Grants for Australian Small Businesses


Covid-19 business boost incentives

Cash flow boost min $20,000 to max $100,000

 This incentive is for Small to Medium sized businesses who pay PAYG withholding tax for their employees on their relgular Business Activity Statements.

It will be paid to each entity who is was registered for PAYG withholding tax prior to the 1st May 2020. The payment will be allocated to the business ATO account and allocated against and liability that has arrisen in the March quarter.

A minimum of $10,000 will be allocated to the account within 14 days of lodgement of the March BAS, with any credit to be refunded to the relevant business.

The remainder will be paid either monthly or quarterly depending on the GST registration of the business, up to 100% of PAYG withholding  for each month April through to September 2020.

Job keeper payments $1,500 per fortnight

JobKeeper payments were introduced to assist businesses to keep their staff employed whilst either their business has been forced to shut down or has suffered at least a 30% reduction in revenue in comparison to the prior year. 

Initially when businesses were forced to close the lines leading into the Centrelink offices were exceptionally long, and this incentive help reduce those lines  along withe helping people stay employed during COVID-19.

Business Employers are able to enrol for themselves and their employees via the business portal if they are eligible. 

There are alternate testing methods for businesses without a comparative period for various different reasons.

Later it was also announced that one non employee owner of each business may also apply for the payment if they are an active participant of the business, this includes sole traders, partnerships and trusts.

Payment will be paid on a fortnightly basis starting from 30th March ending 27th September. All payments will be paid to employers, who will then pass the whole $1,500 on to employee’s regardless if they are being paid less per fortnight.

The difference in the wages earned and the $1,500 will be paid as a JobKeeper allowance, this additional boost of income does not accrue Superannuation or Annual leave.

Small to medium enterprise (sme) guarantee scheme (business loans)

The Australian Government will guarantee 50% of the value of eligible business loans to small and medium enterprises impacted by COVID-19. Maximum loan value is $250,000 and there will be a repayment-free period of six months. 

The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:

  • SMEs, including sole traders, with a turnover of up to $50 million.
  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
  • Loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday.
  • Unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

Superannuation access for eligible individuals

Eligible individuals will be able to apply online to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation before 1 July 2020. They will also be able to access up to a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

Instant asset write off $150,000

Under instant asset write-off eligible businesses can:

  • immediately write off the cost of each asset that cost less than the threshold
  • claim a tax deduction for the business portion of the purchase cost in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

Instant asset write-off can be used for both new and second-hand assets. Some exclusions and limits apply.

The instant asset write-off eligibility criteria and threshold have changed over time. You need to check your business’s eligibility and apply the correct threshold amount.

Changes from 12 March 2020

Under instant asset write-off eligible businesses can:

  • immediately write off the cost of each asset that cost less than the threshold
  • claim a tax deduction for the business portion of the purchase cost in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.

Instant asset write-off can be used for both new and second-hand assets. Some exclusions and limits apply.

The instant asset write-off eligibility criteria and threshold have changed over time. You need to check your business’s eligibility and apply the correct threshold amount.

Accelerated depreciation for purchase of assets

Measures introduced in March 2020 provide an incentive to businesses with aggregated turnover of less than $500 million for the 2019–20 and 2020–21 income years, to deduct the cost of depreciating assets at an accelerated rate.

Changes from 12 March 2020

To be eligible to apply the accelerated rate of deduction, the depreciating asset must:

  • be new and not previously held by another entity (other than as trading stock)
  • be first held on or after 12 March 2020
  • first used or first installed ready for use for a taxable purpose on or after 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021
  • not be an asset to which an entity has applied the instant asset write-off rules or depreciation deductions.

Eligible assets do not include:

  • second-hand depreciating assets
  • some specific Division 40 assets subject to low value and software development pools
  • certain primary production assets
  • buildings and other capital works for which you can deduct amounts under Division 43
  • other specific capital asset and expense deductions
  • assets you were committed to acquiring before 12 March 2020.

Small business entity

If you are a small business with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million, and you use the simplified depreciation rules, those assets over the instant asset threshold which are eligible for the accelerated depreciation are added to the general small business pool. You can deduct an amount equal to 57.5% (rather than 15%) of the business portion of a new depreciating asset in the year you add it to the pool. In later years the asset will be depreciated under the general small business pool rules.

Other business entities

If you are an entity with aggregated turnover less than $500 million in the income year and do not use the simplified depreciation rules, you may be eligible to deduct an amount if the asset is a qualifying asset.

The amount your entity can deduct in the income year the asset is first used or installed ready for use is:

  • 50% of the cost (or adjustable value where applicable) of the depreciating asset
  • plus the amount of the usual depreciation deduction that would otherwise apply but calculated as if the cost or adjustable value of the asset were reduced by 50%.

