Restrictions are slowly being lifted and businesses are starting to reopen, but it’s not quite business as usual. We’ll wager that many things are going to be permanently changed once everything’s said and done.
The current COVID-19 climate has resulted in struggles for business owners all over the world. Here in Victoria, our government’s $500 million Business Support Fund aims to support businesses trying to bounce back during this unprecedented period.
What exactly is this fund, and does your business qualify? Our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne break it down for you!
What is the Business Support Fund? Our small business accountants in Melbourne explain
Small businesses make up 97% of all Australian economy – what’s more, they’re also the most vulnerable to big, world-shaking events like the current pandemic and its ensuing economic impact.
Designed to help small businesses get through the impacts of the pandemic, the Business Support Fund supports small business owners who are doing it tough with one-off grants of $10,000 to cover expenses, keep the lights on, and pay for fixed costs.
Initially, in order to qualify for this your small business had to meet certain eligibility criteria:
- Have a turnover of more than $75,000 per year
- Have payroll of less than $650,000
- Operate in Victoria
- Have an ABN as of 16/3/2020
- Employ people
Up until recently, this scheme was only open to small businesses who were directly affected by the state’s lockdown restrictions – that is to say, hospitality, tourism, health and beauty, retail and others that require close contact with strangers.
As of recently however, the Business Support Fund has moved into its second phase.
What does that mean?
Simple: the criteria have been expanded to allow any eligible small business to claim their $10,000 grant, regardless of what sector of the economy they operate in.
Who’s eligible as part of the second stream?
Do you meet all of the eligibility criteria (aside from the industry requirement?) Has your business applied for – and been accepted into – the Commonwealth’s JobKeeper program?
If so, you’ll now qualify for a $10,000 Business Support Fund grant.
As part of the program’s second phase, the criteria have been expanded to allow small businesses from sectors that are less directly affected by the pandemic to access the money they need to keep the lights on.
So long as you meet the original criteria and are on JobKeeper, your small business can also qualify for funding.
And if you applied previously and had your application rejected on the grounds that you weren’t in one of the selected industries, you won’t have to re-apply to get your $10,000 grant.
How should the money be used?
The stated purpose of the Business Support Fund is to help small businesses like yours deal with the financial costs that you’ve encountered as a result of the pandemic.
Of course, they don’t specify how your Business Support Fund payments need to be spent exactly!
Depending on your business’ needs (as well as your small business bookkeeper’s recommendations), you may use your $10,000 to…
Cover business expenses
Rent. Salaries. Utilities. Rent. Pandemic or no, these expenses still need to be paid.
If you’re finding that your cash flow has been impacted to the point that your small business is struggling to keep up with these ongoing expenses, you can spend your $10,000 covering these costs.
Many businesses are treating this as an opportunity to reevaluate and plan for the future. Some are considering moving online permanently, while others are using this as an opportunity to reorient their businesses and add completely new services.
This can often involve additional up-front costs.
Financial and legal advice
Recently, our good friends at Bruce Edmunds & Associates put out a piece detailing changes to personal and business taxes arising from COVID-19, intended to lessen the financial burden.
We’re willing to bet that if we didn’t bring them up here, you might not have known about all of them!
Many businesses are doing it tough financially. To come out the other side, they may need more than a one-off cash injection – for many, they may need the help of a financial professional.
Professionals like accountants, lawyers and our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne can be crucial in helping you navigate your way through these trying times.
Using Business Support Fund financing, you can access the advice you need to reshape your business.
Need a bookkeeper in Melbourne to support you during this time?
Bookkeeping continues to be an important part of your business
While many businesses are looking for ways to reduce costs, cutting your small business bookkeeping altogether should NOT be one of them.
In fact, it’s times like these that small business bookkeeping in Melbourne is more important than ever.
We aim to be an extension of your business, with flexible packages and pricing to outsource your business bookkeeping to a qualified, experienced, and reliable bookkeeping partner.
At Maximum Business solutions, our small business bookkeepers specialise in cloud bookkeeping. We offer a range of cloud-based solutions including: