State Government funding packages
Updated 5 August 2020
All State and Territory Governments around the country have announced stimulus packages to address the COVID-19 crisis.
These packages apply in addition to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 support packages.
MEA will keep members updated with details of support packages for businesses (including how to apply for assistance) as they come to hand.
Australia Capital Territory
Information on the application processes for those wishing to access the Commonwealth HomeBuilder grant will be made available through the Australian Capital Territory’s Revenue Office, the ACT Revenue Office from the week beginning 13 July.
The ACT Government announced an initial $137 million economic survival package to support the local community.
The package includes:
- $20 million in funding to fast track infrastructure projects and maintenance on government-owned community, school and other buildings.
- ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages of up to $10 million can defer their 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free until 1 July 2022.
Business will need to complete an online application at revenue.act.gov.au to confirm eligibility.
- Increased subsidies for apprenticeships and traineeships to access nationally recognised training.
Subsidies will be provided directly to RTOs with no application required.
- $750 rebate for small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year.
Rebates will be automatically applied to the next electricity bill in June or July 2020.
- Commercial property owners with an average unimproved value below $2 million are eligible for a rebate on their commercial rates fixed charge.
Rebates will be applied automatically.
- 12-month waiver of the food business registration for licenced venues and liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020. Outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived automatically.
- $150 rebate on residential rate bills in 2020-21
- Freeze on levy for fire and emergency services, vehicle registration, parking and public transport.
- $200 additional rebate for households receiving the Utilities Concession through their electricity bill. This will be automatically applied.
- $250 one-off bank payment to be made from Housing ACT to all social housing households by June.
Eligible households will be contacted directly.
New South Wales
Information on the HomeBuilder grant eligibility and application processes is available at Revenue NSW.
On 2 April the NSW Government launched a small business support grant of up to $10,000 for eligible NSW small business owners. Funds may only be used for unavoidable business expenses that are not supported by other government funding including utilities, council rates, telecommunication charges, insurance, professional advice, wages for employees not covered by JobKeeper, franchise fees and payment of creditors.
On Friday 27 March the NSW Government presented its second stage of funding for COVID-19 relief. Key elements include:
- $1 billion Working for NSW fund to sustain business, create new jobs and retrain employees.
- Deferral of payroll tax for business with payrolls over $10 million for six months (up to $4 billion deferred).
- Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less received a three-month waiver on payroll tax in the first package but will now get an additional three-month deferral.
Further information – Revenue NSW
- Deferral of gaming tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, and lotteries tax for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff.
- Deferral of the parking space levy for six months
- Deferral of rents for six months for commercial tenants with less than 20 employees in all Government-owned properties.
- $34 million boost in funding to prevent homelessness
- $30 million to boost the Energy Accounts Payments Assistance scheme
- $10 million to support charities and $6 million in additional funding for Lifeline’s NSW operations.
The NSW package, released on 17 March, focused on health funding and business support.
- $700 million in additional funding for NSW Health
- $450 million to waive payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10 million for the rest of the financial year
Further information – Revenue NSW
- $56 million to bring forward payroll tax cuts, raising the threshold limit to $1 million next financial year
- $80 million to waive fees and charges for small businesses including tradies, bars and cafes
- $250 million to employ additional cleaners for public infrastructure and buildings
- Over $250 million for maintenance on public assets
- $500 million to bring forward capital works and maintenance.
Additional funding for NT businesses
The Territory Government this week released its COVID-19 Financial Report, outlining its response to the pandemic. The report earmarks an additional $42 million in job-saving measures including:
- $20 million for the Small Business Rebound and Adaption Grant – grants of up to $10,000 when matched dollar-for-dollar to support small businesses to rebound and adapt.
- $10 million Immediate Work Grants Scheme – the second round of grants for incorporated not-for-profit and community organisations (who missed the first round) to undertake repairs, renovations and upgrades to their premises.
Both grants open 1 September 2020.
The NT Government has signed off on the Federal Government’s HomeBuilder program to provide eligible owner-occupiers with grants of $25,000 to build or substantially renovate an existing home.
For further information and to register your interest, visit the Territory Revenue Office.
On 2 May, the Territory Government announced additional support for businesses under its Jobs Rescue and Recovery Plan.
Territory business can now apply to be listed on a central Business Hardship Register to apply for: waiving or deferring payment of payroll tax, reduction on utilities bills, rate reductions, incentives for commercial landlords to reduce rents and additional relief.
