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Weekly Digest – 23 March 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Australia to Produce Its Own mRNA Vaccines

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccines and other mRNA jabs will finally be made in Australia after the government finalised a production deal with the US company. Moderna will build a new production facility in Victoria and supply the country with 100 million doses a year starting 2024.

Super to Cover More Employees

From 1 July 2022, you will need to pay super to your employees who earn less than $450 per month, provided they meet other eligibility requirements. This expands super guarantee eligibility so employees can receive super regardless of how much they earn.

Upcoming Key Dates

  • 21 April- March monthly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter super guarantee due
  • 28 April- March quarterly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter PAYG instalment due

Centre for Australia-India Relations

The government will establish a new Centre for Australia-India Relations to help foster new ties and support our expanding cooperation with India. With funding of $28.1 million, it will focus on promoting policy dialogue, building Australian business literacy and links, engaging Australia’s Indian diaspora communities to support the Australia-India bilateral relationship, and deepening cultural connections and understanding.

Additional Funding to Attract International Visitors

The government is investing an additional $60 million to bring back international visitors to the regions hardest hit by international border closures. The Tourism Tropical North Queensland will get $15 million to attract tourists back and to promote the Great Barrier Reef, while Tourism Australia will receive $45 million to undertake additional targeted activities to get international tourists back to key regional destinations.

New Zealand Opens Borders to Australians

Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand from April 12. New Zealand borders will start to open for other countries from May 1.

Business Assistance Package for WA Businesses

The Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package is available for businesses in Western Australia most impacted by restrictions. The assistance includes a $66.8 million Small Business Hardship Grants Program, $2.8 million of payroll tax relief for large hospitality businesses, and $2.1 million for a COVID-19 Commercial Sporting Franchises Support Program.

Safe Transition Industry Support Package

The WA Government has launched a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to assist eligible businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of WA’s borders. It includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.

NSW Unveils $1 Billion Support Package for Businesses

The New South Wales government has unveiled a $1 billion support package for small- and medium-sized businesses hit by the Omicron outbreak. The package will provide a payment of 20% of weekly payroll costs to businesses that can prove at least a 40% decline in turnover across January. Payments would range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000 a week.

Eligibility Criteria for Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant in SA Extended

The South Australian government has announced the eligibility criteria for its Tourism, Hospitality and Gym Grant will be extended to include newer businesses that began operating after December 2020.

The payment will be:

  • $3,000 (for employing businesses) or $1,000 (for non-employing businesses);
  • Additional $1,000 for CBD businesses;
  • Additional $7,000 for tourism, hospitality and other eligible businesses with turnover above $2 million;
  • Additional top-up equivalent to automatic payment for businesses that did not receive the automatic payment.

The grant is automatically paid to businesses that have received a COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant or those that received an additional COVID-19 Business Support Grant. You can check for more available grants here.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

People who are forced out of work to isolate due to being infected or being a close contact are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

You are also eligible if you are caring for a child under 16 years old who is a close contact or infected, or someone with a disability or a severe medical condition who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

The payment was initially given in the form of a $750 lump sum payment for seven days. However, this changed slightly from 18 January into a tiered system. While it remains a lump sum payment, those who lose over 20 hours of work will receive the full $750, but if you lose between 8 and 20 hours, you will only receive $450.

A financial hardship test has also been introduced, which means anyone with $10,000 available and accessible to them will not get the payment.

You can find more information about Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment conditions specific to your state or territory here.

Support for Small Businesses

If your business is struggling, the ATO offers a wide range of support for those affected by the pandemic, natural disasters, mental health issues, or financial difficulties.

Learn more about the available support, and the small business debt helpline for free, independent advice.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.

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