Weekly Digest – 25 August 2021

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

We’re thinking of everyone affected by lockdowns around the country and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about your business during this time. Read on for assistance that may be available to you.

Australia Closes One-Way Travel Bubble from NZ

Australia has paused “green zone” flights from New Zealand that allow Kiwis to travel to the country without going into quarantine. All passengers on flights originating in New Zealand up until 11.59pm (AEST) on 23 August 2021 will need to go into 14 days of supervised hotel quarantine. The pause is due to be reviewed on Friday.

New Zealand has already suspended quarantine-free flights from Australia because of the NSW outbreak, which means the bubble is now completely closed.

Sydney Faces Curfew and Longer Lockdown

Sydney’s lockdown is being extended until 30 September, as the Delta outbreak continues to grow.

New South Wales reported a record number of cases on Wednesday. The new high local cases and deaths prompted Premier Gladys Berejiklian to require masks to be worn outdoors throughout the state at all times except when exercising.

From Monday, a curfew of 9pm to 5am has been imposed in western Sydney’s council areas of concern. Vaccinations will also be mandatory for all healthcare workers by the end of next month, and for childcare workers and disability support workers in the council areas of concern by 30 August.

Pfizer Vaccine Eligibility Expanded in Victoria

All Victorians aged 16 to 39 will be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine at state-run hubs from Wednesday, as the state tries to bring its Delta outbreak under control.

The lockdown is due to expire on 2 September, but there’s no word yet on whether this will be pushed through. However, given the number of cases, it seems increasingly unlikely that the restrictions will be lifted.

SA Imposes Level 6 COVID-19 Restrictions on Residents Returning From Victoria

South Australians will need a specific exemption to return home from Victoria from 6:00pm Sunday, as the situation worsens in the eastern state.

Under the new rules, anyone who wants to travel into South Australia from Victoria will be classified as level 6 and will have to apply for exemptions to enter through SA Health. Meanwhile, those fleeing from domestic violence will be subject to Level 5 requirements which include COVID-9 tests on days one, five and 13, 14 days of quarantine, and mandatory wearing of masks for 14 days after their arrival in South Australia.

Extra $40 to $50 Million in COVID-19 Assistance for Childcare Centres

After the Victorian government’s announcement at the weekend to limit childcare centre attendees to the children of essential workers, Education Minister Alan Tudge said $40 to $50 million a week in new support for centres would be provided.

The new support package will provide 25% of a childcare centre’s pre-lockdown revenue if it is subjected to orders for children not to attend, and 40% of an after-school care centre’s revenue. It will be available to all childcare centres locked down for at least 4 weeks.

Furthermore, the funding is expected to provide immediate relief to about 3,600 services caring for children in greater Sydney, as well as another 1,200 services in Melbourne and Canberra.

Victorian Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2 July Extension

The Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension (BCAP2e) gives eligible businesses that had not previously applied for the Program in June, or have since become eligible, with the opportunity to apply for the equivalent of the July Top-Up Payments.

The program offers grants of $4800 to eligible businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses, depending on their industry sector.

Read the eligibility criteria here.

All hotspots: COVID-19 Disaster Payment for recognised lockdowns

This Federal Government support is lump sum payment for workers who cannot earn income because of a state public health order. You can check your eligibility here.

NSW Grants

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

NSW: Micro-business grant

The micro-business grant is a $1500 fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

COVID-19 Business Grant

A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit the Service NSW website.

JobSaver payment

JobSaver is a fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) and provide cashflow support to businesses. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

Small business fees and charges rebate

If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 aimed at helping businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are open and you can check your eligibility here.

You can view more NSW Government COVID-19 Support Packages here, including Jobs Plus, Sydney CBD Friday vouchers, Payroll tax support and support for the tourism industry. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

QLD COVID-19 Business Support Grant

Your business may be eligible for financial support through the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants. $5,000 grants will be made available to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and lockdowns in other states. You must have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the lockdown.

Applications will open in mid-August so we will keep you updated.

The Business Queensland website has an overview of the range of assistance available.

Fuel Tax Credit Rate Hike

Fuel tax credit rates increased on 2 August 2021 in line with fuel excise indexation. If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits per year, you can use simplified methods including:

  • the rate that applies at the end of your BAS period
  • the Basic method for heavy vehicles to calculate your claims if you use a heavy vehicle.

You can find the updated rates here and use this fuel tax credit calculator to work out your claims. If you need more help with your tax, contact our tax agents today!

ATO support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions or disasters

The ATO has a range of support options to help those affected by disasters or those experiencing challenges due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

The ATO may be able to:

  • prioritise any refunds owed to you
  • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

If you need help to manage your tax or superannuation obligations, please get in touch with us.

JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period

The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:

  • up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
  • up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years

Register any time until the scheme ends.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees

The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.

Training Incentive Allowance

The Training Incentive Allowance can help with tuition fees, books, childcare, equipment, transport and any additional caring costs while studying. It’s available for courses at levels 1-7 of the NZ Qualifications Framework. Visit the Work and Income website to find out who’s eligible, how much you can get and who can apply.

Three Sales Strategies to Help You Grow Your Business

Marketing is essential in growing a business. Without customers coming your way, you can’t increase sales.

Businesses can boost their sales by implementing visibility strategies that can get their products or services in front of more customers. However, aside from great marketing, you would also need the right sales systems in place.

This Forbes article shares three sales systems that can help small businesses increase their revenue. Below is a rundown of these strategies:

  1. Create a sales funnel that adds value and nurtures prospects. A sales funnel is a step-by-step process that leads consumers into making a purchase. The best way to develop a solid sales funnel is by adding value for customers, followed by offering content that solves their pain points.
  2. Have better discovery conversations, and disqualify the wrong fits. Your goal should be to onboard customers who make sense for your business and would benefit from your services.
  3. Show up in all the mediums and methods your ideal consumers use. Show up where your customers are– you can use blogs, videos, podcasts, or other formats to reach your ideal customers.

Do you need more tailored business advice? Get in touch with us today and let’s work out a plan together!

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