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How small businesses hit by Covid-19 can access support

As lockdown measures are expanded across Australia in response to Covid-19, an increasing number of businesses are finding themselves affected by the economic fall out.

The government has announced a stimulus package aimed at keeping people in jobs and helping small and medium sized businesses through the challenging months ahead, including the second stage outlined by C&I this week.

However, the myriad of information and rolling updates on the virus and the measures being taken to slow its spread have understandably left many feeling overwhelmed.

C&I believe the convenience, retail and related industries have a crucial role to play through this crisis, and have broken down some key points below, to help businesses easily access the right support for their situation.

As a priority, if the stress of the situation is becoming unmanageable, visit the government’s My Business Health website for tips and resources on managing your mental health through the crisis.

Recently launched organisation Business Australia is offering free support and advice to business owners and managers for issues relating to Covid-19 through a content hub. Among the advice as an employer toolkit to help employers navigate managing workers remotely during working from arrangements As well as a business guide to Coronavirus, a business grants finder to better understand the financial support available and templates for communicating issues with landlords.

The support is free, but businesses must join the organisation, more information is available at businessaustralia.com.

Other quick links include the Federal Government Business Help Hotline 13 28 46, which can offer assistance to sole traders and small businesses who employ people. It operates seven days from 7am-11pm. Those who prefer online, can find resources at the Australian government’s business website.

Information on your rights as an employer regarding letting staff go, or for employees seeking clarification on their rights, can be accessed through the Fair Work Ombudsman.

For those seeking the tax-free subsidy between $20,000-$100,000 eligible to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million who employ people should visit here for details on accessing cash flow support.

If you’re in need of deferring loan repayments, either for your small business or as a homeowner experiencing difficulty due to the virus, information regarding how banks may be able to assist can be found here.

Information of asset tax write offs up to $150,000 can be located here. The ATO are also offering tax relief options.

And businesses facing an uncertain future, who are worried about their viability can access information about the threshold increase for creditors to issue a statutory demand on a business (up from $2,000 to $20,ooo) and the response timeframe (from 21 days to six months) here.

Further information on state and territory based support is also available.

A live stream of a full day seminar on business solutions for SMEs and answers to common business dilemmas around Covid-19, led by seven business leaders can be accessed between 10am-3pm tomorrow at Conquer the Crisis.

Following the establishment of a Covid-19 Coordination Commission, aimed at reducing the impact of the virus on businesses, communities and individuals, more support measures will likely be announced which C&I will update you on.

As well as any move towards stage-three lockdown measures (yet to be publicly defined), flagged yesterday by Victorian premier Daniel Andrews as being imminent.

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