Where to find support & relief for your business right now

The CitySmart team has put together this collection of Brisbane, Queensland and National resources to help businesses large and small during the current COVID-19 restrictions.


Payments to businesses

Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment for employers and employees

Eligible businesses of all sizes will have access to a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020 until 27 September 2020.

Federal Government’s JobKeeper payment for sole traders

Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced due to the coronavirus. The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employer/e until 27 September 2020.

Federal government’s ‘Boosting cashflow for employers’ payment

$20,000-$100,000 available to small and medium businesses. Will be automatically calculated and paid by the ATO upon lodgement of monthly or quarterly BAS. It will be a credit applied to your ATO Integrated Client Account.

Federal government’s Trainee and Apprentice Subsidy for all businesses

If you employ an apprentice or trainee, you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.

Early access to superannuation for sole traders and individuals

Eligible individuals can access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply from mid-April 2020.

QLD government’s electricity bill rebate

$500 rebate on electricity bills for all Queensland small and medium sized businesses that consume less then 100,000 kilowatt hours. This will be automatically applied to bills.

Waivers, deferrals & moratoriums

Moratorium on evictions for both commercial and residential leases

The Australian Government together with the states and territories have agreed on a short term, temporary moratorium on eviction for non-payment of rent to be applied across commercial tenancies impacted by severe rental distress due to coronavirus.

Brisbane City Council business fee waiver

A moratorium on fees and charges for footpath and outdoor dining, food safety permits, commercial river moorings, advertising, temporary food stalls, commercial lease rents (for BCC sites), and commercial stalls, booths, and stands. Lease fees for community organisations will not be collected.

Loans for business

Federal government’s SME Guarantee Scheme for new unsecured loans

The scheme will provide small and medium sized business with timely access to working capital to help them get through the impact of the coronavirus.

Australian Banking Association small business relief package

Loan repayment deferrals for small businesses.

QLD Rural & Industry Development Authority business loans

Loans of up to $250,000 are available to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure (no repayments in the first year, interest only in the next two). Eligible business types include sole traders, partnerships, private and public companies and Trusts.

Tax & other relief

Australian Tax Office administrative relief

The ATO has provisions for additional support for businesses. These measures include deferrals of certain tax payments and variances of reporting schedules. These measures are not guaranteed or automatic – businesses should contact an ATO representative on 1800 806 218 for assistance.

Temporary credit relief for financially distressed businesses of all sizes

There is a temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. You don’t need to apply for this automatically applied threshold increase.

QLD government Payroll Tax relief for businesses

For all businesses with payroll expenses. Comprising a refund component, a tax holiday, and a deferral of future tax payments.

Increase in instant asset write-offs

For businesses with turnover of less than $500 million. The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000. This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or 2nd-hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe. After June 30 the instant asset write-off will only be available for small businesses with a turnover of less than $1 million and the threshold will be $1,000.

The Backing Business Investment

For businesses with turnover less than $500 million. Businesses be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible new asset on installation (acquired from 12 March 2020), with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

Other financial support

Brisbane City Council rates relief

Brisbane City Council is offering rates relief to businesses and residents that experiencing hardship because of the economic impacts of Coronavirus. The assistance will apply to all ratepayers, including owner occupiers, non-owner occupiers and businesses. For more information, phone Council on 07 3403 8888.

QLD government Industry Support Package for large businesses

The Industry Support Package will assist large businesses through this period to ensure they will be able to scale up and service the community when economic activity improves. For details email COVID19ISP@treasury.qld.gov.au

Facebook grants and ad credits

Facebook is offering $100M (USD) in cash grants and ad credits to up to 30,000 small business in over 30 countries. More details to be released shortly.

Business advice & information

Keep Your Business Running

Advice, webinars and other resources from CitySmart Partner BDO.

Queensland Government’s current restrictions on non-essential services

In line with the Australian Government’s updated restrictions, there is an updated Direction from Queensland’s Chief Health Officer that came into effect from midnight 31st March 2020.

Federal Government’s Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies

The Government has announced a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies to support small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) affected by the coronavirus. The code applies to tenants who are small-medium sized businesses with an annual turnover of up to $50 million, and who are eligible for the JobKeeper payment.

Federal government advice for small businesses who are struggling with energy bill payments

The Government has provided advice on how to manage inability to pay energy bills due to the coronavirus, as well as links to further advice and support.

QLD Dept of Employment, Small Business and Training questionnaire for businesses to complete and be directed to services that best address their needs.

Download the QLD Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 Employer Guide for advice on:

QLD Chamber of Commerce’s webinar recording

Another resource giving details of QLD State and Federal government resources for business.

Support for existing government program grant participants and applicants

If you’re an existing government program grantee and have been impacted by the coronavirus, you may be eligible to seek additional time to meet your reporting obligations or to complete your project.

QLD government manufacturing industry support

If you’re having difficulties accessing supplies to continue to operate, employ and meet customer needs, you can access support and assistance.

Treasury’s Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

This new Unit is engaging with peak business and industry groups on systemic issues arising from Coronavirus to ensure these are being brought to the attention of Government.

Other free resources

Federal Government Business.Gov.Au Newsletter

QLD Chamber of Commerce Covid-19 updates as they are relevant to businesses and organisations.

Free access to Microsoft Teams software.

Adobe Creative Cloud is giving existing subscribers 2 months free.