COVID Update – 9 June 2021
Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.
Melbourne’s 2-Week Lockdown to ease on 10 June with some restrictions to remain
Melbourne will emerge from a two-week lockdown at 11:59 pm on 10 June, after only two new infections arose in Victoria on Tuesday. Victoria was plunged into a one-week “circuit breaker” lockdown on 27 May, but the spread of coronavirus in Melbourne led authorities to extend the lockdown of the city.
This ABC article has a comprehensive coverage of post lockdown restrictions. One of the major restrictions is a 25 km travel bubble for residents of Melbourne, with visits to other households not allowed. Restaurants will likely have a 50-person limit, outdoor gatherings will be capped at 10 people, and masks will be required indoors.
NZ-Victoria Travel Bubble Suspension Extended
New Zealand’s travel pause with Victoria will be extended until at least 7:59 pm on 10 June. However, New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, and those with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers who got stranded in Victoria will be allowed to fly back from 9 June.
Those boarding these flights will be required to carry evidence of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before departure.
COVID-19 Disaster Payment for Victorians
The government has announced a new COVID-19 Disaster Payment to help those affected by lockdowns and social restrictions.
This new payment will help Victorians who are unable to earn due to the COVID-19 rules. To be eligible, you must be an Australian resident, permanent resident, or working visa holder with liquid assets of $10,000 or less, and who live or work in a hotspot where the lockdown is for more than 7 days.
The government will give one payment for each period of lockdown which can be either:
- $325 if you’ve lost less than 20 hours of work
- $500 if you’ve lost 20 hours or more of work.
You can claim this payment through your Centrelink online account on myGov from 8 June. More information can be found here.
Australian Consumer Sentiment Fell Amid Victoria Shutdown
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment declined by 5.2% in June after a 4.8% decline in the month before due to the lockdown in Victoria. The economic outlook over the next 12 months also fell 10.3%, while that for the next five years dropped 1.4%.
If you’re worried about your business, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you work out a plan.
Insights from 14,000 International Shoppers of F&B Products
NZTE has released its latest research involving 14,000 international shoppers of Food & Beverage (F&B) products across Australia, China, Singapore, Japan, the US, and the UK.
The eight attributes that drive consumer purchases are: tasty, affordable, trusted brand, safe product, healthy, fresh, ethical, and on-trend. Although these may sound obvious, these are valuable insights that you can take into consideration when you market, package, and develop your channels.
EOFY is Fast Approaching
The end of the financial year is not just about tying up an interesting and challenging year, it’s also a chance to prepare for a successful year ahead! Below are some things you may want to consider.
Temporary Full Expensing or Instant Asset Write-Off
Small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $50 million can receive a full write-off for all assets. Both new and second-hand assets qualify, but these assets must be used or already installed by the end of the financial year. The immediate deduction for a car cannot exceed the cost limit of $59,136.
Pay all unpaid wages that have been processed and employee bonuses before 30 June. It’s also recommended to start reviewing and updating your employment contracts with your staff.
Consider paying Q4 (April – June) before 30 June to receive the tax deduction. The Superannuation Guarantee is scheduled to increase to 10% from 1 July, so be ready for this.
Ensure your FBT for company vehicles declaration has already been prepared and you’ve provided your odometer reading on vehicles as of 1 April.
Government Rebate for NSW
Sole traders, small business owners, and nonprofits in NSW may be eligible for a small business fees and charges rebate of $1500 for fees paid from 1 March 2021 and will be available until 30 June.
EOFY tips for small businesses
- Get your accounts in order in a cloud accounting system. Get in touch with us so we can recommend the right software for your business.
- Get in touch with your accounting advisor now to see if you can take advantage of tax minimisation schemes like the loss carry back tax offset scheme.
- If cashflow permits, you may consider bringing forward some expenses or purchasing capital assets that will help you save time or generate more money. This will allow you to make the most of the instant asset write-off scheme.
- Seek an accountant who can translate the tax jargon, COVID schemes and deadlines into plain and simple English.
We’ll help you get ready for EOFY, without the stress. Chat to us if you have any questions.
QLD Small Business Grants
The Queensland Government announced the Business Basics, Business Boost, and Business Growth Fund worth $25 million over two years.
- Business Basics grants of up to $5,000 each support new and emerging businesses to boost core capabilities and adopt best practices. Applications will open on 31 May 2021.
- Business Boost grants of up to $15,000 will help small businesses to improve their efficiency and productivity through organisational development and upgrades. It can be used for website development, strategic marketing, training, advisory services, and planning for business continuity and succession. Application will open by late July 2021.
- Business Growth Fund grants of up to $50,000 will allow businesses to purchase highly specialised equipment to accelerate growth. Applications have opened on 11 May 2021.
More information can be found here.
JobMaker Hiring Credit’s Second Claim Period Now Open
The second claim period of the JobMaker Hiring Credit is now open. So if you’ve taken on additional young employees between 7 January and 6 April 2021, you may claim the following payments:
- up to $10,400 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years
- up to $5,200 over a year for each additional eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years
Register any time until the scheme ends.
Wage Subsidy Scheme for Apprentices to Be Expanded
The government will spend $1.2 billion to expand its wage subsidy scheme for apprentices, as JobKeeper ended last month.
Under the apprentice scheme, the government will pay half the wages of apprentices up to a maximum of $7,000 each quarter for 12 months. It will run until September 2022. Ask us if you have any questions.
Income Statements can be found in myGov in July
Since Single Touch Payroll (STP) came into place in 2019, payment summaries (previously called Group Certificates) now known as Income Statements can be accessed through myGov. These are no longer directly provided by employers. This will be prepared and ready for employees by 14 July if your or 31 July, depending on if the employer has 20+ employees or 19 or less respectively.
Upcoming Key Dates
Upcoming key lodgment and payment dates for businesses:
- Lodge and pay May 2021 monthly business activity statement.
- Lodge and pay 2021 Fringe Benefits Tax annual return if you have a tax agent that lodges your return electronically.
- Super guarantee contributions must be paid by this date to qualify for a tax deduction in the 2020–21 financial year.
Contact us if you have any questions.
SME Recovery Loans open until 30 June
The Government’s SME Recovery Loan Scheme is open to small-medium businesses with a turnover of up to $250 million that were recipients of JobKeeper or were affected by floods in certain areas. This Scheme means the Government will guarantee 80% of the loan amount. You can find more details and eligibility criteria here, but please get in touch if you have any questions.
4 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Stay Productive
With people working from home now more than ever because of the pandemic, the stresses from mixing work and home life seem to contribute to burnout. This Forbes article teaches how to find the healthy balance so you won’t get overwhelmed and still keep up with your responsibilities.
Below is an overview of the ways to avoid burnout and deal with your tasks effectively:
- Take regular breaks– Your mind and body need sufficient rest and refueling throughout the day to perform at their best. So take the time to rejuvenate until you feel ready to get back to your tasks.
- Organise your time– Have some sort of routine to follow. Some people also work when they feel motivated and step away when they find it difficult to focus.
- Set up a dedicated workspace– Create an optimised workspace that encourages efficiency and free from distractions.
- Analyse your priorities– Spend your time wisely. The reason some people experience burnout is that they don’t prioritise and focus on doing the wrong things.
Do you have too much on your plate? Let us ease your burden– get in touch with us today and let us help you manage the finance-side of your business!
Get in touch
Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.