Business Update Week 8 2022

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

SME Loan Recovery Scheme Extended to June 2022

The SME Loan Recovery Scheme has been extended for another six months It was due to expire at the end of December 2021. The extension means loans under the scheme will remain available until 30th June, 2022.

The Government will reduce its loan guarantee from 80% to 50%, helping drive a private sector-led recovery.

Other key features of the SME Recovery Loan Scheme include:

  • Lenders can offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 24 months.
  • Loans can be used for a broad range of business purposes, including to support investment.
  • Loans may be used to refinance any pre-existing debt of an eligible borrower.
  • Loans can be either unsecured or secured (excluding residential property).

Why Apply for the Loan Scheme?

Some sectors still remain under pressure. For those businesses, the extension of the scheme will provide targeted support and will also help to close the funding gap, giving businesses more time to recover.

Businesses need to consider cash flow. Is there money to grow, expand or strengthen the business? Can you stay afloat? If not, discuss your options under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme with your Bookkeeper. Evaluate the benefits each of the banks have to offer.

Participating banks are also offering loans, including overdrafts, at exceptionally low interest rates, to help bridge cash flow gaps. The Australian Banking Association provides some detail on participating banks: The Australian Banking Association – The Business Relief Package

How Quickly Does Large Business Pay Small Business?

The Payment Times Reports Register shows information on payments from large businesses, and other reporting entities, to their small business suppliers. Under the scheme, large businesses and certain government enterprises must report their payment terms and times twice a year for small business.

The scheme makes information about large business’s payment performance available to the public and helps small businesses decide who to do business with. This creates incentives for improved payment times and practices. The Payment Times Reporting Regulator (the Regulator) publishes these reports on the Payment Times Reports Register. The register will be available as a downloadable data table of all reports screened by the Regulator from the first reporting period, 1st January 2021 to 30th June 2021.

The reports will be published as received by the Regulator, unless redacted or withheld from publication in accordance with section 20 of the Payment Times Reporting Act 2020.

Scheme Background

The Payment Times Reporting Scheme aims to create transparency around the payment practices of large business entities. It gives small businesses access to information on large business’s payment times and performance. This helps small businesses make informed decisions about who they do business with.

The Scheme applies to:

  • Constitutionally covered entities that carry on an enterprise in Australia.

Where any of the following income tests apply:

  • Large businesses and certain government enterprises with a total annual income of over $100 million.
  • Controlling corporations where the combined total annual income for all members is more than $100 million.
  • Businesses with a total annual income greater than $10 million that are part of a group, headed by a controlling corporation, with a collective income greater than $100 million.
  • Businesses that fall into these categories must register for the scheme through the Payment Times Reporting Portal.
  • Businesses who do not meet these requirements may choose to voluntarily submit a report. Charitable and not-for-profit entities are exempt from the reporting requirements.
  • Reporting entities report twice a year on their payment terms and times for their small business suppliers. The first reporting window opened 1st July 2021.

For more information and to view the reports visit the Payment Times Reporting Regulator’s website.

Career Foundation for Young Australians

The Australian Retail Association’s (ARA) Retail Ready Youth PaTH-Way Program offers retail-specific training leading into employment for 200 jobs seekers aged between 15 and 24. The ARA program is an innovative partnership between the retail industry and the Australian government.

Uncertainty Over Jobs Data

Some uncertainty remains around key labour force data for January due to the impact of the Omicron variant. The Reserve Bank of Australia and the federal government are both predicting the jobless rate to fall below 4% this year, a level not seen in about half a century.

Supply Chain Issues Likely to Continue

While COVID-19 cases are dropping, retailers have warned supply chain issues are expected to continue for up to 18 months. This is due to the international shipping crisis sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of freight space on ships, shipping containers, and pallets.

NSW Unveils $1 Billion Support Package for Businesses

The New South Wales government has unveiled a $1 billion support package for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak.

However, the payment will be capped at half of what was offered during the Delta wave in 2021, after the federal government refused to split the cost of the package.

The package will provide a payment of 20% of weekly payroll costs to businesses that can prove at least a 40% decline in turnover across January. Payments would range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 a week.

Safe Transition Industry Support Package

The WA Government has launched a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to assist eligible businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of WA’s borders. It includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.

Eligibility Criteria for Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant in SA Extended

The South Australian government has announced the eligibility criteria for its Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant will be extended to include newer businesses that began operating after December 2020.

The payment will be:

  • $3,000 (for employing businesses) or $1,000 (for non-employing businesses);
  • Additional $1,000 for CBD businesses;
  • Additional $7,000 for tourism, hospitality and other eligible businesses with turnover above $2 million;
  • Additional top-up equivalent to automatic payment for businesses that did not receive the automatic payment.

The grant is automatically paid to businesses that have received a COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant or those that received an additional COVID-19 Business Support Grant. You can check for more available grants here.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

People who are forced out of work to isolate due to being infected or being a close contact are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

You are also eligible if you are caring for a child under 16 years old who is a close contact or infected, or someone with a disability or a severe medical condition who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

The payment was initially given in the form of a $750 lump sum payment for seven days. However, this changed slightly from 18 January into a tiered system. While it remains a lump sum payment, those who lose over 20 hours of work will receive the full $750, but if you lose between 8 and 20 hours, you will only receive $450.

A financial hardship test has also been introduced, which means anyone with $10,000 available and accessible to them will not get the payment.

You can find more information about Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment conditions specific to your state or territory here.

Support for Small Businesses

If your business is struggling, the ATO offers a wide range of support for those affected by the pandemic, natural disasters, mental health issues, or financial difficulties.

Learn more about the available support, and the small business debt helpline for free, independent advice.

Webinars to Help You Become More Efficient with Tax and Super

The ATO will be offering two webinars this January and February to help you streamline processes and manage your tax and super online.

These sessions will teach you the ins and outs of GST, pay as you go withholding, pay as you go instalments, how to lodge your tax returns, and more. Need expert help with your tax and super? Get in touch with us today!

ATO Lodgement Dates

These dates are from the ATO website and do not take into account possible extensions. If you are a My Bookkeeping Buddy Client you may be entitled to an extension. You remain responsible for ensuring that the necessary information is with us in time.

Final dates for lodgements and payments:

BAS/IAS Monthly Lodgements
February 2022 Activity Statement: 21 March 2022
March 2022 Activity Statement: 21 April 2022

BAS Quarterly Lodgements
2nd/December Quarter 2022 (incl. PAYGI): 28 February 2022   
3rd/March Quarter 2022 (incl. PAYGI): 28 April 2022
When a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or Public Holiday (a day that is a public holiday for the whole of any state or territory in Australia), you can lodge or pay on the next business day.

Superannuation  Guarantee contributions:
2nd/December Quarter 2022: 28 January 2022
3rd/March Quarter 2022: 28 April 2022
(Contributions must be in the fund by this date. Late payments of superannuation are not tax deductible. If your business has overdue superannuation guarantee payments and you are unsure of how to proceed, please contact us to discuss.)

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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