Effectively, together with the instant asset write-off rules, the accelerated depreciation deduction applies to assets with a cost (or adjustable value if applicable) of:

  • $150,000 or more in the 2019–20 income year
  • $1,000 or more in the 2020–21 income year.

A sample of other grants offered by the states

The first $10,000 will be paid as a grant with no co-contribution required. A further $10,000 will be available provided the business contributes $10,000 of their own.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000
  • a payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000
    have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020
  • be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020
  • use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice
  • provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Applications for a small business grant of up to $10,000 will be available through Service NSW within a fortnight and remain open until 1 June 2020.

The Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan’s Small Business Survival Fund is a $50 million initiative to help Territory small businesses survive the physical distancing requirements in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The Small Business Survival Fund is available to eligible businesses in addition to other support, including the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package and the Tourism Resilience Package.


Businesses will have to provide a certified financial / payroll statement identifying the number of employees pre-shutdown.

The eligibility criteria includes:

a demonstrated reduction in turnover
impact of fixed costs
an employment reduction.

Eligible businesses will have access to four payments.

Immediate survival payment

The immediate survival payment provides an initial lump sum directed to businesses to help offset immediate cost pressures and provide time to plan.

Payment amounts are:

  • $2,000 for businesses with only one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee (including sole traders)
  • $5,000 for businesses with 2 to 4 employees (FTEs)
  • $20,000 for businesses with 5 to 19 employees (FTEs)
  • $50,000 for businesses with more than 20 employees (FTEs).

Rapid adaption payment

The rapid adaption payment provides:

  • up to $1,000 for businesses with one employee (FTE) and
  • up to $5,000 for other eligible businesses to offset costs incurred in adapting their current business model to suit restrictions.

This payment is application-based and paid direct to the business.

It will be paid on the provision of an appropriate invoice.

Expenditure must occur after the announcement and applications close on 1 May 2020.

Operational boost payment

Payment provides immediate cash boost to affected businesses to offset the costs of continuing to maintain the business. Payment amounts are:

  • $2,800 for businesses with only one employee (FTE), including sole traders
  • $8,400 for businesses with 2 to 4 employees (FTE)
  • $16,800 for businesses with 5 to 9 employees (FTE)
  • $28,000 for businesses with 10 to 14 employees (FTE)
  • $42,000 for businesses with more than 15 employees (FTE).

Operational support payment

Businesses with annual turnover greater than $75,000 and who have received previous payments will be able to supply additional information on a fortnightly basis to enable these payments.

Businesses must provide the number of FTE employees actively engaged in operating the business during the relevant two-week period prior.

Employees who are stood-down or not undertaking any paid hours of work during that period will not be included as FTE.

The number of FTE employees will be used as evidence of business activity and a nominal value of $500 per FTE will be paid up to a maximum of $15,000 per business per fortnight.

The WA Government has set aside $100 million of the new package for land tax relief grants to be paid to commercial landlords.

To be eligible, commercial landlords must provide rent relief that equates to a minimum of three months’ rent and freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 per cent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19.

The package adds to the WA Government’s previously announced $1.7 billion stimulus and relief package for businesses and households impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It complements the introduction of a six-month freeze on rent increases, the moratorium on evictions from March 30, 2020, and the $25 million small business rent relief package announced last month.

Grants equivalent to 25 per cent of the landlord’s land tax bill for 2019‑20 for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief will be paid to landlords.

The commercial land tax relief grants will be administered through the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC).

Laws to provide support for commercial tenants and landlords.

State Parliament has passed laws to establish a moratorium on evictions for certain commercial tenancies in Western Australia and establish a mandatory code of conduct to assist with negotiations between landlords and tenants.

This legislation includes:

  • an eviction moratorium,  backdated to March 30 2020 a freeze on rent increases restrictions on penalties for tenants who do not trade or reduce their trading hours
  • no interest to be charged on rent arrears the introduction of an enhanced dispute resolution process
  • a prohibition on landlords progressing proceedings that occurred after the restrictions were imposed, but before these laws come into operation.

The Government has announced a range of payroll tax measures  to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus.

The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million on 1 July 2020. This brings the increase forward from the planned date of 1 January 2021 and will result in approximately an additional 300  businesses  no longer being liable for payroll tax. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
A one-off grant of $17,500 will be given to employers, or groups of employers, whose annual Australian taxable wages are more than $1 million and less than $4 million.

Payroll tax will be waived for March to June for employers who have Australian taxable wages of less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020. This waiver replaces the previously announced option to defer payment of payroll tax until July.

Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages less than $5 million at 29 February can automatically claim the waiver by:

  • declaring WA taxable wages as normal in Revenue Online and
    recording the value of WA taxable wages as exempt wages using the ‘Other Exempt Wages’ field.
  • Employers, or groups of employers, with Australian taxable wages of $5 million or more at 29 February, or new employers registered for payroll tax from 1 March 2020, can apply to defer lodgment and payment of returns. Payroll tax for March to June 2020 will be waived at annual reconciliation if Australian taxable wages are less than $7.5 million at 30 June 2020.The Treasurer encourages eligible businesses not negatively affected by COVID-19 to keep paying tax as normal so the funds allocated to this initiative can be used to assist other businesses that are not so fortunate.

