As concern around COVID-19 grows, our priority is the health and safety of our staff, clients, families and children, as we endeavour to continue to offer our service.
Whatever your opinion on the appropriateness and what should be done, we now have the authorities enforcing their guidelines and taking action. The World Health Organisation and the Australian Government have put dramatic measures in place and we at MBC support those actions.
We want to be clear that we are here to support you and will be available to assist you as the impact of this virus becomes apparent. The affect on businesses and individuals is still unknown, apart from to say it will be significant.
Our offices remain open at this stage and we are closely monitoring the situation and will respond accordingly. We are prepared and ready to work remotely without any effect on our client services.
We are still available for face to face advice and meetings, however we will also be offering video conferencing and contact by telephone.
Should you wish to discuss any concerns regarding your business, including cashflow and continuity strategies, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the MBC Team.
Orange and the Central West has a strong and established community, however these current challenges call for us all to support and look out for each other. Stay well and wise as we all try to navigate these uncertain times.
Government announces stimulus package
On March 12 our government announced a $17.6 billion dollar stimulus package to assist business with the economic implications from the coronavirus. It is also likely that a second wave of measures will be announced later this week.
Large and small business are set to benefit from this package which is set to protect the economy and ease the cash burden.
The package is summarised as follows:
APPRENTICES AND TRAINEES, HELPING YOU RETAIN YOUR STAFF
The government is supporting small business to retain their apprentices and trainees. Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 percent of the apprentice or trainees wage paid during the period 1 January 2020 to 20 September 2020. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice and trainee.
This is for business that employ fewer than 20 full time employees. The apprentice must have been training with the business as at 1 March 2020. A business that employs an apprentice or trainee that has been put off is also eligible for this subsidy.
Employers will be able to register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
CASHFLOW ASSISTANCE FOR BUSINESS
Small and medium businesses who employ staff and have annual turnover of less than $50m will be eligible for cashflow assistance between 1 January 2020 and 30 June 2020.
- The payment will be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020.
- Eligible businesses that withhold tax on their employee salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 50 percent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $25,000
- Eligible business will receive a minimum payment of $2,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.
INSTANT ASSET WRITE OFF
Spending is encouraged on assets through the extension of the instant asset write off. The instant asset write off threshold will increase from $30,000 to $150,000. This now applies to business with an annual turnover of up to $500 million to be eligible (currently $50m, up from $10m) and will extend through to 30 June 2021.
The package also includes $1 billion to help boost the tourism sector.
SUPPORT FOR AFFECTED REGIONS
The government has set aside $1 billion to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of the Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.
The Australian Tax Office will provide administrative relief on a case by case basis and will increase their presence in regions to assist business through this period.
This legislation will be introduced to parliament during their sitting in the last week of March. We will keep you updated as more information comes to hand including the passing of these provisions.