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Second Tasmanian Stimulus Package - Business

Second Tasmanian Stimulus Package - Business

Second Tasmanian Stimulus Package - Business

Interest-free loans, grants & assistance services

  • For small businesses, the $20 million interest-free loans introduced in the first Stimulus Package will be increased to $50 million and the eligibility for business loans will be extended and available to all businesses with a turnover under $10 million per year.
  • The Government will also establish a $40 million small business grants program. To be administered by the Department of State Growth, the program will comprise a $20 million emergency grants program of $2,500 that provides immediate cash support for businesses suffering financial hardship; and a $20 million larger grants program. These grants will be available to all small businesses who have suffered financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 restrictive measures imposed.
  • Additional $750,000 to provide business continuity and accounting advice to small businesses, ensuring they have authoritative advice on cash flow management and business options. This includes $50,000 to support the Small Business Council of Tasmania to assist their members to navigate the assistance available to them.
  • $200,000 will also be provided to the Rural Financial Counselling Service for the extension of financial counselling and support services to provide helpful advice and guidance and small and micro-businesses and sole traders, especially in our regional areas.$150,000 to boost the Digital Ready for Business Program to help small businesses understand the most effective ways to successfully take their business online via targeted one-on-one coaching and advice.
  • Applications for various loans and grants are now open and available on the Business Tasmania website.

Electricity

  • Quarterly relief on electricity bills to all small business customers on Tariff 22, 94, 88 or 75, including those small businesses on market contracts that could access those tariffs. This waives altogether the payment of their first quarterly electricity bill issued on or after 1 April 2020 for energy consumed in the previous billing period.
  • Small business customers who receive the electricity waiver, will also receive a waiver on their first quarterly water bill issued on or after 1 April 2020.
  • For all businesses on regulated tariffs, electricity prices will be capped for 12 months.

Aurora Energy has released further information on these concessions including an application form on their website.

Water and sewage

Water and sewage prices will be frozen for 12 months.

Council Rates

Tasmanian Government proposed that a freeze on general rates as well as other fees and charges occur for the next 12 months. To assist the councils the government will provide an extension of the $50 million interest free loan scheme previously announced to $150 million.

Launceston City Council has issued the following statement:

"The Council is working through the finer details of its Community Care and Rescue Package and will be in a position to announce that soon.

The package will look at options such as rates relief for small businesses, fees and charges relief, one-off grants, assistance for the organisers of cancelled events, help for community groups and other support measures.

Ahead of the release of the care and recovery package, the Council has already taken steps to reduce impacts on small businesses where we can.

For example, we have put a freeze on rent to businesses who lease Council premises — pending the Council's decision — and have elected not to pass on water or electricity charges to business tenants, and we've introduced a weekly payment system to suppliers instead of fortnightly.

In addition, we are reminding suppliers that we have negotiable terms on any payments which may be due to us."

UPDATED 2 APRIL: Launceston City Council has approved a number of measures as part of its Community Care and Recovery Package, including a remission of the general rate and general charge for 6 months for the Commercial and Sport and Recreation rates categories. Certain businesses, such as supermarkets, petrol stations, bottleshops and chemists are excluded. Further details of this and other measures are available on the Council's website.

Payroll tax waiver

  • The four month waiver of payroll tax for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors announced in the first Tasmanian Stimulus Package will be extended to ensure that these industries pay no payroll tax for the entire 2019-20 year.
  • The three month waiver of payroll tax for all Tasmanian businesses with a payroll of up to $5 million which are impacted by COVID-19 will be extended to ensure that these businesses also pay no payroll tax for the entire 2019-20 year.

Tasmanian State Revenue Office is expected to release more information shortly.

Waiver of fees and taxes

The Government will waive fees, charges and taxes including land tax for 2020-21 for businesses shut down or severely impacted as a result of the recent restrictive directions implemented.

Tasmanian State Revenue Office is expected to release more information shortly.

Fisheries industry

$604,000 for fee relief for a range of wild fisheries licence fees, including commercial dive, scallops and fishing vessels. These initiatives are in addition to a 12-month waiver for annual fees for rock lobster, giant crab, fin fisheries and abalone divers.

Tourism and hospitality

The Government will provide an additional $200,000 to the Tasmanian Hospitality Association to provide targeted business continuity, cash flow and accountancy advice to tourism and hospitality businesses.

Heavy Vehicles

The Government will waive registration and the road component of motor tax fees for heavy vehicles where those businesses have been severely impacted, and in addition, businesses that have closed can apply to suspend vehicle registrations and then re-activate them when they reboot.

Further information including the application form is available on the Transport Tasmania website.

Creative and cultural industries

$1.5 million in support including an Arts and Screen Digital Production Fund to enable Arts and Screen Tasmania to commission excerpts of digital versions of now cancelled or postponed performing arts events, as well as supporting recording projects of music ensembles and support for contemporary musicians to record music and video for digital distribution and business re-launch.

In addition, arts organisations who had been in receipt of a single year or final year of funding will have their funding extended for a further 12 months.

Taxi industry

The Government will waive annual taxi licence fees for the calendar year 2020. For a taxi licence in Hobart or Launceston, this will provide annual fee relief of $710, and where licence fees have already been paid, a refund will be provided.

Air Freight

  • The Government is working with potential service providers to secure a direct international air freight service from Tasmania, and with the Australian Government to establish solutions for freight across a network of essential aviation routes within Australia.
  • An international air freight service, if established, is expected to primarily be a market-driven model, with anticipated demand exceeding available capacity. The Government has allocated $1 million in funding to partner with Tasmanian exporters to establish this service.

Bass Strait Islands Support

The Government will provide up to $1.6 million to underwrite the maintenance of essential air services to King and Flinders Islands for the next three months.

Additional resources and up to date information are available at Business Tasmania.




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The content of this newsletter is general in nature. It does not constitute specific advice and readers are encouraged to consult their Ruddicks adviser on any matters of interest. Ruddicks accepts no liability for errors or omissions, or for any loss or damage suffered as a result of any person acting without such advice. This information is current as at 26 March 2020, and was published around that time. Ruddicks particularly accepts no obligation or responsibility for updating this publication for events, including changes to the law, the Australian Taxation Office’s interpretation of the law, or Government announcements arising after that time.

Any advice provided is not ‘financial product advice’ as defined by the Corporations Act. Ruddicks is not licensed to provide financial product advice and taxation is only one of the matters that you need to consider when making a decision on a financial product. You should consider seeking advice from an Australian Financial Services licensee before making any decisions in relation to a financial product. © Ruddicks 2020

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