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QLD Government COVID-19 Economic Relief Package

The QLD Government recently announced multiple initiatives to provide support to businesses and employees impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Please click the links provided to access further details and relevant application processes. Further assistance is also available on the Small Business & Financial Assistance Hotline on 1300 654 687

COVID-SAFE Business Planning Requirements are available the Business.qld.gov.au website. This provides important  information and resources to guide businesses as we move towards Stage 2 of the Roadmap to Easing Restrictions, including industry specific plans, checklists and staff training requirements.

  •  Payroll tax relief package: 

 All small and medium businesses in Queensland will be eligible for:

  • a two-month refund of payroll tax, with an average of nearly $9,000 cash
  • a three-month payroll tax holiday, saving an average of $13,360
  • deferral of all payroll tax payments for the rest of 2020.

Larger businesses will be eligible for the two-month payroll tax refund and have their deferral extended for all of 2020.

Further information and eligibility information and links to applications please visit: payroll tax relief measures.

  • Power bill relief: 

Sole traders, small and medium businesses will receive a $500 rebate off energy bills. Any business consuming less than 100,000 kilowatt hours will receive the rebate, which will be automatically applied to business electricity bills

  • Businesses renting government premises will receive rent relief for a period of six months
  • $500 million in 12-month interest free loans

An interest free loan facility of at least $500 million for the first 12 months is being created to support Queensland businesses impacted by COVID-19. This is designed to enable businesses to retain employees and maintain operations.  The concessional loan facility includes low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance, with an initial 12-month interest free period for businesses to retain staff. Any eligible business will be able to apply for a loan. For further application information please visit QLD COVID-19 Business Support Loans and call the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687.

  • Liquor licensing fees waived for business impacted by enforced shutdowns
  • Fee waivers for tourism businesses

A range of fees, charges and levies to support tourism operators include:

  • $500 million Industry Support Package

This is designed to assist large businesses through the period to ensure they will be able to scale up and service the community when economic activity improves. For further information on the Industry Support Package please email: COVID19ISP@treasury.qld.gov.au

  • Businesses can also access one-on-one financial counseling support by calling the Small Business Hotline on 1300 654 687, or completing the online survey at business.qld.gov.au

Manufacturers with supply chain difficulties are encouraged to complete the Supply Chain Matching Request Form. Suppliers that are able to meet the needs of businesses seeking vital materials and supplies can register their capability and capacity on the Queensland Government’s dedicated ICN Gateway page. 

The Queensland Government have also developed the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Business Assistance Finder to help businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic to discover what support is being offered from the Queensland Government, Australian Federal Government and Queensland Local Councils. 

Source: QLD Government

QLD Government Covid-19 Residential Rental Relief Grant 

The Queensland Government has also provided rental relief funding  for residents affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that have lost their job and do not have access to other financial assistance. The Rental Grant is a one-off payment of up to 4 weeks rent (maximum of $2000) and is paid directly to residents lessor.

Eligibility criteria for the funding include:

  • you live in Queensland
  • you have, or will shortly have, a bond registered with the Residential Tenancies Authority
  • you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or have a temporary or permanent protection visa or possess a bridging visa
  • you do not have more than $10,000 in cash and savings
  • you can provide evidence of attempts to negotiate a payment plan with your lessor
  • you have lost your job and have applied to Centrelink for income support
  • you are waiting for your application with Centrelink to be approved.

Please visit Apply for a  COVID-19 Rental Grant for further information and application instructions. 

Source:QLD Govt Covid 19 Rental Grant 

International Student Crisis Assistance Package

The Queensland Government has developed the International Student Crisis Assistance Package to provide assistance to international students experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Currently, the Queensland Government is working on a process to distribute: 

  • Additional funding to Queensland-based universities and TAFE Queensland to top-up their bursaries and student support services.  
  • One-off payments to private VET and ELICOS students. 

International students who require immediate crisis support should contact their education and training provider and the Queensland Student Hub Network to discuss their needs. Please follow the Study Queensland Facebook page for further updates.

