COVID-19
Updated April 2
Relief Options Available For Your Business

We get it. There is a lot of information out in the market regarding assistance and relief available for businesses and individuals who have been impacted by Coronavirus.  

While we at BlueRock have been regularly distributing updates on the assistance options available, this page has been created as a comprehensive summary into single location.

As further announcements are made, we will update this page, which will provide a single source of information for our community around all relevant available support on the various COVID 19 initiatives being provided by State and Federal Governments as well as important business information and advice tips.

Events
Surviving and Thriving Through the Coronavirus - Tips for Hospitality & Retail Owners
Webinar
Surviving and Thriving Through the Coronavirus
Tips for Hospitality & Retail Owners
April
7
10:30 am
,
Tuesday
1
Updated March 23

Key Practical Business Considerations

We expect that all businesses will be impacted in some manner.  We strongly suggest that you spend some time to considering the potential impacts on your business and personal life, should things escalate.  We have listed some practical considerations;

Forecasting

a. Prepare a short term cashflow forecast (3months) broken down into weekly cash flows, assuming a 20% drop in revenue and identify the impact on your cashflow and work through what potential strategies you could adopt around costs savings and protecting revenue

b. Work with your BlueRock advisor to quickly ascertain your situation

People

  1. Speak to staff about short term job sharing or moving to part time employment rather than redundancies
  2. Consider short term salary cuts for higher salaried employees
  3. Communicating with staff about your policy, expectations and interactions with clients and customers – review our Coronavirus and the Workplace Article.
  4. Consider workflow planning should there be personnel disruptions, managing casual staff/paying full time wages while on leave.
  5. Consider working from home requirements as outlined the section of this email, “Workcover and working from home.”
  6. Consider Fair Work requirements for employees that may have been exposed to the virus.

Cashflow

Know your cash flow position

  • Consider how your product mix and sales strategy may need to change to reduce the impact of, or take advantage of, current conditions
  • Revisit your marketing plan and strategy to investigate low to promote your business in low cost way
  • Eliminate all non-essential or discretionary expenditure
  • Reduce your labour costs – refer to People the section above
  • Consider your operating hours to reduce running costs of your business
  • Discuss reducing or deferring rent with your landlord
  • Discuss converting your debt to interest only with your bank or seeking a repayment holiday as outlined above
  • Review cash flow relief and support options provided by ATO and SRO as outlined above
  • Identify other options for short term sources of finance
  • Reduce stock levels
  • Sell surplus assets that do not have debt attached to them
  • Consider payment plans or deferral for personal expenses such as school fees

Debtors

  •  Offer discounts for payment
  •  Agree payment plans where required
  • Seek upfront payments for services where appropriate
  •  Make sure your terms and conditions are structured adequately and protect your right to recover debts

Suppliers

  •  Proactively communicate with key suppliers and delay payments or negotiate extended payment terms
  •  Reduce the number of suppliers who are owed funds by clearing smaller debt as this will reduce the number of suppliers you may be required to negotiate with
  • Negotiate payment discounts
2
Updated March 23

Employee Issues

2.1
Updated March 23

Staff considerations

Employee Leave Queries

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared Coronavirus (COVID-19) a pandemic on 11 March 2020.   With the impact of COVID-19 changing the business landscape daily, it is unsurprising that employers have been left asking “but what does this mean for my business and workforce?”

Please note we do have employment law specialists on hand who are more than happy to assist with specific queries.

Workcover & working from home

  • An important point to note is where your team are working from home, their home becomes a place of work and is therefore covered by Workcover.
  • Australian Government Checklist to help you identify any risks associated with working from home.

