Weekly Digest – 11 August 2021

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

We’re thinking of everyone affected by lockdowns around the country and encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about your business during this time. Read on for assistance that may be available to you.

NSW Expands COVID-19 Lockdown

New South Wales has expanded the COVID-19 lockdown to include regional areas including Tamworth and Dubbo, and popular tourist spot Byron Bay. The rural towns and coastal region have entered 7-day lockdowns.

Sydney’s lockdown is set to end on 28 August but the state government has indicated that restrictions will remain through September.

Melbourne lockdown extended

Melbournians will spend another 7 days in lockdown after cases continue to grow.

Victorian Business Costs Assistance Program Round 2 July Extension

The Victorian Government’s Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension (BCAP2e) gives eligible businesses that had not previously applied for the Program in June, or have since become eligible, with the opportunity to apply for the equivalent of the July Top-Up Payments.

The program offers grants of $4800 to eligible businesses, including employing and non-employing businesses, depending on their industry sector.

Read the eligibility criteria here.

All hotspots: COVID-19 Disaster Payment for recognised lockdowns

This Federal Government support is lump sum payment for workers who cannot earn income because of a state public health order. You can check your eligibility here.

NSW Grants

The NSW Government will be offering financial support to businesses or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the recent COVID-19 restrictions and stay-at-home orders.

NSW: Micro-business grant

The micro-business grant is a $1500 fortnightly payment for businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $75,000.

To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

COVID-19 Business Grant

A one-off payment to help businesses, sole traders or not-for-profit organisations impacted by the current Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions.

Grants between $7,500 and $15,000 are available to eligible businesses depending on the decline in turnover experienced during the restrictions. For eligibility criteria and to apply, visit the Service NSW website.

JobSaver payment

JobSaver is a fortnightly payment to help maintain employee headcount (as at 13 July) and provide cashflow support to businesses. To check your eligibility and apply, visit the Service NSW website.

Small business fees and charges rebate

If you are a sole trader, the owner of a small business or a not-for-profit organisation in NSW, you may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 aimed at helping businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Applications are open and you can check your eligibility here.

You can view more NSW Government COVID-19 Support Packages here, including Jobs Plus, Sydney CBD Friday vouchers, Payroll tax support and support for the tourism industry. Get in touch with us if you have any questions.

QLD COVID-19 Business Support Grant

Your business may be eligible for financial support through the 2021 COVID-19 Business Support Grants. $5,000 grants will be made available to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and lockdowns in other states. You must have experienced a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the lockdown.

Applications will open in mid-August so we will keep you updated.

The Business Queensland website has an overview of the range of assistance available.

Support for Small Businesses in South Australia

The South Australian COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant will deliver an additional $40 million to an estimated 19,000 local businesses in the hospitality, performing art venues, artists and performers, tourism, gyms, and transport industries.

This package includes:

  • $3,000 cash grants for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses (e.g. sole traders) in eligible industry sectors that have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 30% or more over a two-week period due to trading restrictions introduced from 28 July 2021.
  • Additional CBD grant of $1,000 for eligible businesses with a commercial premise in the Adelaide CBD

Applications for these government support schemes will open 13 August and will close on 17 October 2021. Any questions? Get in touch with us today!

NZ Travel Bubble Could be Paused All Year

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has indicated travel with New South Wales could be closed for the rest of the year, unless the state manages to return to zero COVID-19 community cases.

The NZ-Australia travel bubble was paused in July for two months after a surge in cases across multiple states, and is scheduled to be reassessed at the end of September.

Moderna Vaccine Approved by TGA

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the Moderna vaccine has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and will be rolled out in Australia shortly.

While approval has only been given for Moderna’s use in adults, use of the vaccine for teenagers aged 12 and over is expected to be approved in the next three to four weeks.

Business Confidence Sinks

Australian business confidence declined in July, as the impacts of the lockdowns rippled through the economy.
National Australia Bank’s business confidence index fell by 19 points in July, while its business conditions index dropped 14 points. On Tuesday, ANZ reported that consumer confidence dropped 3.1% in the last week, as Victoria and Queensland joined New South Wales in the lockdown.

Downsizer Contribution Into Superannuation

If you’re at least 65 years old and you meet the eligibility requirements, you may be able to make a downsizer contribution into your superannuation of up to $300,000 from the proceeds of selling your home.

Your downsizer contribution will not affect your total superannuation balance until your total super balance is re-calculated to include all your contributions, including your downsizer contributions at the end of the financial year.

It will count towards your transfer balance cap which applies when you move your super savings into the retirement phase. You can also access the downsizer scheme only once, and if you sell your home and choose to make a downsizer contribution, you will not be required to purchase another home.

Get in touch with us to check your eligibility and if you have any questions.

ATO support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions or disasters

The ATO has a range of support options to help those affected by disasters or those experiencing challenges due to continuing COVID-19 restrictions.

The ATO may be able to:

  • prioritise any refunds owed to you
  • set up a payment plan tailored to your individual situation
  • remit penalties or interest charged during the time you have been affected.

If you need help to manage your tax or superannuation obligations, please get in touch with us.

JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period

The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:

  • up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
  • up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years

Register any time until the scheme ends.

Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices and Trainees

The government has announced the expansion of the wage subsidy scheme for apprentices and trainees. Under the scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. Ask us if you have any questions.

5 Ways to Encourage Word of Mouth for Your Small Business

In a global study by Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from family and friends, while 88% of people trust online customer reviews even if they’re from strangers. For many small businesses, word of mouth is the foundational layer of their marketing strategy. This Forbes article discusses different ways to encourage word of mouth from your customers.

  1. Nurture a relationship with your first customers.
    Nurture a personal relationship with your early adopters– this will make them feel much more invested in your products or services. If they feel their feedback and opinions are valued, they will be more likely to share their experience. Although you can’t personally talk to each customer as you grow, doing this will create the first wave of brand advocates.
  2. Establish a referral program to offer an incentive.
    A referral program can be the most effective way to convert happy but passive customers into active promoters.
  3. User-generated content.
    This is a powerful tactic as people are more likely to share something they personally created. For example, you could run contests rewarding customers who have the best pictures with your product.
  4. Encourage user reviews and be responsive.
    Encourage customers to leave reviews and actively engage in each one, especially during the early stages of your business. If there are criticisms, addressing them properly can also add credibility to your company.
  5. Use influencer marketing.
    People with a loyal following that has an overlap with your target market can help you grow your brand’s presence. Many small businesses won’t have a huge promotional budget, so micro-influencers may give you the most bang for your buck.

Always keep in mind that in order to successfully turn your customers into promoters, you need to deliver products and services that truly add value to people’s lives. If you’re looking for specific tips on how to grow your small business, book a consultation with our advisors today.

Get in touch

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

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