply for rent relief, water and utility relief, and small business grants. These grants include:
- $17,500 grants for small businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million.
- The $1 million payroll tax threshold (announced in October 2019) will be brought forward by six months to 1 July 2020.
Businesses can also apply for interest free deferrals of taxes and duties, including waivers of payment penalties. Tourism businesses can access a $14.4 million recovery program with eligible applicants receiving between $25,000 and $100,000 in grants to adapt their operations.
For more, visit www.smallbusiness.wa.gov.au/coronavirus
The ACT has enacted commercial tenancy rent relief packages, a deferral on rates, and a reduction in the City Centre Marketing and Improvement Levy by 50%.
$3.3 million has been extended to hospitality clubs and casinos with a raft of measures such as fixed rate water and sewage, waivers on licence fees, and more.
Rideshare and taxis will also see their vehicle licence fee waived for 12 months.
Small business can access support advice and payroll tax deferrals, as well as rebates on their electricity bills.
Small business may also access COVIDSafe training for no cost.
For more, visit www.covid19.act.gov.au
Northern Territory is clinically COVID-19 free at this time and has resumed normal trading with COVIDSafe plans. Individual businesses may access Federal Government support if required.
For more, visit https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/business-and-work/business
STRATEGIES TO OVERCOME CASHFLOW SHORTAGES
Though there is some cash flowing for business in the form of JobKeeper and grants, over a third of businesses would be closed without it, according to a report by Small Business Connections. Also, according to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), 46% of all company failures occur due to inadequate cash flow.
Keeping cash flowing is vital to any business. As business finance expert and Savvy CEO Bill Tsouvalas says, taking advantage of unsecured business finance while they’re guaranteed by the government can help.
“These are unprecedented times for business, but it could also be time to pivot into online and expand,” he says. “The government’s guarantee and repayment holiday for loans up to $250,000 could help your business ride out the lockdowns and the recession and be in a better position when we get to the other side.”
Other strategies small business can use is to upgrade to automated accounts receivable systems such as Xero or MYOB, which automatically remind debtors their payments are due.
“Saying ‘she’ll be right’ when it comes to debts isn’t good enough,” says Tsouvalas. “You are entitled to payment and you need to chase it up. Set up a system for chasing and settling debts. Accept online payments and other transactions. Offer discounts on early payments. Penalise late payments. All these combined can save you a lot of money and improve cash flow.”
Reducing expenses is also a great way to improve cash flow. “If your business works fine using Zoom and SharePoint, consider ditching the office,” Tsouvalas says. “That’s a huge saving you can re-invest into the business. Getting rid of one unnecessary expense usually flows on to others. Identify what isn’t performing and cut it from the budget.”
Renegotiating payment terms with suppliers and customers can also help your business’ bottom line and keep cash flowing. Remember: it’s not about turnover, it’s about what’s left over!
If you would like further information regarding your finances, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mr. Tsouvalas via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org.