This support will assist businesses who have proven hardship from COVID-19 from 1 April and will be available until 30 September 2020.
For further information and to apply visit the Business Recovery page.
The Northern Territory Government will deliver around $120 million via the Jobs Rescue & Recovery Plan and the Small Businesses Survival Fund to support Territorians. The packages will focus on protecting existing jobs and creating new ones by encouraging local spending. All measures under the plan will commence within two weeks with funding to be spent within six months.
- $50 million Small Businesses Survival Fund. Announced on 23 March, the fund will target the hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses that are bearing the brunt of shut-downs and restrictions. It will help businesses to:
- meet costs through the partial or full shut-down period
- adjust and adapt, eg expanding online services and transitioning to take-away and delivery.
- to take advantage of the rebounding economy by upgrading premises or upskilling staff.
The fund includes two payments:
- an immediate survival payment ranging from $2,000 for sole traders up to $50,000 for businesses with more than 20 FTE employees
- a rapid adapatation payment of $2,000 for businesses with one employee or up to $5,000 for other businesses to offset costs of adapting the business
- $30 million home improvement scheme. Homeowners can access a $4,000 voucher if the contribute $1,000 of their own money or a $6,000 voucher if they contribute $2,000 of their own.
Registrations for businesses to provide their services will open 30 March and homeowner applications open 6 April.
Learn more about the Home Improvement Scheme.
- $20 million business improvement scheme. Territory businesses will have access to a $10,000 grant to purchase goods and services to make permanent physical improvements to a business (land and / or building) that help improve its efficiency and customer experience. An additional grant of $10,000 is available if the business matches the invest.
Applications for the Business Improvement Grant open Monday 13 April.
- $5 million immediate works grants package. Not-for-profit and community organisations can access grants of up to $100,000 for renovations and upgrades. The first $50,000 will be paid as a grant, and the Government will match costs on a dollar-for-dollar basis for any work exceeding $50,000 up to a cap of $100,000 in total.
Registrations for businesses to provide their services will open 30 March and grant applications open 20 April.
Learn more about the Immediate Work Grant.
- $5 million structural adjustment package. To help public venues adjust to the new requirement of capping indoor meetings at 100 people, funding will be made available to install partitioning.
- $5 million Worker & Wellbeing Fund. The Territory Government launched the new fund on 30 March to support local workers who are experiencing unemployment, reduced income or those affected within their workplace because of the COVID-19 crisis. It will made available to those who are not already receiving Centerlink benefits.
Details about accessing the fund will be made available on 3 April.
- All Government fees and charges – including electricity, water and car registration will be frozen (no increase due to indexation) until 1 July 2021.
- Eligible businesses that hire a Territorian in the next 12 months will receive a payroll tax concession and won’t be liable for payroll tax on those wages for two years.
Learn more about eligibility for employers at the Department of Treasury and Finance website.
From 1 July, the Queensland Government will extend the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program with up to $100 million being made available to deliver a second round of grants.
The program aims to see small and micro businesses adapt and sustain their operations and to prepare for the safe resumption of trading.
In the second round, funding will be divided equally between regional and South East Queensland with eligible small or micro businesses able to access grants between $2,000 and $10,000.
On 17 March the Queensland Government announced concessional loans to support workers in affected businesses. This follows assistance packages already announced last month for businesses most at risk (including tourism and fisheries).
- $500 million funding for business loans of up to $250,000 with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff.
Learn more and apply for a loan via the QRIDA page
- $25 million assistance package and payroll tax deferrals of up to $20,500 per month until July 2020. Businesses with an annual wage bill of up to $6.5 million will be able to self-assess whether they have been impacted by COVID-19.
Information about the payroll tax refund can be found at Business Queensland.
Businesses are also advised to login to OSRconnect to lodge a request for re-assessment.
Providing further support to Brisbane-based Queenslanders, the Brisbane City Council announced on 20 March the waiving of small business charges, rents, levies and fees during this period.
On 24 April the SA Government announced a plan for State Government agencies to provide full rent relief for business tenants that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions.
The Government extended support with immediate rent reductions for impacted residential and SME commercial tenants while landlords will be offered a 25% reduction on their 2019-20 land tax liability on affected properties.
The South Australian Government has provided further details about its economic stimulus packages, with $120 million allocated to fast track infrastructure projects.
In an announcement on 29 March, Premier Steven Marshall said the projects will support 165 local jobs. The projects include: $52 million for regional road network repair; $35 million to resurface a section of the South Eastern Freeway; $15 million for the Heysen Tunnel refit; $12 million for a higher capacity North-South Freight Route to by-pass Adelaide; and $6 million to seal Adventure Way and Innamincka Airport Road.
On 26 March, the South Australian Government announced it second round of economic stimulus for the State with the $650m Jobs Rescue Package. The new stimulus includes:
- Access to one-off $10,000 emergency cash grant for small businesses to support them with operating costs including rent, power, supplier and raw material costs and other fees.
Learn more and register your interest in the grant
- $300 million Business and Jobs Support Fund to support individual businesses and industry sectors directly affected by COVID-19
- $250 million Community and Jobs Fund. The fund will support community organisations, sporting, arts, recreational bodies and NFPs. It will also help with training of South Australians seeking new skills and employment.
- Payroll tax relief. The Government will provide a six-month waiver for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4 million. Employer with grouped annual wages over $4 million will also be able to defer if they can demonstrate significant impacts on their cash flow as a result of COVID-19.
- Land tax relief. Under the Government’s land tax reforms commencing in July, individuals and businesses with outstanding quarterly bills for 2019-20 able to defer payments for six- months. For 2020-21 Land Tax Transition Fund relief will be increased from 50% to 100%.
- Liquor licence fees for 2020-21 will be waived for affected hotels, clubs, restaurants and cafes.
- Cost of living concessions. A one-off boost of $500 will be provided to households who are receiving the Centrelink JobSeeker Payment, assisting those who are unemployed or lose their jobs as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. For eligible homeowners, their 2020-21 payment of $215.10 will now become $715.10. Eligible tenants will receive $607.60.
- Access to leave for public sector workers. If a public servant has a family member who has lost their job and moved onto Commonwealth benefits, they will be able to receive their accrued leave down to a limit of two retained weeks.
The South Australian Government’s first support package focused on small business support, construction and health projects.
- $350 million funding for construction with the bulk of the spend in the next 12 months. It will focus on “shovel ready” construction projects including roads, hospital improvements, electrical upgrades and fire safety upgrades.
- $22 million in “eco-tourism” initiatives
- $15 million boost to regional health projects
- $5 million in funding for regional aged-care facilities
Information on the HomeBuilder grant eligibility and application processes will be made available at Tasmanian State Revenue Office. To register your interest, please sign up to the email update service.
The Tasmanian Government has developed a $420 million stimulus package to support the state. Assistance available to small businesses will include:
- $50 million will be allocated to fast track maintenance on public buildings over the next 12 months to provide an injection into local trades and communities around the state.
- $50 million in interest free loans over three years will be made available to encourage Local Government to upgrade, renovate and to do necessary maintenance to improve tourism and other assets
- $20 million in interest free loans from $20,000 to $250,000 for small businesses in the hospitality, tourism, seafood production, and exports sectors or those who can demonstrate they have been impacted by COVID-19.
Learn more and apply
- Business continuity grants of up to $750 toward the cost of engaging the services of a suitably qualified person to advise on business continuity planning.
Learn more and apply
- Payroll tax liabilities will be waived for hospitality, tourism and seafood industry businesses for the remainder of the financial year.
- Other businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will be able to apply, based on the impact of virus, to have their payroll tax waived for April to June 2020.
Details available from the State Revenue Office of Tasmania.
- The targeted Small Business Grants Program will provide $5,000 grants for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction, and manufacturing industries. Details available from Skills Tasmania.
- $80,000 will be provided to the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to provide HR and IR assistance associated with COVID-19 to businesses.
Business Support Fund – Expansion program
The Victorian Government announced updated restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria External link to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Victoria.
- Stage 4 restrictions are in place from 6pm on Sunday 2 August for metropolitan Melbourne.
- Stage 3 restrictions are in place from 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August for Regional Victoria, including Mitchell Shire.
These restrictions mean that many businesses will have to operate in a limited capacity or can no longer operate. To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses including
- $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions
- $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)
Businesses that have already received a Business Support Fund – Expansion grant, or have applied for one, will not need to re-apply and successful applicants will automatically receive this additional allocation.
Information on the HomeBuilder grant eligibility and application processes will be made available at State Revenue Office Victoria. To register your interest, please sign up to the email update service.
On 15 June the Victorian Government launched a $250 million Victorian Business Growth Fund (VBGF) to support long‑term growth opportunities for businesses and boost employment and economic development across the State.
