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Financial Support During Vic Lockdown v4

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Insights From MCA Accountants

Financial Support During Vic Lockdown v4

Action Points

Both the Federal Government and the Victorian Government have released details of their support packages for businesses and employees effected by the recent lockdown.

To access support, you need to manually apply – find out more here.

Key Links

MORE DETAILS TO COME

As more details on the support packages are relaeased, we will update this article. Please refer back to it over the next week or so in particular to keep updated.

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

The Victorian Government has announced 2 support packages for businesses. We note that support is aimed only at certain industries – those the Government considers the most effected – and many businesses will not qualify for assistance.

“Business Costs Assistance” Grant

The business costs assistance grant offers $2,500 to eligible businesses that were forced to close due to the lockdown announced on 27 May 2021 (and an additional $2,500 if they are continually affected past the first week).  The main criteria for support is that your business:

  • Is located in Victoria;
  • Is in one of the eligible industries (more details below);
  • Has incurred costs as a result of the lockdown;
  • Is unable to predominately operate remotely;
  • Has annual payroll less than $10mil;
  • Had an ABN and was registered for GST on 27 May 2021;
  • Is registered with ASIC or Consumer Affairs Victoria;
  • Is registered for WorkCover (if the business has employees); and
  • Is supporting its workers with paid leave (if the business has employees).

Importantly, the Government will use your ABN registration details to help assess your eligibility – so it is vital that you review your ABN registration for accuracy, particularly:

  • Associated parties (i.e. owners);
  • Address (i.e. that it is in Victoria);
  • Business activity & ANZIC code (i.e. that the description of your businesses activity is accurate and the ANZIC code is one of the accepted codes).

You can read the Government’s factsheet here, and you can apply for the grant here.

Updating Your ABN Details

To update your businesses ABN records, head to https://www.abr.gov.au/. If you need assistance, watch the first 2 minutes of our video guide to registering for GST (the first 2 minutes details how to login to your ABN record).

Eligible Industries

The Government groups business activities and industries and classifies them by an “ANZIC code”. Basically a business must find the code that best fits their main business activity.

You can use the ATO’s ANZIC lookup tool to find the code that best fits your business.

The Victorian Government have assessed that businesses in the following industrias (using the relevant ANZIC codes):

  • Non-essential retail;
  • Hospitality;
  • Tourism;
  • Events and related services;
  • Services and education; and
  • Health care and social assistance.

A full list of eligible ANZIC codes and more detailed business activity descriptions are available here.

“Licenced Hospitality Venue” Grant

The licenced hospitality grant essentially provides a higher support package for hospitality venues with a licence to serve food and alcohol. The specific types of liquor licences eligible include:

  • General or late night general;
  • Full club;
  • Restaurant or cafe;
  • Producers; and
  • On premesis or late night on premises.

The premises must also have class 2 or 3 service sector certificate of registration (under the Food Act), as at 27 May 2021, with other requirements similar to the business support grant above.

Grants of $3,500 is available for businesses in regional Victoria, and $7,000 for those in metropolitan Melbourne – presumably because metropolitan Melbourne is subject to a second week of lockdowns. Importantly, grants are available on a “per premises” basis, so a single ABN with multiple business locations can be eligible multiple times.

If your business is eligible for this grant DO NOT apply for the above business support grant as this will render you ineligible. Yes, it would make sense for the Government to simply upgrade your application… but it seems it will not.

It appears that the Government will contact you via your online liquor licences eLicence contact details to invite you to apply – so we suggest you review your details within that system.

You can read the Government’s factsheet here.

SUPPORT FOR EMPLOYEES

A national disaster payment scheme is being established that will provide payments to the most financially vulnerable workers. The eligibility criteria is:

  • You are an Australian resident or citizen, or hold an eligible Visa;
  • You work in a commonwealth declared COVID hotspot;
  • Your state has imposed health restrictions (such as a lockdown);
  • The state imposted health restrictions effect you for more than 1 week;
  • You are unable to work due to state imposed health restrictions;
  • You do not have leave entitlements to draw upon;
  • You have liquid assets of less than $10,000; and
  • You are not already receiving income support payments.

Payments of $500 per week (after the first week of restrictions) is available for people that lose 20 or more hours of work, and $325 is available for those losing less than 20 hours hours.

Applications open up on Tuesday the 8th of June 2021, and acan be made via the Services Australia (Centrelink) website.

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