The lockdown is another blow to the ACT’s small and medium businesses, but help is on the way through a new grants package and hardship scheme.
The ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grant, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and ACT governments, will deliver grants of $3,000 for employing businesses and $1,000 for non-employing businesses where turnover has fallen by 30 per cent or more as a result of the COVID-19 health restrictions.
The grants will be available to local businesses whose turnover has suffered in the week from Friday, 13 August to Friday, 20 August, compared with the previous seven-day period, due to restricted trading conditions.
This is a similar arrangement that has been in place for businesses in other jurisdictions impacted by COVID-19 lockdowns.
The package will be split 50/50 between the two governments. The ACT will administer the program.
The ACT Government will also open a COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme, where eligible ACT businesses can apply for credits on the cost of eligible fees and charges of up to $10,000 (inclusive of GST) per ABN.
This program will provide credits for payroll tax, utilities, rates and certain business licences for small to medium businesses that can demonstrate a 30 per cent loss in revenue.
Small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million a year can apply.
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the business support package is built on the $2.1 billion the Morrison Government had delivered to households and businesses in the ACT.
“The ACT is facing its most challenging period this year, but it has shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic,” he said.
“This package will help to keep businesses in business and people in jobs.
“As we have done so throughout this crisis, we will continue to work with the ACT Government to ensure the ACT economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19.”
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the government wanted to protect jobs during this period, and it was important that the ACT and the Commonwealth were able to agree quickly on a package for businesses that may be worried about their future as a result of this lockdown.
“We understand that this lockdown comes off the back of a period of slower economic activity as a result of the outbreak of the virus in Sydney,” Mr Barr said.
“ACT businesses have been supporting the Government’s efforts to respond to the pandemic in the Territory, but that has come at a cost.
“Should the lockdown in the ACT be extended beyond this seven day period, further jointly funded support programs will be considered.”