Fair Work Requirements

2.2
Updated March 23

Apprentice Relief

  • The government has introduced a wage subsidy to support small businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees.  Businesses may be eligible to receive 50 per cent of their apprentice’s wages, capping at $21,000, per apprentice, for the nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
  • Employers will be able to access the subsidy after an eligibility assessment is undertaken by an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. Like other assessments, this is expected to be completed via a SmartForm on the Australian Apprenticeship website.
  • Employers can register for the subsidy from 31 March 2020, and final claims of payment must be lodged by 31 December 2020.
3
Updated March 23

Insolvency - Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses

The Government has announced temporary changes on insolvency laws (Corporations Act 2001). These proposed changes are designed to give businesses time to assess their solvency, implement restructuring plans where needed and take advantage of the safe harbour provisions under the Corporations Act 2001.”

The most notable changes are:

  • A temporary increase in the statutory demand threshold to $20,000;
  • An increase in the time to comply with a statutory demand from 21 days to 6 months;
  • A temporary increase in the size of the of the debt required to issue a creditor's petition to $20,000;
  • An increase in the time to comply with a bankruptcy notice from 21 days to 6 months;
  • The moratorium on action against a debtor following the presentation of a declaration of intent to present a debtor's petition is increased to 6 months; and
  • A six-month moratorium on directors' insolvent trading liability, for debts incurred in the ordinary course of business.

Insolvency is a highly specialised area of the law. If you have any concerns about your exposure, please don’t hesitate to contact Blue Rock’s insolvency expert, Wojtek (Tek) Randla.

Email Tek for further advice
4
Updated March 31

Individual Information

4.1
Updated March 31

JobKeeper Subsidy Payment

What is the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment?

The JobKeeper Subsidy Payment is a wage subsidy to be paid to Businesses, Sole Traders, Businesses Without Employees, Not for Profits and Charities, who have experienced a loss of at least 30 percent of their turnover relative to a comparable period a year ago (of at least a month). The payment will be made to employers at a flat rate of $1,500 per fortnight from 30 March 2020 for all employees that were employed as of March 1 2020.

Payments will be made from the first week of May backdated to 30 March and will continue for a maximum of 6 months. These payments are designed to keep employees on the payroll and connected to their business. Businesses will be required to prove that they are using the funds to subsidise wage payments to their employees and have a legal obligation to retain the employee.

Businesses can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via ato.gov.au from 30 March 2020.

Employer Obligations

  • Register an intention to apply on the ATO website.
  • Demonstrate that your business has or will experience the applicable 30% turnover decline.
  • Provide information to the ATO on eligible employees engaged as at 1 March 2020 (including those stood down or rehired).
  • Ensure that each eligible employee is paid at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax).
  • Notify all eligible employees that they are receiving the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment.
  • Continue to provide information to the ATO on a monthly basis, including the number of eligible employees employed by the business.

Eligible Employees

Eligible employees are employees who:

  • are currently employed by the eligible employer (including those stood down or re-hired);
  • were employed by the employer at 1 March 2020;
  • are full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals (a casual employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020);
  • are at least 16 years of age;
  • are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a Protected Special Category Visa Holder, a non-protected Special Category Visa Holder who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa Holder; and
  • are not in receipt of a JobKeeper Subsidy Payment from another employer.

Businesses Without Employees

Businesses without employees will need to provide an ABN for their business, nominate an individual to receive the payment and provide that individual’s Tax File Number and provide a declaration as to recent business activity.
People who are self-employed will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare their continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the individual’s bank account.

Frequently Asked Questions that relate to the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment

What if the employee has been stood down?

If the employee was employed as of 1 March 2020 the employer remains eligible to reinstate the employee and receive the payment.

What if the employee has been made redundant?

If the employee was employed as of 1 March 2020 the employer remains eligible to reinstate the employee and receive the payment. The government has noted that leave entitlements paid as part of the redundancy are yet to be worked through.

Is superannuation payable on the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment?

If the employee is usually paid $1,500 per fortnight before tax, the employer is required to pay superannuation on their full wage including the $1,500 supplement.

If an employee earns less than $1,500 per fortnight before tax, the employer is only required to pay superannuation on the amount the employee earned as their normal wage, not on the additional amount received as part of the $1,500 payment that is in excess of the normal pay.

If my employee works part time and is usually paid less than $1,500 per fortnight, does the business still receive the full $1,500 per fortnight?

Yes, the employer will receive the full $1,500 per fortnight for the employee and the full $1,500 is required to be passed onto the employee.

If my employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, does the business receive more than the $1,500 per fortnight?

No, it is a flat $1,500 per employee, per fortnight, regardless of their income level.

What if the employee has already applied for support through Centrelink?

Provided the employee was employed as of 1 March 2020 they can transition back to the employer and be eligible for the payment.

Are casuals eligible for the payment?

If the casual has been employed with the employer for twelve months or more they will be eligible for the payment.

Are those on temporary work visas eligible?

The government has advised New Zealanders on 444 Visas are eligible for the payment. All other temporary visa holds will not be eligible at this point in time.

When does it apply?

Payments will be paid from the first week of May with payments backdated to the 30th March.

How does my business apply for the payments?

The business will need to complete a self-declaration that their revenue has reduced in line with the eligibility criteria via the ATO website. Your BlueRock adviser can assist you with this.

Can an employee access both the Centrelink benefits and the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment at the same time?

No, the employee receiving the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment is not eligible to also receive the JobSeeker payment.

My employee works part time in my business and as a casual in another business. Do they receive two payments of the $1,500?

No, an employee may only receive the JobKeeper Subsidy Payment from one employer.

4.2
Updated March 23

Superannuation & Social Security for Individuals and Sole Traders

Early Release Of Superannuation

The Government will allow individuals in financial stress to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in the 2020 financial year and a further $10,000 in the 2021 financial year.

  1. To be eligible for early release of superannuation you must be either have:
  2. Been unemployed, or
  3. Been eligible to receive Jobseeker payment, Youth Allowance for job seekers, Parenting Payment, Special Benefit or Farm Household Allowance, or
  4. Been made redundant on or after 1 January 2020, or
  5. Had your working hours reduced by 20 percent or more, or if you were a sole trader had your business suspended or experienced a reduction in your turnover of 20 percent or more

Those who are eligible are able to apply through the myGov website  from mid April 2020 to access the funds before 1 July 2020 for the first $10,000 and have three months after this date to access more.  These funds will not be taxed and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans' Affairs payments.

Superannuation Pensions Minimum Draw Down Rates

The Government is temporarily reducing the superannuation minimum draw down requirements for account based pensions and similar products by 50% for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial years.  This will provide more flexibility as to how superannuants manage their superannuation assets.

Age
Default minimum drawdown rates (%)
Reduced rates by 50% for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years (%)
Under 65
4
2
65-74
5
2.5
75-79
6
3
80-84
7
3.5
85-89
9
4.5
90-94
11
5.5
95 or more
14
7

No Relief for Employer Super Obligations

Employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.

Social security deeming rates

The Government is reducing the deeming rate adopted for Age Pension income testing by a further 0.25 percentage points to reflect the latest rate reductions by the RBA.  As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25 per cent and the lower deeming rate will be 0.25 per cent.

4.3
Updated March 31

Income Support For Individuals & Sole Traders

  • Two $750 stimulus payments to pensioners, social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders.  The first of these payments was announced on 12 March 2020 and the second will be automatically made on 13 July 2020.   The payment will be tax-free and will not count as income for social security, farm household allowance, and veteran payments.
  • From 27 April 2020, the Government is also temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments to include sole traders and and establishing a new time limited Corona virus Supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight for the next 6 months on top of existing entitlements.  
  • The Corona virus Supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the JobSeeker Payment, Youth Allowance, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit and be in addition to the payments made on under these allowances. 
  • The Jobseeker payment is currently $550 per fortnight and the addition of the Corona virus Supplement increases this payment to $1,100 per fortnight.
  • Sole traders and casual workers who are currently making less than $1,075 a fortnight will be eligible to receive the full supplement.

