Other COVID-19 Support

There are a range of government support measures for businesses affected by COVID.  

COVID-19 Business Assistance Finder

COVID Assistance Hotlines:

  • COVID Hotline for specific enquiries related to re-opening: 134 COVID (134 268) 
  • Small Business Commissioner (Commercial Tenancies Mediation): 1 300 312 344 
  • Federal Government Business Support Hotline: 132 846
  • QLD Small Business Hotline: 1300 654 687
  • Free Small Business Financial Counselling Service: 1300 732 777

Need some legal advice? Some employers are eligible for free independent legal advice for workplace issues arising from the coronavirus outbreak. Read frequently asked questions about the Workplace Legal Advice Program

  • Extension to JobKeeper Payment - The Government is extending the JobKeeper Payment by a further six months to March 2021. Support will be targeted to businesses and not-for-profits that continue to be significantly impacted by the coronavirus.  The payment rate will be reduced and a lower payment rate will be introduced for those who work fewer hours. Other eligibility rules remain unchanged. Learn more about the JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees or sole traders and other entities.

    Source: business.gov.au 

  • Federal and State Government Support Packages for Small and Medium Sized Businesses 

    Federal Government Summary of  business support packages.

    Key initiatives include: 

    Relief for Commercial Tenants & Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies - The government has announced a range of measures to help renters in commercial tenancies.  

    JobKeeper payments for Employers and employees - Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.  Sole trader information is available at visit JobKeeker for Sole Traders 

    Land tax relief - Landlords affected by the coronavirus may be able to acess land tax relief.  

    Small Business Wage Subsidy - covers 50% of an apprentice or trainee's wage paid during the 9 months from January to September 2020.

    Boosting cashflow for employers - Provides up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses that employ people with a minimum payment of $2,000.  Small and medium businesses with aggregated annual turnover under $50M and employ workers. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.  This payment will be delivered by the ATO - we recommend you contact your accountant to discuss accessing these funds. 

    Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses - The Government is temporarily increasing in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis. 

    Loan Availability : Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme - The Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for unsecured loans to be used for working capital. 

    Quick access to credit for Small Business - Cutting of red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders to small business customers. 

    Power Rebate - An automatic $500 rebate on power bill for the year for eligible businesses. In most instances, this will be applied automatically. 

    Supporting Apprentices and trainees :  If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. 

    Fee Waivers for hospitality and licenced premises – liquor licensees can have fees waived for applications to change trading hours and temporarily or permanently change a licensed area. 

    Payroll Tax Support - refund of two months of payroll tax, three monthly payroll tax holiday and six monthly payroll tax deferral. Please note that the JobKeeper payment is not liable for QLD payroll tax

    Interest Free Loans - to retain staff and maintain operations.  These low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free will be available to eligible businesses (more information to follow soon). Expressions of Interest are currently being sought.  

    Other initiatives are available such as Increasing the Instant Asset write off ; Backing Business InvestmentMarket Diversification and Resilience Grants.  Keep updated at business.gov.au and business.qld.gov.au

    QLD Small Business Champion Summary outlines the relevant programs for small business 

    Safe Work Australia - For advice on work health and safety requirements in your workplace.

    Employer and business obligations - Find out how to meet your employer and business obligations and isolation requirements if you're affected by the coronavirus. 

    Travelling for work - If you need to travel overseas for work, make sure have the right travel advice and know how to protect yourself and others if you're affected by the coronavirus. Make sure you and your staff check Smart Traveller prior to travelling.

  • The Queensland Small Business Commissioner provides information and advocacy support to small businesses, and informal resolution and mediation of COVID-19 affected small business leases. Small business tenants and landlords whose trade has been affected by COVID-19 can seek assistance with resolving lease disputes and access a free mediation service offered by the Commissioner. 

    For key updates on paying rent, access to grants, loans and support, and COVID-Safe business requirements read Maree Adshead's latest report.

    The Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner can be contacted on 1300 312 344 or visit the website.

  • Council has announced  financial support measures to assist local businesses with cash flow:  

