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Support for Businesses ACT

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. Below is a summary of each measure.

The information contained below is current as of 17 April 2020 and is provided for general guidance only. The information contained in this document is not specific to any individual or business, and should not be relied upon. You should obtain independent professional advice to ensure that any information is relevant to your circumstances.

Canberra Business Advice and Support
Business owners affected by COVID-19 can receive up to four hours of fully subsidised, tailored advice and access online business development resources. You can make a booking by calling 02 6297 3121. The office is located in the Canberra Business Chamber at Level 3, 243 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT.

Food business registration, outdoor dining, and liquor licencing fees
Venues will receive a 12-month waiver of food business registration and liquor licencing fees from 1 April 2020. Outdoor dining fees for 2020-2021 will be waived. This support will be applied automatically, there is no need to contact Access Canberra.

Other business fee waivers
Infection control licence fees that apply to businesses such as beauty therapists, nail salons, tattoo parlours and dentists will be waived for 12 months from 1 April 2020. This support will be applied automatically, there is no need to contact Health Protection Services.

Vocational education and training – Skills
The ACT Government is increasing subsidies for apprenticeships, traineeships and other VET students to access nationally recognised training in areas linked to skills needs across a range of industries. Subsidies are provided directly to Registered Training Organisation and skills Canberra will make these adjustments automatically. No application is required.

Supporting community clubs and the Casino Canberra
A fund of $3.3 million is available to clubs to keeps staff employed and further support will be provided as gaming venues adjust to physical distancing measures, including payments for voluntary surrender of gaming machine authorisations. Clubs will also receive rebates on water bills for the next two quarters and waiver/refunds of annual licence fees and gaming tax liabilities for March 2020 activity. Clubs interested in voluntary surrender of gaming machines should contact the Liquor, Racing, and Gaming Policy team at [email protected]. All other waivers and rebates will be automatically applied.

Support for the construction industry
Businesses in the construction industry can defer their payroll tax liability for six months from April to September 2020 to provide cashflow assistance to help them retain workers. No interest will be charged on deferred amounts until 1 September 2020, at which point the Government will assess the impacts of COVID 19 and determine if a further deferral period is required. To access the deferral, businesses will need to complete an online application form, more details here.

Electricity rebates and commercial rates
Small business owners with electricity usage below 100 megawatts per year will receive a $750 rebate applied automatically to their next bill around June or July 2020. Deferrals and rebates may be available for commercial property rates, more details here.

Ride share and taxi fees
Rideshare licence fee and government leased taxi plate fees will be waived for 12 months from 1 April 2020; rebate will be applied automatically. A one-off payment of $5,000 will be paid to taxi operators with plates leased from private owners, this payment can be accessed by completing an application form.

Payroll tax
Businesses on the prohibited activities list will be eligible for a 6-month payroll tax waiver. Businesses must complete a simple online application form to confirm eligibility.

All ACT businesses with Australia-wide wages up to $10 million can defer 2020-21 payroll tax, interest free, until 1 July 2022. Check eligibility and further details by visiting the payroll tax page.

Commercial tenancies and rent relief
A new mandatory Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies has been announced by the federal government. Landlords and tenants must work together to reach an agreement that allows the business to bounce-back when the time is right.

Commercial tenants of ACT government owned properties may receive rent relief for up to 6 months from 1 April 2020. Tenants should email ACT Property Group for further assistance.

For more information
You can find further detailed information on the ACT Government website or call the ACT Business Liaison Team for further assistance on 02 6205 0900.

For support or to discuss your options about your business needs, you can contact your IBA relationship manager directly or register your interest. We are here to help.