Lockdown support for Queensland businesses expanded

By Michael Patane and Saxon Rose / 17 August 2021
3 min.
Worthwhile read for: Business Owners

In our previous article on lockdown support for Queensland businesses, we set out the parameters for the Queensland Government’s announcement of $5,000 payments to small and medium businesses across Queensland affected by the current COVID-19 lockdown and lockdowns in other states.

On Friday, 13 August 2021, a joint Queensland and Australian Government support package for Queensland businesses was announced, which will see the value of the Queensland COVID-19 Business Support Grants package rise from $260 million to $600 million.

While the original package broadly only provided $5,000 grants to SME affected businesses, the package now provides, through the Federal Government top-up, additional support for businesses that have had a decline in turnover of more than 30% such that the package now includes:

  • a $1,000 one-off grant to non-employing sole traders across Queensland;
  • tiered payments based on payroll size for all businesses across Queensland:
  1. a $10,000 one-off, top-up grant to small business with payroll of less than $1.3 million;
  2. a $15,000 one-off, top-up grant to medium sized business with payroll between $1.3 million and $10 million; and
  3. a $30,000 one-off, top-up grant to large sized tourism and hospitality focused businesses with payroll of greater than $10 million.

Applications are being accepted from 16 August 2021. All eligible businesses who apply for a grant during the three month application period will receive funding.

To be eligible, your business or not-for-profit organisation must:

  • employ staff (employees must be on your payroll and does not include any business owners);
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN) continuously held from 30 June 2021;
  • be registered for GST;
  • have Queensland headquarters (your principal place of business is located in Queensland) and have been trading in Queensland on 31 July 2021;
  • not be insolvent, or have owners or directors that are insolvent or an undischarged bankrupt;
  • have an annual payroll of not more than $10 million (except for large businesses and not-for-profit organisations operating in an identified tourism and hospitality sector) during any of the 2018–19, 2019–20 or 2020–21 financial years; 
  • have an annual turnover of over $75,000 during any of the 2018–19, 2019–20 or 2020–21 financial years. Businesses that have recently started can provide financial records to show they will reasonably meet this turnover requirement in the 2021–22 financial year;
  • demonstrate the business or not-for-profit organisation was directly or indirectly impacted by a lockdown event;
  • demonstrate or declare a reduction in turnover of 30% or more during a nominated 7-day period;
  • this must include at least 1 full day of a “lockdown event” when comparing against turnover achieved during the same 7-day period in July or August 2019; or
  • if the 2019 period does not indicate a typical weekly turnover (for a recently started small business or business that has experienced structural changes), include another comparable period, such the same period in July/August 2020.

The lockdown events are:

  • the South East Queensland lockdown commencing 31 July 2021;
  • the Cairns and Yarrabah lockdown commencing 8 August 2021; or
  • any other lockdown in Queensland in August 2021.

Large tourism and hospitality businesses and not-for-profit organisations must ensure they are undertaking business activities in any of the listed tourism and hospitality ANZSIC (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification) code industry areas and meet all eligibility criteria (annual payroll can be greater than $10 million). 

More information, including guidelines and details of how to apply, is available on the Queensland Government website

This grant program may be declared as eligible for treatment as non-assessable non-exempt (NANE) income for income tax purposes, as other State grant programs provided in response to COVID-19 have been.

For more information regarding lockdown support for Queensland businesses, please contact our Taxation team.

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