    • 7 day payments for local / regional suppliers continuing.
    • Property fee / rent relief evidenced based (as per the federal government code of conduct provisions)
    • 25% relief to be provided for environmental health licence fee renewals.
    • 25% relief to be provided for current commercial low use / street performance permit renewals
    • Full refunds still being provided for event / wedding cancellations
    • Waste collection services can still be reduced on request.
      Waste charges: Commercial operators that have temporarily closed or have scaled down their business activities can request that Council suspend any unnecessary waste collection services and therefore avoid associated costs.
      Requests to suspend services can be lodged online or by emailing waste@noosa.qld.gov.au Council officers will assess the request and then adjust service levels as necessary. The waste containers (bins) will then need to be held at the premises until normal levels of service resume.
      Council will also immediately cancel waste services and associated charges if a business ceases to operate. In these circumstances proof of permanent closure will be required.  Media Statement  
    • Deferred Payments of Infrastructure Charges on Development due to COVID-19
      Infrastructure charges may be deferred until July 2021 with no interest payments applied.
      Eligibility:  All developments are eligible for this initiative.
      Dates:  Payment to Council is deferred to the sooner of 1 July 2021;  or,  prior to any sale of (or part of) the completed development.
      Process: Applicants should send a request to defer payment of the applicable infrastructure charge by email to: ic@noosa.qld.gov.au 
      Requests should be made ONLY for those Developments when they approach completion;
      Provide the Development Approval, Infrastructure Charge Notice & Property address reference/s.
      Council will then issue an “Infrastructure Charges Notice of Amount Due” confirming the amount payable with the Due Date For Making Payment deferred to 1 July 2021 but prior to any sale of (or part of) the completed development.  Further Delayed Staged Payments may also be permitted on separate written application to Council. Refer to “Delayed Staged Payments” information on the Infrastructure Charges webpage.

    Communications and Business Support 

    Council has established a dedicated Business and COVID-19 webpage outlining federal, state and local business support initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises. Also included is industry-specific information outlining protocols for managing COVID-19 at your place of work.  This website aims to cut through the swathe of information available to provide the most relevant and accurate support for business. 

    Advocacy

    Council and Tourism Noosa are working with Regional Development Australia to advocate on behalf of our business community to the Federal Government. They’re also working with our local Member of Parliament, Sandy Bolton, and Queensland Government staff, on a range of support requirements for business. 

    Please be assured that Noosa Council is committed to working for the business community and ensuring we get through this together.

  • The Australian Government has measures to support sole traders. 

    If you are a sole trader and do not employ staff you may be eligible for: 

    JobKeeper Payment -   The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. 

    Increased and accelerated income support - Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new Coronavirus supplement.   

    Early access to Superannuation - you can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation.  You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

    Increased Asset Write Off - The threshold for instant assset write off has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000

    Backing Business Investment  - This will allow businesses to accelerate depreciation deductions. 

    SME Guarantee Scheme - The government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.  

  • The impacts of the Coronavirus crisis has seen many of our small businesses struggle with their cash flow and the ability to pay rent on their commercial tenancies.

    To address this, the Commonwealth Government has released a mandatory code of conduct for small & medium sized enterprises. The Code of conduct provides for the renegotiation of lease terms and the possible reduction of rental in some circumstances.   We encourage all landlords and lessees to review the Code and adhere to the principles laid out.

    The Queensland Government has introduced regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act in response to the Federal Government's Code of Conduct.  Commercial landlords and tenants can now seek help through the Queensland Small Business Commissioner to resolve COVID-19 impacted lease disputes. 

    For assistance and information on commercial leasing issues, please visit www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc or call 1300 312 344

  • Fact Sheet and Posters - Resources for business to download and display in their workplaces, including checklists, infographics, fact sheets for industry and posters on handwashing, hygiene and physical distancing from Safe Work Australia 

    Financial Resilience Webinars - Training and mentoring packages are available for eligible small businesses from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, partnering with TAFE Queensland. These webinars will help you identify risks,  build financial skills and plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

    Facebook video of Q&A Session with QLD Small Business Champion, Maree Adshead, and QLD Minister for Small Business, Shannon Fentiman.  Provides an excellent summary addressing the questions that many businesses have. 

    Mentoring for Growth - more than 50 mentors are ready to connect with impacted small businesses, providing mentoring sessions and tailored support, including financial mentoring and business planning.  Contact 1300 654 687 or m4g@desbt.qld.gov.au for more information.

    Financial workshops – TAFE Queensland are delivering a series of workshops across a number of locations for small businesses to connect and learn about financial management, business planning and practical tools and skills to build business resilience. For information on workshop locations or to register your interest contact 1300 654 687 or info@desbt.qld.gov.au.

    Supporting small business survey – the Queensland Government wants to understand more about the impact of COVID-19 on your business and assess what support you need.

  • Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman 

    With  so much information available online it can be hard to know where to turn for business support. My Business Health has been developed by the ASBFEO and is here to help businesses navigate the system, to find what you need to face challenges and identify opportunities to grow your business.

    Pulling together a range of resources, My Business Health gives you easy access to tools, templates and tips to manage stress and proactively engage with running your business.

    We know that good business health supports good mental health, and vice versa. We want to ensure that small business owners have the tools to manage the challenges so they can focus on enjoying their business.

    Access My Business Health