As of 30 March 2020, people who are self-employed are eligible toa apply for the JobKeeper Payment Subsidy. If you are self-employed you will need to provide a monthly update to the ATO to declare your continued eligibility for the payments. Payment will be made monthly to the your nominated bank account.

5
Updated March 23

Bank Support

5.1
Updated March 23

Bank Care Package

  • The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has announced a relief package that includes a deferral of principal and interest repayments for all term loans and retail loans for six months for small business customers with less than $3 million in total debt owed to credit providers.
  • At the end of the deferral period, businesses will not be required to pay the deferred interest in a lump sum.  Either the term of the loan will be extended, or the level of loan repayments will be increased.   The package applies to all ABA member banks who agree to participate (listed below).  

To read more about how the banks are assisting click on the below links.

Funders outside of the (ABA) who are providing support are also listed below:

5.2
Updated March 23

Corona virus SME Guarantee Scheme

  • This Scheme is designed to provide working capital support to SME’s (businesses with turnover of less than $50 million) to get through the impact of the corona virus.
  • Under the Scheme, the Federal government will guarantee 50 per cent of new SME unsecured loans issued by eligible lenders up to the value of $250,000.  This effectively represents a guarantee of $125,000.
  • The government will encourage lenders to provide facilities to SMEs that only have to be drawn if needed by the SME, and will remain available into the future, with interest only on the funds that are drawn down.
  • The Scheme will commence in April 2020 and loans will be made available by participating lenders until 30 September 2020.  The loans will be made under a term of 3 years with an initial 6 month repayment holiday.  No assets will be required as security for these loans. 
  • These conditions apply only to new loans, not refinanced loans.
  • No fees will be payable on the establishment of the loans.
6
Updated April 2

Tax

6.1
Updated March 23

Payroll Tax

Victoria

  • Full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with taxable wages of less than $3 million per member entity of a group.
  • Payments will start flowing this week and the assistance is a refund, not a loan or deferral.
  • Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
  • The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses in relation to reimbursement for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
  • The same businesses will also be able to defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021

New South Wales

  • The NSW Government has announced that they will waive  payroll tax for businesses with payrolls of up to $10m, for the months from April to June 2020.
  • Also, the payroll tax threshold will be raised to $1m in 2020/21, thereby bringing forward another round of payroll tax cuts for eligible businesses.

Western Australia

  • The Government will waive payroll tax for the four-month period between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 for eligible businesses.
  • To be eligible, the business has to qualify as a small or medium business, with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5m in the 2019/20 income year. This payroll tax relief will replace the payroll tax deferral previously announced.
  • Eligible business with Australian taxable wages of less than $5m as at 29 February 2020 need not apply for the waiver as it will be automatically applied. The OSR has clarified they simply need to lodge their March to June return and enter their taxable wages as normal and record them as “exempt (other) wages”. Other eligible business will need to apply to the OSR for the waiver.

Queensland

  • The QLD Government have announced additional payroll tax relief measures in addition to the deferral of March to June payroll tax returns until the 3rd of August 2020.
  • All businesses specifically impacted by COVID-1 will be refunded two months’ worth of payroll tax , and
  • Small and medium enterprise businesses will be given a three-month payroll tax holiday and a further six-month payroll tax deferral.

South Australia

  • Six-month waiver (from April to September 2020) for all businesses with an annual payroll (grouped) up to $4m.
  • Employers with grouped annual wages above $4m will be able to defer payroll tax payments for six months on demonstration of significant impacts on cash flow of COVID-19.

ACT

  • There will be a 6-month waiver on payroll tax for the hospitality, creative arts and entertainment industries.
  • There will also be access to interest-free deferrals of payroll tax commencing on 1 July 2020 for all businesses up to a payroll threshold of $10m in Australian taxable wages.