Source: QLD Government

QLD Government Covid-19 Jobs Finder Portal

Assistance Finding Jobs and accessing free online training

The State Government has opened a new online portal that will connect Queenslanders who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 with new job opportunities.

This Jobs Finder Queensland online portal will allow Queenslanders who are looking for work to provide information on their skills, location and work experience. These details can then be readily matched to available jobs.

Any Queensland job seeker can register their details, skills and location via the Jobs Finder Queensland portal and access free online training at: www.jobsfinder.qld.gov.au

Small Business Commissioner office now open - Maree Adshead has been announced as the Queensland Small Business Commissioner, to help small business recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business tenants and landlords whose trade has been affected by COVID-19 can seek assistance with resolving lease disputes and access a free mediation service offered by the Commissioner. The Office of QLD Small Business Commissioner can be contacted on 1300 312 344 or visit www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc

Source: QLD Government


 Australian Federal Government’s Coronavirus Economic Assistance Package

The Federal Government recently announced a range of financial measures to support the community to recover from the economic impact of coronavirus. These are targeted towards individuals and households, businesses and maintaining a flow of credit to the national economy. Please see below for links to specific details and eligibility requirements for each area. Further assistance is available through calls on on 13 28 46, website live chat (available from 7am to 9pm) and by visiting business.gov.au to find out more about how the Economic Response complements the range of support available.   

Australian Government launches Covid-19 continuing your business guide — A step-by-step guide to help plan your recovery.

Stimulus Payments to Individuals and Households

The Federal Government is providing financial assistance to Australians to support them through the Coronavirus. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation:

Support for Business

The following measures are designed to assist businesses to manage cash flow, retain employees and provide relief for financially distressed businesses during this difficult period:

Further support has also been announced with  mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies. This provides rent relief for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and not-for-profit tenants affected by the coronavirus. Please visit Relief for Commercial Tenancies for further details. For assistance with dispute resolution please contact the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Dispute Service

Supporting the Flow of Credit and Cash Availability

Timely access to credit and cash flow is vital for businesses to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus. Consequently, the Federal Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy.

Australia's big four banks have agreed to speed up loan applications from businesses and not-for-profit organisations who are waiting for JobKeeper payments to come through. Eligible organisations are encouraged to contact their bank to ask for the bridging support.
  • NAB: 1800 JOB KEEPER (1800 562 533)
  • Westpac: 1300 731 073
  • St George: 1300 730 196
  • Bank of Melbourne: 1300 784 873
  • Bank SA: 1300 669 472
  • ANZ: 1800 571 123
  • Commonwealth Bank: 13 26 07

Additionally, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Coronavirus page provides information about what people need to know or do in order to get access to the tax or superannuation measures included in the Government’s economic response to COVID-19.  If you’re impacted by COVID-19, and require immediate assistance please call the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.

Options available to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19 include:

  • Deferring by up to six months the payment date of amounts due through the business activity statement (including PAYG instalments), income tax assessments, fringe benefits tax assessments and excise.
  • 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.
  • Allowing businesses to vary Pay As You Go (PAYG) instalment amounts to zero for the March 2020 quarter. Businesses that vary their PAYG instalment to zero can also claim a refund for any instalments 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 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.
  • Employers will still need to meet their ongoing super guarantee obligations for their employees.

If English is not your first language and you are having problems understanding business.gov.au, please visit the following Other Languages Resources page to help

Source:  The Australian Government Treasury - Covid 19


 COVID Safe Online Training 

TAFE Queensland is offering free online COVID Safe Training for dining services and beauty-therapy services. The  program has been developed to provide all staff in industries requiring a COVID Safe Checklist with training that will allow them to ensure a COVID Safe work environment. Access the training here: https://tafeqld.edu.au/covid-safe.

Financial Resilience Webinars for Small Business 

Tafe QLD is also delivering a series of interactive online webinars designed to assist small businesses identify risks, build financial skills and plan to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19. Sessions are customized for specific geographic regions across Queensland. Further information and registration for each location is available at: TAFE QLD Financial Resilience Webinars. Sessions are scheduled daily from week beginning 25 May. 

