As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the Australian economy, the federal government has pledged a total of around $189 billion in stimulus packages to try to stop the country from crumbling.  The Queensland Government has committed $4 billion to support Queenslander’s health, jobs and businesses in the COVID-19 Economic Relief Package. 

Sole traders

Small & Medium Enterprises (SME) With Staff

  • Tax-free cash payment of minimum $20,000 and up to $100,000 to retain staff and operations (for businesses with a turnover under $50 million) 
  • 50% wage subsidy for apprentice or trainee wages for nine months, up to a maximum of $21,000.
  • Payroll tax support
    • Two months of payroll tax will be immediately refunded.
    • The next three months of payroll tax will be waived.
    • Payroll tax for July to December will be deferred.

All Businesses

  • Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme — Government guarantee for 50% of new loans issued by eligible lenders
  • Increase in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand and the time for companies to respond
  • Businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets up to $150,000/asset. There is also expanded access to the instant asset write-off to include all businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million (30 June 2020). 
  • Accelerated depreciation deduction — 50% of the cost of an asset, with existing depreciation applying to the balance of the asset’s cost. 
  • $500 million to provide business loans up to $250,000 with no interest for the first 12 months
  • Free financial advice to producers, commercial fishers, and tourism operators through the Rural Financial Counselling Service. 
  • Workshops will be held around the state for financial management and business planning. Register your interest for a potential Far North Queensland workshop.
  • Mentoring for Growth offering free access to business mentors including around business finances and planning. 

Agriculture Industry

Commercial Fishers

  • Waiving of tropical rock lobster and coral trout quota fees and fishing boat license fees until June 2020. 
  • Expanding tropical rock lobster fishery area for three months.
  • Local seafood promotion campaign.
  • Rural financial counselling services for commercial fishers, fishery supply chain and tourism businesses impacted by Covid-19. 

 Tourism Operators

Interest-free loans

  • Loans of up to $250,000 will be interest-free for the first 12 months, and are intended to help businesses keep employees on board and maintain their operation until the worst of the crisis has passed. The Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority is currently accepting expressions of interest for the loans. Businesses that are interested should contact the authority here.