Tasmania

  • The TAS Government has extended payroll tax relief as part of its additional social and economic support package to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The payroll tax waivers previously announced for businesses in hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, as well as businesses with payrolls less than $5m, will be extended such that these businesses will not need to pay payroll tax for the entire 2019/20 year. This will include refunds and waivers to provide cash flow to businesses.
  • Affected businesses in other sectors with an annual payroll not exceeding $5m in Australian wages, can apply for a waiver of payroll tax for the three months of April, May and June 2020.
6.2
Updated March 23

ATO Relief – PAYGW Refunds

  • These tax free payments are to help businesses cover employee wages and applies to businesses and Not For Profit entities with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff, between 1 January 2020 and 31 October 2020.
  • 100% of PAYG withheld between January 2020 and June 2020 will be credited to a maximum of $50,000 for the six month period. The minimum amount an employer will be able to receive is $10,000, up to the maximum of $50,000 for this period.
  • An additional payment is also being introduced in the July — October 2020 period equal to the total of the PAYG withheld refunded in the previous six months to provide a total refund of up to $50,000 per entity.
  • PAYGW credits will apply on a per entity, ABN basis.  Therefore, if you have two entities conducting business in your group structure each entity is eligible for PAYGW BAS credits of up to $50,000 provided each entity has paid $50,000 in PAYGW during the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2020.
  • Maximum total refund per entity is $100,000
  • Upon lodgement of the March 2020 quarter Business Activity Statements, the ATO will automatically apply a credit to the entities Running Balance Account in the amount of the PAYG tax withheld reduction from 28 April 2020.
  • The ATO has advised that where these credits result in an entity having a net refundable amount, refunds will be paid within 14 days to the entity’s nominated bank account.
  • For employers with monthly Activity Statement lodgements, the March 2020 credit will be calculated at three times the rate, to cover for the January and February months.

Monthly BAS Lodgement Example:

  • A business which employs staff, lodges monthly BAS’s.  All staff are on salary, and a monthly PAYGW of $15,000 is declared each BAS.
  • On the March 2020 BAS, the $15,000 is claimed in W2.  The ATO will automatically apply a credit in the Running Balance Account of $45,000 ($15,000  January BAS, $15,000 February BAS and $15,000 March BAS).
  • On the April 2020 BAS, the $15,000 is claimed in W2.  The ATO will automatically apply a credit of $5,000, being the balance of the amount receivable under the announcement.
  • On the May and June 2020 BAS’s, the $15,000 is claimed each month. There will be no credit to the Running Balance Account in these months as your entity has already “received” the maximum allowable benefit.
6.3
Updated March 23

ATO Relief – Tax Payment Deferral Options

  • Deferring by up to four months the payment date for BAS amounts due (including PAYG installments), income tax assessments, FBT assessments and excise.
  • Allowing businesses to vary PAYG installment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter; businesses that vary their PAYG installment to zero can also claim a refund for any installments made for the September 2019 and December 2019 quarters.
  • Remitting any interest and penalties, incurred on or after 23 January 2020, that have been applied to outstanding tax liabilities.
  • Working with affected businesses to help them pay their existing and ongoing tax liabilities by allowing them to enter into low-interest payment plans, and
  • Allowing businesses on a quarterly reporting cycle to opt into monthly GST reporting in order to get quicker access to GST refunds they may be entitled to.
7
Updated March 31

Property & Leases

7.1
Updated March 31

Retail and Commercial Leases

We’ve put together a couple of tips to help you to identify issues and opportunities around your lease.   Unfortunately there are also no definitive answers and how these issues are best dealt with will come down to individual circumstances, the terms of the lease and the legal position.

If you have any concerns about your exposure please do not hesitate to contact BlueRock’s Retail and Commercial lease expert, Lauren Smyth.