Innovate Queensland is also holding workshops about pivoting business models and virtual business platforms for Covid-19. Please visit the Innovate Queensland website for further details.

 Technology Support for Business Continuity 

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) have partnered with the Federal Government to provide a range of free service offerings, advice and tools designed to support Australian business continuity through the use of technology.

The support being offered includes remote communications, collaboration, workforce management and video conferencing solutions that can be accessed on any device at any time. Please visit the Australian Business Continuity website for further information.

Community Organisations

The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) has established the COVID-19 Youth Response Fund to provide grants of $5 000 to $20 000 for youth-led (aged 15-29) initiatives responding to the impacts  of COVID-19. Both new and existing programs are eligible for funding. Applications for Round 1 close 15 May, 2020Applications for Round 2 open June the 1st and close June the 12th.

Queensland Government's Return to Play program provides assistance to community sport, recreation and fitness organisations with a range of funding opportunities. Applications for the COVID SAFE Active Clubs Kickstart Grant are now open. Clubs can apply for $2000 to assist with hygiene supplies, equipment and operational costs for COVID Safe clubs to return to sport.

The COVID-19 Rapid Advocacy Fund has been developed by the Australian Progress, Australian Communities Foundation and the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS)  to support advocacy campaigns demanding action in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Grassroots (not-for-profit) community groups are encouraged to pitch their projects as soon as possible for grants of approximately $3,000-$10,000. Further information and applications are available on the Rapid Advocacy Fund's main website page

The Community Broadcasting Foundation (CBF) provides Quick Response Grants to support community media organisations that risk discontinued transmission and operations, or those who have only been issued a time-limited opportunity. Evidence of the emergency situation/ time- limited opportunity is required. Please visit CBF Quick Response Grants for eligibility requirements and further details. 


Local Council Support Packages

Moreton Bay Regional Council is offering support to locally based community organisations experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistance is also provided to those that need to establish alternate service delivery and  those that offer services to vulnerable residents. Applications are open for the COVID-19 Community Organisation Hardship and Assistance Grants of up to $10 000, currently on an ongoing basis.

Western Downs COVID-19 Recovery Package - Major recovery package valued at $50 million to secure and create jobs, energize the economy and support the region through the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the following links for grants and funding in the relevant area: For Business. For Residents. For Community Groups. Accelerated Infrastructure Program

The Sunshine Coast Council has developed the COVID-19 Community Response Grants Program to provide financial support to community organisations impacted by COVID-19. The purpose of the grants program is to:

  • assist community organisations to meet ongoing costs despite loss of revenue
  • support community organisations to keep operating, alter the way they deliver services and maintain connection with each other and with the community
  • strengthen the capacity and resilience of community organisations to prepare, respond and recover from emergency and disaster events
  • stimulate the local economy by enabling community organisations to engage local contractors and procure from local businesses to undertake priority projects.

The COVID-19 Community Response Grants include four categories: 

Operational and Maintenance (funding up to $5,000): This category offers ongoing operational and maintenance funding to support not-for-profit community organisations experiencing financial hardship.

Continuity and Connectivity (funding up to $5,000): This category offers project funding to support business continuity, maintain service delivery and promote digital connectivity.

Capacity Building (funding up to $3,000): This category offers project funding to build skills, capacity and governance of community organisations.

Facility Improvement (funding up to $10,000): This category offers project funding for one-off building or site functional or aesthetic improvements.

Applications must respond to a COVID-19 impact and demonstrate evidence of financial hardship. Eligible organisations are limited to two applications per round, and those must be in different categories. Applications close midnight 1 June 2020. Please visit Sunshine Coast COVID-19 Community Response Grants for further details. 

The Redland City Council COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Grants Program delivers targeted funding and support to Redlands small businesses and community organisations to alleviate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently assistance is provided in the two grant categories listed below.  Funding will be available until the end of financial year, or until all allocated funds are exhausted.

  • Community Organisation Support Grant – Funding of up to $10 000 is available to support local community organisations that are providing support and relief to Redlands Coast community members impacted by COVID-19.

