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Lockdown relief announced for Queenslanders

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Following the QLD Government’s announcement of lockdown measures for 11 local government areas on 31 July 2021, affected individuals and businesses may be eligible to access much needed financial assistance through two possible avenues. Attwood Marshall Lawyers Property and Commercial Lawyer Andrea McGarry gives an overview of the packages that have been announced for QLD, VIC and NSW.

COVID-19 Disaster Payment for Individuals

The COVID-19 Disaster Payment may be available to eligible individuals in New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and Victoria.

The Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help workers who are unable to earn income due to a health order in their state. The health order may relate to a lockdown, hot spot, or movement restrictions.

A hotspot is an area of COVID-19 local transmission declared by the Chief Medical Officer. A lockdown is a period of restricted movement when people must stay at home and can only leave for essential and approved reasons.

Individuals may be able to receive the following:

  • $750 if they have lost 20 or more hours of work
  • $450 if they have lost between 8 and 19 hours of work

The payments will be administered by Centrelink.

Who can get it?

You must meet all the eligibility requirements to receive the COVID-19 Disaster Payment in Queensland. If you are currently receiving Centrelink payments, you can still get the COVID-19 Disaster Payment even if you are eligible on only one day during the payment period.

Couples can both claim the payment if eligible and are required to submit their claims separately.

Eligibility rules for people currently getting Centrelink benefits include:

  • You get an income support payment, Education Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance
  • You are 17 years or older
  • You are not getting the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment or a state small business payment for the same period
  • You lived in, or worked from, or visited, a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a state restricted movement order
  • You were unable to work and earn your usual income of 8 hours or more or a full day’s work because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot and are subject to restricted movement
  • You don’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements that you can access.

If you are not currently receiving any Centrelink benefits, then the eligibility rules are slightly different, and include:

  • You are an Australian resident or hold a Visa that gives you the right to work in Australia
  • You are 17 years or older
  • You didn’t get an income support payment, Education Allowance or ABSTUDY Living Allowance during the payment period
  • You didn’t get the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment, a state or territory pandemic payment, or a state small business payment for the same period
  • You lost income and didn’t have any appropriate paid leave entitlements
  • You lived in, worked from, or visited a Commonwealth-declared COVID-19 hotspot that is subject to a state restricted movement order
  • You have been unable to earn your usual income of 8 hours or more, or a full day’s work because you were in the COVID-19 hotspot and were subject to restricted movement.

There are two relevant period – Queensland, which are:

  • 1st August 2021 to 7th August 2021
  • 8th August 2021

Further details and a complete eligibility criterion can be found via the following link: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/covid-19-disaster-payment

COVID-19 Business Support Grants

QLD

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick today announced a $260 million support package for businesses.

A one-off payment of $5,000 will be available to businesses across the state to help pay staff and ongoing bills, and to get back to operating as soon as possible. Your business does not have to be located in South East Queensland to be eligible, but it must have experienced at least a 30% reduction in turnover as a result of the current lockdown.

To be eligible for the payment, a business must have an annual turnover of $75,000 or more and have an annual payroll of $10 million or less (except for large businesses and not-for-profit organisations operating in an identified tourism and hospitality sector). 

For large tourism and hospitality businesses, and not-for-profit organisations, to be eligible for the grant they must be undertaking business activities in any of the identified tourism and hospitality ANZSIC (Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification) code industry areas. 

To check for eligibility, refer to the ANZSIC codes on the Queensland Government Business Support website by clicking here.

Whilst the payment will be a welcome relief for many businesses who have suffered significant financial loss as a result of the lockdown, businesses will have to wait at least two weeks before they can submit their application for the grant whilst an online application process is established. The payment is expected to then take a further two weeks from approval of the application.

Online applications opened at 12pm Monday 16th August 2021. To apply, you need to complete the application and provide supporting evidence through the Queensland Rural and Industry Development Authority Portal (QRIDA).

Grants will be processed in the order that they are received so it is important to get your application in at the earliest opportunity. 

More information on the government grants and application process can be found here: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/covid19-support-grants   

NSW

If you’re a business, sole trader or not-for-profit organisation in New South Wales and you have been impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, you may be eligible for a one-off support payment of $7,500, $10,500 or $15,000.

The 2021 COVID-19 Business Grant is intended to provide support for businesses that have experienced reduced demand or have had to stop operating due to the public health orders. The grant intends to provide support for the first 3 weeks of the Greater Sydney lockdown (which occurred from 26 June to 17 July 2021).

Eligible applications can use the grant for business costs incurred from 1 June 2021 to 17 July 2021 including:

  • Paying wages and salaries
  • Paying utilities and rent
  • Helping obtain financial, legal or other advice
  • Marketing and communications
  • Covering the cost of perishable goods
  • Other business costs.

Applications for the grant will close at 11.59pm on 13 September 2021.
To find out more about the eligibility criteria or to apply for the grant online, click here.

VIC

Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension

This program provides eligible businesses that had not previously applied for the program in June, or have since become eligible, with the opportunity to apply for a support grant of $4,800.

To be eligible for the program, a business must:

  • Be located in Victoria
  • Be registered as operating in an eligible industry sector
  • Have incurred direct costs as a result of the July COVID-19 restrictions and the business cannot predominantly operate remotely
  • Have a payroll of up to $10 million in 2019-2020 on an ungrouped basis
  • Be registered for GST as of 15 July 2021
  • Hold an ABN and have held that ABN on and from 15 July 2021
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator.

Applications will close on 13 August 2021.
Click here to apply for the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two – July Extensions.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 July Extension

The Victorian Government’s $38.6 million Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 July Extension was offered to support eligible licensed hospitality venues that were affected by the COVID-19 restrictions announced on 15 July 2021 but did not apply for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 in June 2021.

Eligible businesses have been invited to apply for grants of $7,200.

Applications for this program must be submitted by 11.59pm on Friday 13 August 2021. Exceptions may apply if you have been asked to submit or provide more information beyond this deadline.

Attwood Marshall Lawyers – Supporting local businesses

Attwood Marshall Lawyers is an experienced Property, Business and Commercial Law firm. We are able to assist with all your property, business and commercial matters including retail and commercial leasing contracts, partnership, shareholder and unitholder agreements, business and commercial transactions, loans and securities, and all other company law related matters.

If you are unable to visit one of our conveniently located offices, we offer telephone and video consultations to ensure there is no delay when tending to your legal matter.

If you require professional and trusted advice on property, business and commercial matters, you can contact our 24/7 phone line any time on 1800 621 071 or contact Property and Commercial Department Manager, Jess Kimpton, on direct line 07 5506 8214 or email jkimpton@attwoodmarshall.com.au

The information in this article is correct as of 3rd August 2021.

Read our latest COVID Update:

COVID Update: 16 new cases in Queensland as lockdown continues

Business Interruption Insurance Decided

 

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