Email Lauren for further advice

1. Discuss For A Rent Concession / Discount / Abatement (Different Terms – Same Meaning!)‍

Have the conversation with your landlord/tenant now. Discussing a 50% rent reduction for a 2 to 3 month period is not unreasonable if the tenant's business can demonstrate they're suffering a significant reduction in revenue. Landlords need their tenants to have viable businesses on the other side of this pandemic or they face the possibility of empty shops, vacant industrial properties and lots of office space to lease, months with no rental income, re-leasing costs and paying outgoings costs that they would usually pass on to tenants. Tenants need to be considerate that landlords also have financial obligations and should demonstrate how they are actively managing all parts of their business (not just their rent) and even provide evidence to their landlords of how they are being adversely impacted by the pandemic. you must communicate openly with each other to reach an agreement that is acceptable to both parties and share the pain, but it's also worth reviewing the terms of the lease to check for any terms that the tenant or landlord could use as leverage to swing in their favour.

2. How Could Coronavirus Cause A Tenant To Breach Their Lease?

  • Infection disease obligations
    Tenants may have reporting obligations if the premises (or its occupants) come in contact with an infectious disease and leases often includes clauses which require tenants to advise landlords in these circumstances.  Tenants can also be required to comply with directions given by government authorities; i.e. clean-up measures, at the tenant’s expense.   If tenants fail to comply with the directions of their landlord or authorities, they may be in breach of their lease and also liable for costs including the landlord’s losses or damages.  
  • Stopping trading
    Most leases require tenants to operate their businesses from the premises during normal business trading hours, with limited exceptions.  If a tenant closes a shop without the landlord’s consent during times when it is required to trade, it may be in breach of the lease.  Tenants could face losing security deposits, bank guarantees and in some situations, individuals could be personally liable for the tenant’s breach.

    A nationwide or state-sanctioned lockdown would probably override a trading obligation but it would have to be considered on a case-by-case basis.

3. When Would A Tenant Be Entitled To Compensation As A Result Of The Coronavirus?‍

Tenants have legal rights to compensation in circumstances where landlords interfere with a tenant’s use of the premises and the tenant suffers a loss.   A tenant may have a claim against their landlord if the landlord forced the tenant to shut their store or close their premises.   There are exceptions; i.e. if a landlord causes the interference in response to an emergency or at the direction of a government authority.

4. Is There An Opportunity To Change The Terms Of A Lease?

There’s always an opportunity if you discuss it the right way but a crisis can provide opportunities to negotiate terms which can benefit both parties.  Whatever the parties decide, the agreement should be documented in writing so there is clarity on what has been agreed and it’s binding.  The economic climate is too uncertain to do deals on a handshake, despite how good the relationship might be.   The following are examples of renegotiation options:

  1. If the lease is due to expire and the tenant does not have an option to renew the lease, it could agree to renew the lease for a further term (giving the landlord comfort that it will have continuous rent income), subject to the landlord agreeing to a short-term rent abatement.
  2. If a tenant runs a strong-performing business from the premises, it could negotiate a reduced base rent and agree to top it up with turnover rent (a percentage of the tenant’s turnover which exceeds a threshold amount).
  3. If there are still a number of years left in the term, a tenant could agree to carry out refurb works at the premises (preferably at a deferred date), subject to the landlord agreeing to a rent abatement.

To assist you, we’ve put together a bundle of template documents in relation to rent abatement and rental considerations, which offers both timely and cost effective advice.

We're here to help both tenants and landlords reach agreements to share the pain through this unprecedented situation.

7.2
Updated March 23

Land Tax Deferral

  • Landowners due to pay 2020 land tax that have at least one non-residential property and total taxable landholdings below $1 million have the option of deferring their 2020 land tax payment until after 30 June 2020.
  • The State Revenue Office will contact all taxpayers who are eligible for this deferral
8
Updated March 23

Instant Asset Write Offs and Accelerated Depreciation

  •  Applicable to assets purchased after the 12th March 2020
  • An increase in the instant asset write off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to these write-offs to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million until 30 June 2020.
  •  For assets with a purchase price of more than $150,000 or purchased after 30 June 2020, businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million, in addition to the standard depreciation a claim for assets, will be able to deduct 50% of the asset cost in the year of purchase via a time limited 15 month investment incentive through to 30 June 2021.  

