NSW and Queensland COVID-19 Grants – get it while you still can!
Both the NSW and Queensland Governments have introduced $10,000 Grants for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The NSW Grant has proved very popular and the NSW Government has been very efficient in processing applications and dispersing funds.  It is expected that the Queensland Government Grant, announced on 19 May 2020, will be similarly popular.

As applications for the NSW Grant are closing very soon (1 June 2020) and the funding for the Queensland Grant is limited, we recommend that eligible businesses submit their applications as soon as possible.  We are happy to help you assess your eligibility and assist with the applications.

NSW Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant 

This Grant of $10,000 was introduced by the NSW Government to assist highly impacted business with unavoidable business expenses (e.g., utilities, council rates, insurance, telephone expenses, professional advice, etc.) that are not otherwise subject to Government assistance programs.

To be eligible, the business must:
  • be based in NSW;
  • have between 1 – 19 employees (on a full-time equivalent basis, which is an employee who ordinarily works at least 35 hours a week);
  • have total Australian wages under $900,000;
  • be registered with an ABN on 1 March 2020;
  • have annual turnover of more than $75,000;
  • have been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 75% compared to the same 2-week period in 2019 as a result of COVID-19; and
  • have unavoidable costs that are not otherwise subject to NSW or Federal Government assistance.

While the Government published a list of industries it regards as highly impacted by COVID-19 (e.g., accommodation and food services, arts & recreation, some retail industries, transport, education & training, etc.), businesses in other industries that can demonstrate a 75% turnover reduction due to COVID-19 can also apply with a letter from their accountant confirming this and various other criteria.

Applications for this Grant close very soon on 1 June 2020

Queensland Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant

On 19 May 2020, the Queensland Government introduced this Grant of up to $10,000 to support small businesses subject to closure or highly impacted by the COVID-19 shutdown restrictions to adapt and sustain their operations and build resilience.

While there isn’t a closing date for this Grant, within 24 hours of being published, 903 applications were submitted for approximately 9% of the total funds earmarked for this Grant.  Therefore, if eligible, it is important to submit the application as soon as possible.

To be eligible, the business must:

  • have a Queensland headquarters;
  • have fewer than 20 employees;
  • have a payroll of less than $1,300,000;
  • have an ABN on 23 March 2020;
  • be registered for GST;
  • have annual turnover of over $75,000 in the last financial year;
  • have been subject to closure or otherwise highly impacted by the shutdown restrictions;
  • demonstrate that revenue has been significantly impacted since 23 March 2020 over a 1-month period due to COVID-19 – a minimum decline of 30% for these purposes; and
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

The funds from this Grant can be used for the following costs (incurred from 23 March 2020):

  • financial, legal or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification; 
  • strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching aligned to business development and diversification;
  • building the business through marketing and communications activities, for example, content development (web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media, etc.);
  • digital/technological strategy development;
  • digital training or re-training to adapt to new business models;
  • capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 SAFE requirements;
  • specialised digital equipment or business specific software to move business operations online (e.g. logistics program for online ordering); and
  • meeting business costs, including utilities and rent.

The application must include a statement describing how the funding will contribute to the small business during the COVID-19 crisis in terms of employment retention or outcomes, business capability and resilience, continuity, diversification, and/or digital capability of the business.

Recipients will have six months to complete their projects after receiving approval for the funding and must acquit the total amount of funding received within one month of completion. Recipients must complete and submit an acquittal report through SmartyGrants and submit copies of supplier invoices and proof of purchase for the total project cost.

For more information, please contact your Prosperity principal adviser or Director of Taxation Services Raffi Tenenbaum on 02 8262 8716 or email rtenenbaum@prosperity.com.au.