The VBGF will back SMEs who want to grow but can’t raise the funds. It will back permanent, high-skilled jobs in priority areas, workforce diversity, jobs for people that have been unemployed and jobs for those trying to reskill and for apprentices.
The Victorian Government will not be involved in direct investment decisions, however it has worked with First State Super and Roc Partners to determine the eligibility criteria for the VBGF to ensure that they benefit Victoria. Eligible businesses should:
- present a compelling growth opportunity to Victoria, meaning that it is expected to lead to growth in a Victorian business, fund growth of a business expanding into Victoria, lead to meaningful job creation in Victoria or add meaningful capital investment in Victoria
- have annual revenue of between $5 million and $100 million
- have no more than $250 million in assets, and
- have positive cash flow, or cash flow is expected to be positive during the investment.
The Victorian Government is expanding its support for Victorian businesses affected by COVID-19.
The criteria for its Business Support Fund will be expanded to include businesses with a wages bill less than the payroll tax threshold of $650,000 who are participating in the JobKeeper program, regardless of the sector they operate in. Eligibility for the fund will not be expanded to include sole traders, who are covered by JobKeeper.
Businesses who applied for Business Support Fund grants of $10,000 but were initially not eligible based on their sector will be contacted by the Government and will not have to submit new applications.
Businesses that have not previously applied are encouraged to make an application at business.vic.gov.au.
On Saturday 21 March, the Victorian Government unveiled a $1.7 billion economic survival and jobs package to help businesses and workers through the pandemic.
- $550 million package for payroll tax refunds. Small and medium sized businesses with a payroll of less than $3 million will receive full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year.
- Small and medium sized businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021
For further information about payroll tax relief, visit the State Revenue Office site and login to PTX Express to apply for a refund.
- $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund. This will support hospitality, tourism, accommodation, entertainment, retail and arts. Funding of $10,000 per business is available and will be allocated through a grant process.
Learn more and apply
- $500 million to establish a Working for Victoria Fund to assist those who have lost their jobs to find on the opportunities. Those who have lost their roles can register online for further information.
- Commercial tenants in government buildings will be able to apply for rent relief.
- 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible businesses.
- Outstanding supplier invoices with be paid within five days by the Government.
$17,500 grant for WA small businesses
The WA Government announced a one-off $17,500 grant for small businesses this week to help in the economic recovery from COVID-19. The grants will be automatically sent to payroll tax paying businesses with a payroll between $1 million and $4 million.
Eligibility for employers not registered for payroll tax in 2018-19 will be determined on their reconciled 2019-20 Australian taxable wages, with grants paid later in 2020.
Employer incentives and reduced training fees for apprentices
The WA Government is offering employers financial incentives of up to $6000 to support apprentices displaced by COVID-19.
For an employer to be eligible for the payment, the apprentice must have had their training contract terminated on or after 1 March 2020. The incentive is available until 30 June 2021 through the Department of Training and Workforce Development.
In a further boost for apprentices, the State has introduced a $57 million training sector package that will deliver 15 free short courses and cut TAFE fees by 50-72% for courses including electrical trades.
Enrolments for the TAFE courses will open on Monday 6 July 2020. For more information visit Jobs & Skills WA.
Information on the HomeBuilder grant eligibility and application processes will be made available at the Western Australia Department of Finance.
The Western Australian Government released a $24.5 million package on 23 April to help the building and construction industry to maintain a skilled workforce during the COVID-19 crisis. It includes:
- $10 million in immediate support with one-off $2,000 payment to employers to maintain existing apprentices and trainees
- $9.5 million in new monthly payment program to employers of apprentices and trainees. Payments commence from 1 June and will be backdated to 1 April.
- $5 million to support more than 5,000 building and construction apprentices and trainees to complete short training courses
The Western Australian Government has announced $114 million in measures to support small business as part of a wider $607 million package during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $402 million allocated to freeze household fees and charges including electricity, water, motor vehicle charges, emergency services levy and public transport fares until at least 1 July, 2021
- Energy Assistance Payment (EAP) doubled to $600 to support vulnerable Western Australians, including pensioners
- $17,500 in one-off grants to small businesses that pay payroll tax
Eligible taxpayers should log in to Revenue Online to ensure their postal address is correct.
- $1 million payroll tax threshold brought forward by six months to July 1, 2020. The threshold increase will be reflected in Revenue Online when it comes into effect.
- Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can defer payroll tax payments until July 21, 2020.
Apply to defer your payroll tax.