COVID 19 Survival Assistance for SMEs

Empowering SMEs (Issue 056)

Greetings from ESS BIZTOOLS and our Affiliates, welcome to this weekly update on issues confronting small businesses and medium-sized enterprises from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

COVID-19 Week In Review

  • The registration date for JobKeeper payments has been extended to 31st May 2020.
  • The Prime Minister – Scott Morrison, criticised the banks for the delay in processing loan applications under the coronavirus guarantee loans that have been funded with $105 billion supplied by the Reserve Bank and the Australian government. These loans are for a maximum of 3 years up to an amount of $250,000 at a low interest rate to assist businesses with working capital requirements.
  • Banks have responded to the Prime Minister’s criticism by the release of JobKeeper hotline numbers:
    • ANZ Bank - 1800 571 123
    • Bank of Melbourne - 1300 784 873
    • Bank SA - 1300 669 472
    • BOQ - 1300 557 272
    • CommBank - 132607
    • NAB 1800 JobKeeper - 1800 562 533
    • St George - 1300 730 196
    • Suncorp Bank - 131155 (then select 1, 3, 3, 1)
    • Westpac Bank - 1300 731 073
  • To access the support incorporated within the “Commercial Tenancy Code”. A business needs to qualify for the JobKeeper program even if the business operators do not wish to access the $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee subsidy supplied by the Federal government.
  • Do you employ apprentices? If so, you may be able to access a subsidy from 1st January 2020 to recover 50% of your apprentices'/trainees' wages for the period 1st January - 30th September 2020.

Businesses with less than 20 employees can recover 50% of the apprentices'/trainees' wages up to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter for the nine-month period ending 30th September 2020.

For more details on how the Apprentice/Trainee Subsidy Scheme works, please refer to “Want To Know More”.

Priscilla Bea Smith, Cloud Nine Associates Pty Ltd

In the COVID-19 Survival Panel webinar last week Priscilla commented on small business eligibility for the JobKeeper system.

Businesses with turnovers under $1 billion must have suffered a 30% drop in turnover when the month of March or April 2019 is compared with the same month in 2020, or in the three-month period April, May and June 2019 compared with the same 3 months in 2020.  If the business has not suffered a 30% drop in any of these months, the business could reconsider in subsequent months, if turnover has dropped by more than 30%.  In this case, the amount of subsidy available would only apply from the month in which the 30% reduction had occurred.

Priscilla indicated that the Taxation Commissioner has released a list of '7 Alternative Tests' which he will use for the determination as to whether a business has qualified for the JobKeeper Program where a straight comparison of what occurred in 2019 with 2020 is not appropriate.  In “Want To Know More” we have included details of the alternative tests that the Tax Office is going to apply.

Sole traders, company directors, partners in partnerships and adult beneficiaries of trusts can also be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Program, if the business has suffered a 30% drop in turnover.

Priscilla indicated that there are specific rules applying to each of these situations but the person cannot be an employee of the claiming business and must not be receiving JobKeeper payments from any other employment.

More details on the various rules are available from the ESS Small Business' website èSurvival in Difficult Times Product Package è Learn More.

Geoff Goodrich, Business Consultant, Territory Proud

Geoff highlighted the need for business operators to be using this time to think about opportunities to reduce business costs.  Geoff indicated that good business practices haven’t changed and, in fact, they are now more applicable than previously.  He suggested that business operators should be closely considering their business' energy efficiency and introducing management strategies to reduce energy costs for a business.  More details are included in "Want To Know More".  Please click here for a copy of the PowerPoint slides that Geoff used in his presentation.

Please click here for the recording of the "COVID-19 Survival Panel" webinar for SMEs held on the 29th April 2020.

Next "COVID-19 Survival Panel" Webinar:

The next "COVID-19 Survival Panel" webinar for SMEs is being presented on Wednesday, 6th May 2020 at 12 noon AEST.  You can register for this free webinar by clicking here.  The keynote presenter is Paul Barnaby, Predictive Accounting Consultant and Australasian Representative of PlanGuru, an international software company which develops Budgeting, Cashflow Forecast and Predicted Balance Sheets software.  Paul will present a case study for COVID-19 that is very applicable for small businesses and medium-sized enterprises.  This is your opportunity to view a working presentation of three-way forecasts – Budgets, Cashflow and Projected Balance Sheets.

Peter Towers, Managing Director ESS BIZTOOLS will discuss strategies that SMEs could consider relative to planning to recommence full-scale business operations in the near future.

We have prepared a more detailed summary of the key issues in "Want To Know More".  To access please click here.  We also invite you to view the “Empowering SMEs” video which gives you more details on the key issues that we discussed in this edition of Empowering SMEs – to access please click here.

We would like to invite you to visit the ESS Small Business' website è Survival in Difficult Times product package è Learn More which includes all of the material that we have produced to assist small businesses and medium-sized enterprises to combat the challenges of COVID-19.

Stay safe.  If you'd like to have a discussion, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

If you have a friend or a colleague who you think might find this article interesting, please don't hesitate to send it on to them.

Have a great day!

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Episode 56 - COVID 19 Survival Assistance for SMEs

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