COVID-19 Business Update – 7 April 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Trans Tasman Travel Bubble to Begin 19 April

Australia and New Zealand will create a quarantine and COVID-testing free travel bubble starting 19 April. However, flights to and from some Australian states may cease if there are future outbreaks.

Australians made up 1.5 million or 40% of arrivals to New Zealand in 2019 before the pandemic, and it was expected that arrivals will reach 80% of that level by early 2022. This travel bubble will also allow the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition involving five teams from each country to proceed over five weeks from May 14.

Australia Calls for Release of 3.1 Million Vaccine Doses

The government will be asking the European Union (EU) to release more than 3.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, after the EU denied blocking the shipment to the country.

This delay in receiving the additional doses is the reason why it has fallen behind in its scheduled vaccination. The government targeted 4 million people to be vaccinated by the end of March, but only 670,000 people have been inoculated so far.

Job Ads Increase to 12-Year High

Australian job advertisements grew 7.4%, soaring to their highest level in 12 years in March. This increase is a positive sign that the labour market’s recovery can withstand the lifting of some of the government’s support programmes.

Unemployment has also fallen much quicker than expected, hitting 5.8% in February, The Reserve Bank of Australia is aiming to drive it down to 4% or lower to finally lift wage growth and inflation.

Live Music Venue Support For Queensland-based Venues

Live music venues in Queensland can now apply for state government grants of up to $80,000 to help recover from the losses incurred from COVID-19 restrictions.

Smaller venues can apply for up to $60,000, while larger venues with a capacity of more than 500 people can request for grants up to $80,000. You can submit your applications here until April 19.

Australian Government Extends Energy Bill Support to June

The Federal Government has extended the COVID-19 energy support measures for consumers and small businesses until the end of June.

This means energy suppliers must work out and rearrange payment plans with customers who are experiencing financial hardship. This may include payment plans that mean no payments will be required for some period of time.

Energy companies will also not be allowed to cut the power to customers for unpaid bills as long as the customer is working with the supplier to find a suitable payment solution.

Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment Available After NSW Floods

People adversely affected by the floods in New South Wales can claim a lump sum payment of $1,000 per adult and $400 for each child younger than 16 through the Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment.

The complete list of local government areas that can claim this financial support until 20 September 2021 can be found here. You can read more about how to claim it here.

If you lost income as a direct result of the floods, you can also take advantage of the Disaster Recovery Allowance.

Stimulus Package for Tourism Industry: Cheap Flights, Loans and Financial Aid

The Australian government unveiled a $1.2 billion tourism support package to help boost local travel, while international borders remain closed.

Airline ticket subsidies for travellers, cheap loans to small tour companies and financial aid for the country’s two largest airlines are designed to keep this critical sector afloat until our international borders reopen.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices to Be Expanded

The government will spend $1.2 billion on the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, as JobKeeper ended last month.

Under the apprentice scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. It will run until September 2022. Ask us if you have any questions.

Claiming the JobMaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker Hiring Credit is available for eligible employers who create new positions for eligible young people between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.

To receive JobMaker Hiring Credit payments, you don’t need to satisfy a fall in turnover test. All you need to do is complete three steps:

  • Register – via ATO online services, Online services for business or the Business portal, or through your registered tax or BAS agent.
  • Nominate your eligible additional employees – by running payroll events through your Single Touch Payroll (STP) enabled software by 27 April 2021.
  • Claim payments – using ATO online services, Online services for business or the Business portal, or through your registered tax or BAS agent.

You can register at any time until the scheme ends. Ask us if you have any questions.

Upcoming Key Dates

Upcoming key lodgement and payment dates for businesses:

21 April

  • Lodge and pay March 2021 monthly business activity statement.
  • Lodge and pay quarter 3,(January–March 2020–21) PAYG instalment activity statement for head companies of consolidated groups

28 April

  • Lodge and pay quarter 3, 2020–21 activity statement if electing to receive and lodge by paper and not an active STP reporter.
  • Pay quarter 3, 2020–21 instalment notice (form R, S or T). Lodge the notice only if you are varying the instalment amount.
  • Make super guarantee contributions for quarter 3, 2020–21 to the funds by this date.

30 April

  • Lodge TFN report for closely held trusts if any beneficiary quoted their TFN to a trustee in quarter 3, 2020–21.
  • Lodge lost members report for the period 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020.

Contact us if you have any questions.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

Five Startup Killers To Avoid

If you want your new business to succeed, you need to make smart decisions and be strategic. In this Forbes article, a business coach shared five business killers that you should avoid if you want your startup to be successful.

  1. Too much overhead– Start with the bare necessities and focus on surviving your first year in business. By keeping your business lean in the early stages, you may have a positive cash flow.
  2. Limited cash flow– The main reason new businesses have to close is because they don’t have enough money. Avoid making significant cash purchases and use other financing options so you can have sufficient cash in your bank.
  3. Too much planning– Don’t overwhelm yourself with all the little details because there will always be little details.
  4. Too little planning– While it’s better to start with version one than never start at all, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan at all. You need to have a business plan, including processes and systems in place in order to succeed.
  5. Not getting involved in the community– If you’re not networking within your community, you’ll be missing out on vital business connections. Your website and social media are great, but you may also need people in your community to establish your credibility when you’re just starting out.

Need more focused business advice for your startup? Get in touch with us today and let’s work out a plan together!

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Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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