COVID-19 Business Update – 1 July 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for this week’s update.

State grants and support programs.

Each state and territory has announced various grants and assistance packages which you may be eligible for. You can find a roundup of these grants on the Government’s Business website. Alternatively, you can also contact us so we can discuss which options are most suitable for your business based on your eligibility and needs.

Victoria Reimposes Stay-at-Home Orders for Hotspot Suburbs

You’ve probably heard the Victorian Government has announced that a number of postcodes will return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions from 11:59 pm 1 July 2020 until 29 July. You can check the complete list of hotspot suburbs covered by the reintroduction of this order here. This decision comes after Australia recorded its largest spike in COVID-19 since April on 24 June, with Victoria recording an increase of 33 cases.

According to Premier Daniel Andrews, there will only be four acceptable reasons that people in these areas are permitted to leave their homes: for work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise, and for food and other essentials.

ATO Tax Time Toolkit

The ATO’s Tax Time Toolkit has some useful guides for small businesses on topics such as: home-based business expenses, motor vehicle expenses, travel expenses and pausing or permanently closing your business due to Coronavirus. Ask us if you have any questions.

Car expense rate increased

The ATO will has now raised the cents per kilometre deduction rate for motor vehicle expenses to 72 cents for this financial year (starting 1 July 2020).

Growth During a Recession

The battle against COVID-19 has no doubt had an impact on global financial markets. As a result, consumers are tightening their belts, and general demand is falling. These signs indicate that the next economic downturn may just be right around the corner.

Throughout history, we have seen that recessions can be brutal especially for small businesses. However, it is possible to grow a stronger business during a recession, and we’re here to help. In this Harvard Business Review article, they list four steps to capitalise on the problems encountered by your rivals during tough economic conditions. These are:

  1. Invest heavily in research and development.
  2. Spend some time learning about the customers of your weakest competitors.
  3. Identify your most critical suppliers and distributors.
  4. Think carefully about your talent needs – now could be a good time to hire!.

If you want to talk about your specific situation, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a strategic plan to build a successful future-proof business.

Boosting Your Digital Capabilities

Small businesses across Australia can access individual support to grow their digital capabilities through the Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital Solutions. This program offers small businesses with fewer than 20 full-time employees and sole traders with high quality advice on a range of digital solutions to meet their business needs at a subsidised rate. More information can be found here.

Second Round of Cash Flow Boosts

If you received initial cash flow boosts, you’ll automatically receive additional cash flow boosts when you lodge your activity statements for each monthly or quarterly period from June to September 2020. The amount will be equal to the total amount of initial cash flow boosts you received and will be split in either two or four installments, depending on your reporting period.

If you lodge:

  • quarterly – you will receive 50% of your total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement
  • monthly – you will receive 25% of your total initial cash flow boosts for each activity statement

You can find more information here.

Minimum Wage Increase

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all award wages and the increase will start on 3 different dates for different groups.

Group 1 Awards – from 1 July 2020

  • Frontline Heath Care & Social Assistance Workers
  • Teachers and Child Care
  • Other Essential Services

Group 2 Awards – from 1 November 2020

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • A range of other industries

Group 3 Awards – from 1 February 2021

  • Accommodation and Food Services
  • Arts and Recreation Services
  • Aviation
  • Retail
  • Tourism

You can find the complete list of awards in each group here.

For those not covered by an award, the new national minimum wage will be $753.80 per week or $19.84 per hour. This applies from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2020. If you’re not sure which award applies or if you have any questions, get in touch with us.

Instant Asset Write-Off Expansion

The Instant Asset Write-off has been extended for six months to 31 December 2020, which means Australian businesses with less than $500 million annual turnover will have more time to take advantage of the write-off and invest in assets to support their business. The instant asset write-off applies on a per asset basis, so eligible businesses can immediately write-off multiple assets provided they each cost less than $150,000.

You can find more information on which assets you can claim as an immediate deduction here, but feel free to contact us so we can walk you through the different thresholds, exclusions, and limits.

Company Tax Rate Reduction

Starting 1 July 2020, the company tax rate will be reduced to 26% for small- and medium-sized businesses, as part of a larger progressive plan to reduce the company tax rate to 25% from 1 July 2021. This applies to all base rate entities (BRE) – companies, corporate unit trusts, and public trading trusts – which have an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million where 80% or less of the entity’s turnover for the year is classified as base rate entity passive income. More details can be found here.

COVID-19 Safety Guidelines

SafeWork Australia has put together useful guidelines for a range of industries. The guidelines provide clarification on WHS laws, workers’ rights, risk assessments, hygiene, emergency plans and more.

Get in touch

We appreciate your patience as we’ve experienced a busy and challenging financial year. We remain dedicated to supporting you and your business as we move to the next stage. Remember – we are here to help!

Have a good week and we hope you and your family are well.
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