No matter what state you live in, the unfortunate reality is that all Australians have been impacted by the global pandemic to one degree or another. And that’s precisely why it’s so important to explore the different kinds of support options that may be available to you or your business.
There will be plenty of time to look back on the political back and forths and a post-mortem of how decisions have been made which have impacted us all at various times, but that’s not the practical mindset right now.
And in the absence of JobKeeper support or the original JobSeeker payment, what payments or grants are available to those who need help now?
Below we examine the different types of help at hand:
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is a lump sum aimed at assisting those unable to earn income due to a COVID-19 state public health order. The payment is available for eligible New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, ACT and Victoria residents.
Your location and unique circumstances will determine how much support is on offer for those affected by lockdowns, hotspot locations or movement restrictions.
This option may be suitable for both home and business loans.
- Small businesses with loans in good standing are being supported by lenders with repayment deferrals of up to three months.
- For Home loan holders, lenders can assist with a range of measures, including loan deferrals on a month-by-month basis.
More than 14,500 home loans and more than 600 business loans have been deferred since July 8, 2021. Former Queensland Premier and current CEO of the Australian Banking Association (ABA) Anna Bligh noted that these options are available for those impacted by the current or previous lockdowns “irrespective of geography or industry”.
BUSINESS GRANTS AND PAYMENTS:
Each state or territory offers different levels of assistance with grants and schemes available to businesses and individuals.
As the situation is constantly evolving, it’s worth double-checking to see if your business is eligible for any other grants or payments not listed below.
- NSW: The COVID-19 micro-business grant is a fortnightly tax-free grant of $1,500 to help impacted micro-businesses and not-for-profits across NSW that have a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000. Payments will change to $750 a fortnight after NSW reaches 80% double vaccination (taking effect from 30 October 2021). Applies from 26 June or from the fortnight that businesses first experienced a decline in turnover after 26 June. Payments will end on 30 November 2021.
- Victoria: Several grants in Victoria for employing and non-employing businesses are available.
- Queensland: Various support schemes exists for small, medium and large businesses affected by lockdowns. Grants of $1,000 are also available for non-employing sole traders. Application deadline: November 16.
- ACT: COVID-19 Business Support Grants will provide up to $10,000 for employing businesses and up to $4,000 for non-employing businesses that experienced a turnover decline of 30 per cent or more as a result of the COVID-19 lockdown health restrictions. More details are provided here.
FOR TENANTS AND LANDLORDS:
- NSW: Landlords who reduce rent for tenants severely impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access up to $3,000 per tenancy agreement. To be eligible, the tenant’s take-home weekly income must have dropped by more than 25 per cent and the tenant is required to pay at least 25 per cent of the rent payable.
- VICTORIA: The Victorian Government has made it a requirement for commercial landlords to provide rent relief that matches their tenants’ fall in turnover in response to COVID-19, where the tenant is eligible for commercial tenancy relief assistance.
HELP IS AT HAND:
It’s good to know that there are refinance or restructure options that you can examine with the aim of reducing your business or home loan repayments each month (without hitting pause), including:
- Seeking a better rate or moving to a lender that can provide that option
- Extending the length of the loan
- Switching to interest-only payments for a period of time
- Debt consolidation
Get in touch today! We’re ready, willing and able to help guide you through the process and changing times.