For example

  •  Assuming that a business purchases a new truck for $250,000 (exclusive of GST) in May 2020.
  • In the 2020 tax return the business would claim an upfront deduction of $125,000.   The business would also claim a further deduction for the depreciation that would have arisen on the balance of the cost.
  • Assuming a depreciation rate of 15%, this would mean an additional deduction of $18,750 (i.e. 15% x $125,000). The total deduction in the 2020 tax return would be $143,750.
  • Without the introduction of this investment incentive the business would have claimed a deduction of $37,500 (i.e., 15% x $250,000).
9
Updated April 1

Wills and Estates Planning

9.1
Updated April 1

Estate Planning

If you haven’t already, now may be the right time to update your Will or ensure that you have valid powers of attorney in place. A robust estate plan can provide peace of mind during these uncertain times.

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Appointment of Medical Treatment Decision Makers will be increasingly more important for members of our community within a high-risk demographic.

For more information, check out this blog post on the top four estate planning documents that everyone should have in place.

If you need assistance with your estate planning, please contact Marco Saccotelli or Alexia White from the BlueRock Law team, or Ryan Williams from the Private Wealth team.

10
Updated March 23

Liquor Licence Fees

Victoria

  • Waiving of liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses.
  • Businesses that have paid for a renewable liquor licence for 2020 will be reimbursed their licence fee and this yet to pay will have the fee waived. 
  • The State Revenue Office will administer the reimbursement, regardless if whether the liquor licence fee was paid to it or the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

Tasmania

  • Provide a 50% discount in liquor licensing fees and waiver of application fees for the entire 2020 calendar year
11
Updated March 31

Digital & Marketing

When business is bad and cost-cutting essential, sales and marketing can sometimes be the first to go. But there are some great digital strategies, tools and financial supports available right now to help you through the tough times. And if executed in the right way, digital tactics can be a life-saver.

If you’d like some free advice on where to start or need help applying for a grant, please get in touch with the BlueRock Digital team.

Chat to a digital expert

Take Your Business Online

Some of our retail clients who have been forced to shut their doors due to COVID-19 have worked with us to spin up a quick and simple e-commerce website for under $5,000 so they can sell online (for delivery or scheduled pick-ups). This has been invaluable to allow them to continue trading.

City of Melbourne businesses can use the quick response grant mentioned below to cover this cost.

Apply for Grants

In the last couple of weeks, governments and global media giants have all come to the table with some pretty impressive COVID-19 grants.

City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne is offering $5 million in grants for local businesses to invest in online and e-commerce capabilities. If you’ve lost revenue due to retail closure, this grant can provide up to $5,000 for hardware, software and services to develop the following digital capabilities:

  • Website design and development
  • E-commerce platform (selling online and receiving payment)
  • Online content development (web pages, mobile apps, audio and visual media)
  • Digital marketing and promotion
  • Mentoring and training in online and e-commerce activities

You can read more here but note that your business must reside within the City of Melbourne.

Victoria Government

Eligible businesses can receive funding up to $10,000 through the $500 million Business Support Fund. Grants can be used to cover financial services, operational costs or marketing and communications activities.

Applications open on Monday 30 March 2020 and close on Monday 1 June 2020. Contact a BlueRock adviser to assess if you’re eligible.

Google

Google has announced an $800M commitment to support small-medium businesses and aid the COVID-19 crisis. This includes Google Ads credits and a $200 million investment fund that will help NGOs and financial institutions to provide small businesses with access to capital.

Read more on our blog or check out updates from Google.

Facebook

Facebook has announced $100M in grants for small businesses affected by COVID-19. These grants are available for up to 30,000 businesses across 30 countries, including Australia.

Read more on our blog or apply for updates from Facebook.

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Did you know?
BlueRock is a certified B Corp business.
Does that mean we didn’t make the ‘A-Team’? Far from it; landing a ‘B’ in this case is an affirmation of our commitment to being “a force for good” in the corporate arena.