Under the Australian Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme, wage subsidies will be paid to employers impacted by COVID-19 to help them continue paying their employees. On 9 April 2020, the Premier announced that these payments would be exempt from payroll tax.

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to support small businesses in the sectors hit hardest by coronavirus (COVID-19) so they can survive and keep people in work.

Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

Funding is available for Queenslanders who have lost their job due to the impacts of COVID-19 and who do not have access to other financial assistance.

This grant is only available to Queenslanders who need it the most and have exhausted all other options. Applications close at 5pm, 27 April 2020.

The COVID-19 Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) available to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic who do not have access to other financial assistance.

The grant is paid directly to your lessor.

Before you apply

You must have had a conversation with your lessor and be able to provide evidence that the lessor has declined all attempts for you to make a payment arrangement.


Applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • you live in Queensland
  • you have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Residential Tenancies Authority
  • you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have a temporary or permanent protection visa or possess a bridging visa
  • you do not have more than $10,000 in cash and savings
  • you can provide evidence of attempts to negotiate a payment plan with your lessor (including a letter or email from them outlining the reasons why a payment plan cannot be agreed on)
  • you have lost your job and have applied to Centrelink for income support
  • you are waiting for your application with Centrelink to be approved.

Please note that only tenants can apply for this grant. Agents, lessors and landlords cannot apply on behalf of tenants.

The Small Business Digital Grants Program can assist small businesses to access digital technologies and services to help them work smarter, engage with the global economy and make the most of online business opportunities arising from digital disruption.

Available funding

If successful, matched funding of up to $10,000 (excluding GST) may be provided to eligible businesses for the purchase of hardware, software and services (such as digital coaching). The minimum grant funding is $1,000. The business must show how the digital technology or service purchased and adopted will enhance the digital capabilities of their business, and help them to be more competitive and employ more staff.

Applicants must not begin the project or pay for the product(s) or service(s), in part or in full, without confirmation that the project has been approved.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible the business must:

  • have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and be registered for GST
  • have Queensland headquarters
  • have a turnover of $2 million or less in the last financial year
  • not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.

Only 1 application will be accepted from an individual ABN or a financial beneficiary of a business.

Successful applicants cannot reapply for funding under this grant program in future rounds.

Your business must also be in a financial position to pay up front for the approved product(s) and or service(s) in full. If successful, approved applicants will then be reimbursed after submitting supplier invoices and proof of purchase.

To ensure that we continue to be responsive to the current gaps and needs of Tasmanian small businesses, further support is available for Tasmanian businesses through the extension of the Small Business Emergency Grants.

Round 2 of the Emergency Support Grants with grants of $2,500 available to those businesses under severe hardship and who have not yet received funding under the first round.

For the purpose of this Round, the definition of small business has been lifted to having less than 25 FTE employees, and the eligibility is no longer limited to targeted areas sectors but is available to any small business experiencing severe hardship that meets the criteria of a loss in revenue* of greater than 30 per cent, or is likely to fall in the relevant month or quarter relative to their turnover in a corresponding period a year earlier.  For businesses impacted by bushfires in 2019, the corresponding period may be two years earlier.

Grants of $15 000 will be available and applications will be accepted from businesses that employ fewer than 50 FTEs.

Grants of will be available to those businesses that:

  • can meet the hardship test, and
  • can demonstrate an ability to continue to operate in the current environment and provide products or services necessary for the Tasmanian or Australian community, or
  • may need to temporarily cease operation but can demonstrate strong prospects for future jobs sustainment or growth.

Applicants are encouraged to apply for the Small Business Emergency Support Grant first. Noting that a successful application under the Small Business Emergency Support Grant does not guarantee funding under the Small Business Hardship Grant.

The Government of South Australia has established a Small Business Grant program funded from the $650 million Jobs Rescue Package to support South Australian small businesses that employ staff and are subject to closure or highly impacted by the shutdown restrictions announced by the Government as a result of the corona virus (COVID-19).

Eligible businesses will be provided with a once-off $10,000 grant to support them to manage in these unprecedented circumstances.

Eligibility criteria

Businesses are eligible to apply for a Small Business Grant provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and were carrying on the operation of a business in South Australia as at 1 March 2020
  • Employ people in South Australia as at 1 March 2020
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 (excluding GST)
  • Have total Australian payroll of less than $1.5 million, and not be entitled to a payroll tax waiver under COVID-19 support measures introduced by the South Australian Government
  • Have been subject to closure or highly adversely impacted by COVID‑19 related restrictions
  • The enterprise does not engage in illegal activity.

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