Programs and resources to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19
It is a difficult and uncertain time for many in Tasmania’s visitor economy, with tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by the continued evolving response to COVID-19.
Tasmania’s T21 visitor economy partners across government and industry have a wide range of programs and resources that may assist you and your business. A directory and links to a range of resources are listed below.
Tasmanian Government social and economic support package released
An extensive social and economic support package has been announced to support health services, households and individuals, the community and Tasmanian businesses.
New support for businesses include:
- Government fees will be frozen, waived and capped, including for water and electricity bills.
- Fees and charges relating to the roads component of motor tax for heavy vehicles and vehicle registration where that business has been severely impacted because of measures taken to manage COVID-19 will be waived.
- The payroll tax waivers for the hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, and for Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less $5 million 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. This will include refunds and waivers to provide cash where it is required now.
- Boosting funding for the Rapid Response Skills Initiative with up to $3,000 available for individuals to gain skills or licences to help them into a new role. Businesses that have immediate job needs and opportunities available, will be able to access a job-ready pool. More information can be found here.
- Extending the Local Government Loan Scheme from $50 million to $150 million, in addition to bringing forward $50 million of maintenance in public buildings and assets, including public housing, announced last week.
For small business, the Government will also:
- Increase the Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme from $20 million to $50 million which is now available for businesses with turnovers less than $10 million.
- Provide a new $40 million Small Business Grants Program with $20 million set aside for an emergency grants program of $2,500 cash payments. More information can be found here.
- Provide a Digital Ready for Business Program, to assist businesses take their business online.
- Provide Business Continuity Advice with $750,000 in funding made available for businesses to seek cashflow and continuity advice.
Read the Premier's announcement for more information about the package.
Australian Government’s economic response
The Australian Government has announced a second stage of its plan to cushion the impact of the coronavirus by supporting investment and keeping people in jobs. This includes additional household income and business support.
The Australian Government’s economic response targets four key areas:
- Delivering support for business investment
- Cash flow assistance for employers
- Stimulus payments to households to support growth
- Assistance for severely affected regions
You can read more about the Commonwealth’s response packages and support for business at https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business.
A total of $189 billion is being injected into the economy which includes $17.6 billion from the Government’s first economic stimulus package, $90 billion from the RBA and $15 billion from the Government to deliver easier access to finance, and $66.1 billion in the latest economic support package. This economic support includes:
- Support for households including casuals, sole-traders, retirees and those on income support
- Assistance for businesses to keep people in a job
- Regulatory protection and financial support for businesses to stay in business
Mental health support
Times like this can be difficult for businesses, families and individuals alike. The Tasmanian Government is also providing an additional $1 million in grants to mental health organisations to support individuals experiencing mental health difficulties as a result of the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For mental health support phone Lifeline on 13 11 14 or see resources for businesses.
A number of Tasmanian councils have announced or are considering rate relief or deferrals, along with other assistance packages for businesses, including Launceston and councils in the greater Hobart area. Keep an eye on your local council notices.
Six-month loan repayment deferrals for small businesses
The Australian Banking Association has announced that small businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 will be able to access a six-month deferral of loan repayments. The package is subject to authorisation by the ACCC. More information on this announcement is available here.
Business Tasmania services
If your business has been impacted due to the coronavirus, you are encouraged to contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 to discuss your situation and register your impact. You can also find more information here.
Enterprise Centres Tasmania
Longer term business advice and support can be accessed through the Enterprise Centres Tasmania services, see https://www.enterprisecentres.tas.gov.au/.
Business mentoring is available at an individual level with mentors matched to your particular circumstance and who provide guidance, support, introductions and constructive feedback to support your development as a business leader. See Mentoring for businesses.
Digital Ready Tasmania
If you would like to explore digital solutions to refocus your business processes and online marketing, see https://digitalready.tas.gov.au/.
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT)
TICT is working with its membership and broader industry to inform the policy and program support response. This includes offering a free consultation service for operators with an experienced financial advisor. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA)
The Tasmanian Hospitality Association is the peak industry body for hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs in Tasmania. It provides workforce development and other programs for the hospitality sector. Email enquiries@THA.asn.au phone 6220 7300.
The Australian Government has suspended non-essential indoor gatherings of 100 people or more and outdoor events of 500 plus. You can read more about that here. If you have questions about how your event is impacted, you are encouraged to contact the Events Hotline on 1300 880 634.
Regional Tourism Organisations
Tasmania’s four regional tourism organisations are able to provide information and advice. Depending on where your business is located please contact:
Tourism Australia have collated information about Federal, State and Territory Government funding and relief assistance for businesses impacted by coronavirus. They will continue to update the information as more support measures are announced and details confirmed.
Tourism Australia is also updating the existing travel alert page on Australia.com regularly with information for travellers.
Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC)
ATEC is providing its members with regular updates, which includes cancellation guidelines. ATEC has included some commentary around special consideration for the China market to maintain faith and trust, while not seeking to dictate the commercial decisions of suppliers. For more information, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information current as at 16:00 on 27 March 2020