WEBINAR ON DEMAND: COVID-19 Series: State and Federal Government resources available for Business 

Join CCIQ’s Advocacy & Policy team who will provide an overview of what is available to assist businesses:

Federal Government support
- Federal Government Stimulus – what is covered?

State Government Support
- Payroll tax deferral
- Concessional loans

Queensland Government Industry Recovery Package
- Small business and exporters
- Industry-specific support
- Marketing and promotion
- Support and counselling

CCIQ continues to work closely with governments on the impact of the crisis and how to best support SMEs for the long-term benefit of Queensland’s economy.

FAQs from the live recording

Queensland Government Stimulus:

1) What is the business hotline number?

Businesses can find a full list of contact information on CCIQ’s website.
The State Government hotline is 1300 654 687

2) What are the repayment terms for the concessional loan facilities?

There is yet to be confirmation regarding the maximum allowable loan term. This will be confirmed following a formal roll out of the facility (currently taking expressions of interest).
It has been confirmed that the loans will carry an interest free period of 12-months, during which time principal payments are likely to still be required.
For more information contact QRIDA on 1800 623 946.

3) What is included in the most recent state government stimulus package?

  • Payroll tax “holiday’ for small and medium businesses
  • Industry and worker support package to (1) assist displace workers find jobs and (2) direct assistance for upskilling and retraining in exposed industries
  • Electricity rebates for households with residential utility usage set to sore as people are forced to stay indoors and work from home. This will be in the form of an immediate one-off credit of $200 on electricity and water bills

4) What are the changes involved with the revised ‘Payroll Tax Holiday’?

Initially, there will be an immediate refund of 2 months’ worth of payroll tax for all businesses, along with a 3-month payroll waiver for businesses with wages up to $6.5 million.
The previously announced 6-month deferral remains in place, meaning that no small business in Queensland will pay payroll tax in 2020.

5) What support measures exist for micro and sole traders?

The Centrelink welfare network is available to deliver income support for business owners that have been exposed to reductions in revenues.
Micro businesses with casual staff should also encourage their employees to seek welfare assistance if they are forced to cut working hours.

6) For the concessional loans, what sort of information will be required?

While there is yet to be confirmation on required documentation, CCIQ advises that the required information will be of a similar nature to standard bank loan applications.

Federal Government Stimulus:

1) How do businesses apply for cashflow injections from the ATO?

All employing businesses (whether tax was withheld or not) will receive credit payments between $20,000 and $100,000 during the March, June and September quarters (inclusive).
This will be calculated automatically by ATO and does not require any action by your business other than lodging your Business Activity Statement.

2) What if I employ casual staff but aren’t required to withhold tax?

In this instance, your business is still classified as being an employer.
The absolute minimum cashflow injection that your business will receive if it employs staff is $20,000, up to a maximum of $100,000.

3) Are business owners classified as staff, and therefore included in this scheme?

Business owners that pay themselves a wage (withhold their own PAYG tax) are classified as staff.

4) How will cashflow injections be received by businesses?

Under the cashflow injection scheme, employers will automatically receive a credit by the ATO. This will be in the form of a cash injection to be used to pay operating expenses such as rent, electricity and other bills, and to retain staff.

5) Between what dates will businesses be able to claim apprentice wage subsidies?

(Correction from webinar slides)
Eligible employers can apply for a 50% wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. 

6) What are the eligibility criteria for apprentice and trainees for the wage subsidy?

Eligible apprentices and trainees include all of those that have been training with the business before the 1 March 2020.
This subsidy will only be available for businesses that employ fewer than 20 staff (including apprentices and trainees).

7) Can I apply for a federally guaranteed loan and the Queensland concessional loan?

According to information currently available, there would be no restrictions in accessing both.
Loans delivered under the federally guaranteed loan scheme will carry a loan term of up to 3 years, with a freeze on payments for the first 6 months (short term finance).

The concessional loan facility is anticipated to be a longer-term facility carrying a 12-month interest free period.
CCIQ advises that businesses decide on what facility to take out (if not both) in accordance with their future cashflow requirements.

8) How do I access the Federal Government loan application process?

The guaranteed loan facilities will be provided through participating non-bank lenders.
There is no list of participating non-bank lenders currently available. In this circumstance, it is advisable to contact a trusted financial professional.

General Questions:

1) Are businesses required to have their staff working from home?

No, staff are not required to be working from home.
Office spaces are considered an essential gathering place, and are therefore exempt from social distancing requirements.

2) What support can you recommend for small businesses?

There are various avenues of support available for businesses of all sizes.
For HR and general assistance: CCIQ HR hotline – 1300 135 822
For targeted advice on industry resilience: Industry Recovery hotline – 1300 654 687

CCIQ also advises that you contact your professional service providers which includes:
  • Accountants
  • Bookkeepers
  • Lending managers
  • Insurance agents
  • Etc.