Apply for a COVID – Community Organisation Support Grant

COVID-19 Community Organisation Support Guidelines 

  • Business Support Grant – funding is available under two streams. Applicants can apply for one component at a time.   
    1. Professional advice servicesApplicants will be able to apply for funding up to the value of $1,000 for professional advice services (offered by firms located within the Redland City Council Local Government Area). This may include: accounting, financial planning, business consultancy, legal services, human resource services and other business specific advisers.
    2. Innovation fundingApplicants will be able to apply for funding up to the value of $5,000 for the support to reengineer/restructure their business operations to ensure viability and continued operations. This may include the use of technology, research and design or innovative products, services, projects or collaborations. Funding for the Innovation component has been redirected from Redlands City Council Advancing Regional Innovation Program in partnership with the State Advancing Regional Innovation Program and Advance Queensland.

Apply for a COVID-19 Business Support Grant

COVID-19 Business Support Guidelines 

For assistance completing applications please contact Council Customer Service on (07) 3829 8999, or: rcc@redland.qld.gov.au


Arts Sector

The Arts Sector 2020 Resilience Fund  is designed to provide emergency relief to support the livelihoods, practice and operations of Australian artists, groups and organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This funding can be combined with relief offered by other arts funding agencies, government departments, support services and philanthropy.

Applications can be made through three funding streams  

  1. Adapt grants of up to $20,000 are available to individuals, groups and organisations to adapt their practice and explore new ways of working through the current COVID-19 crisis and beyond. Applications may be made on an ongoing basis throughout the pandemic.
  2. Create grants of up to $20,000 enable individuals, groups and organisations to continue creating artistic work and/or develop creative responses in this time of disruption as a result of COVID-19. Applications may be made on an ongoing basis throughout the pandemic.
  3. Survive grants of up to $5,000 are available to individuals, groups and organisations to offset or recoup money lost due to cancelled activity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Applications may be made on an ongoing basis throughout the pandemic.

For further information and assistance please visit Arts 2020 Resilience Fund, or contact a Grants officer from the Australia Council for the Arts.

Source: Australian Government- Arts Covid 19 Funding

The ABC’s Fresh Start Fund provides urgent assistance to independent Australian producers to support creativity, sustainability and growth through the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The aim of the fund is to stimulate the provision of Australian content (both scripted and non-scripted) across all genres, including entertainment, comedy, drama, science, arts and culture, music, children, factual, documentary and religion. Applications can be made in the five distinct funding stream categories of: 

Enhanced Development and ProductionInnovation; Arts Digital; Children’s Content; Australian Music

Applications close 12 June. Please visit the ABC’s Fresh Start Fund website for further information.

Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation


Media Organisations

The Support for Freelancers & Casual Contributors fund has been developed by the Judith Neilson Institute to support media organisations with funding challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Media Organisations are invited to apply for financial support for freelancers and casual contributors to undertake specific projects (including editorial work and photography). Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis.


Assistance for Temporary Visa Holders

The Federal Department of Social Services provides a Special Benefit payment for some temporary visa holders who face significant financial hardship beyond their control. The Special Benefit is paid at the JobSeeker Payment rate and recipients are eligible to apply for the Coronavirus supplement of $550.

The Federal Department of Home Affairs has also advised that temporary visa holders seeking to extend their stay in Australia should review information on the Department’s website and apply for another visa before their current visa expires.

For legal advice on issues related to immigration and refugees please contact the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (RAILS) by phone: 07 3846 9300, or email: admin@rails.org.au 

For assistance with Centrelink Appeals please contact Economic Justice Australia, who provide free and independent advice,  representation and education for those struggling with access to social security benefits.

The Queensland Government has developed the International Student Crisis Assistance Package to provide assistance to international students experiencing severe financial hardship as a result of COVID-19. Currently, the Queensland Government is working on a process to distribute: 

  • Additional funding to Queensland-based universities and TAFE Queensland to top-up their bursaries and student support services.  
  • One-off payments to private VET and ELICOS students. 

International students who require immediate crisis support should contact their education and training provider and the Queensland Student Hub network to discuss their needs. Please follow the Study Queensland Facebook page for further updates.

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