Latest small business assistance [Federal & State Governments]

Latest small business assistance [Federal & State Governments]

Here is the latest assistance information from both the Queensland and Australian Governments.

Australian Government latest announcements and assistance 

The Australian Government’s Economic Recovery Plan has been released, which overviews new programs and initiatives for individuals and business to build the economy that were highlighted in the 2020-21 Budget.

Boosting Apprenticeships

The $1.2 billion Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy is now available, supporting 100,000 new apprenticeships/traineeships across Australia. Any business that engages an apprentice on or after 5 October 2020 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50% of wages paid between 5 October 2020 and 30 September 2021, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter. Click here for afactsheet or for a Q&A document. For further information on how to apply for the subsidy, including information on eligibility, contact anAustralian Apprenticeship Support Network provider. 

JobKeeper extension

From 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper extension starts with changed payment rates for eligible employees. For extension period 1 (28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021) eligible employees working 20 hours or more will receive a $1,200 per fortnight JobKeeper payment and other eligible employees will receive a $750 JobKeeper payment.  For each extension period an additional actual decline in turnover test applies to businesses. Click here for more information or to view a factsheet.

SME Guarantee Scheme

The Australian Government’s coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme has supported over $1.5 billion of lending to SMEs (including sole traders and not-for-profits) by guaranteeing 50 per cent of new loans issued by participating lendersPhase 2of the scheme will run from 1 October 2020 to 30 June 2021, with a broader scope.

Skills Investment Program ‘JobTrainer’

The Federal Government has announced a $1 billion skills investment program, JobTrainer, which will provide short and long training courses at either no-cost or low-cost, related to key growth industries including healthcare, transport and manufacturing. The program will create 68,500 places in Queensland to train school leavers, or re-skill people currently looking for work.

Jobs Hub

The Australian Government has launched a Jobs Hub to support businesses and those Australians looking for work.

Australian Government – COVID news, updates and advice

Access the Australian Government’s website to see the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from GovernmentThe website contains information such as, but not limited to:

The Australian Government has set up a team of dedicated customer representatives to explain the Australian Government assistance available to business. Get in touch with their Coronavirus business support service across Australia, seven days a week, between 8am and 8pm:

·        over the phone – 13 28 46

·        live chat

·        email.

Australian Government Small Business Support

Australian Government Support for Small Businesses and Industry – The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees.

Queensland Government latest announcements and assistance

The Premier launched the new roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions during October, November and December 2020. The Government will undertake COVID safe checks at the end of each month before any decision to move into the next stage. Under the Roadmap, Stages 4, 5 and 6 easing of restrictions will cover changes pertaining to outdoor events, gatherings and weddings and borders. You can find information on current business restrictions on

The Premier has announced the next phase of Queensland’s economic recovery plan, which includes backing small business and investing in skills as part of six priorities to grow the economy, create secure jobs and build a strong Queensland in the longer term. Read more here.Details about all economic recovery initiatives can be found on the Unite and Recover website.

Business Queensland – COVID news, updates and advice

Access the Business Queensland website to see the latest COVID-19 news, updates and advice from the Queensland Government to support small business and industry.

Queensland Government COVID Safe Business Information

Click here for the latest COVID Safe Business information, including COVID Safe checklists and factsheets, Industry Framework for COVID Safe Events, and approved Industry COVID Safe Plans.

Queensland Small Business Skills Hub

The new Queensland Small Business Skills Hub is a free online library of courses tailored to small business needs. Available to Queensland small business operators through Brisbane-based, global online training platform, GO1, the library covers courses in areas including foundation business skills, leading a successful business and adaptation and digital skills.  Registration is required, including verifying business details. Find out more at

Queensland Small Business Commissioner

The Queensland Government has appointed a Queensland Small Business Commissioner to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 through information and support including retail leasing advice and mediation. The Queensland Government has extended arrangementsfor eligible small business tenants who need ongoing rent relief until 31 December 2020. The Office of the Queensland Small Business Commissioner can be contacted on 1300 312 344 or via

Queensland Jobs Finder & Upskilling Courses

The Jobs Finder Queensland web portal links job seekers to over 200 Queensland recruiters who can connect them to businesses looking for workers. Queenslanders whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 can access free online short courses via the new Skills Focus Queensland portal. 

Sport, Recreation & Fitness Activities [Restrictions, funding & support]

Queensland Return to Play – Find out about the plan to ease COVID-19 restrictions for sport, recreation and fitness activities, includingfunding and support for sporting clubs and recreation organisations to recover.   

COVID19 Business Assistance Finder

Use the COVID19 business assistance finder to discover what local, state and federal government financial assistance or other type of relief you might be eligible for including, but not limited to:

·       Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant – Applications for Round 2 funding is now open, with funds still available for businesses within regional Queensland. Check your eligibility here prior to starting your application. 

·        Rent relief – Six months relief for businesses renting government premises.

·        Payroll tax relief package – Includes a range of payroll tax relief measures including applications for refunds of payroll tax and payroll tax holiday and deferrals.

·        Land tax relief – Businesses can apply for a land tax rebate reducing land tax liabilities by 25% for eligible properties for the 2019-20 assessment year, however do not need to apply for the foreign surcharge waiver or the 3-month deferral. Apply for the land tax rebate up to 31 October 2020.

·        Small and medium business power bill relief – Small and medium businesses may be eligible for $500 rebate off their energy bill.

·        Liquor licensing – The economic relief package includes the waiving of 2020–21 liquor licencing fees.

·        Business mentoring assistance – Mentoring for Growth – This program has mentors ready to connect with impacted small businesses and may be able to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning.

·        Financial resilience workshops – Delivered online by TAFE Queensland, workshops will provide you with practical tools and skills to build business resilience. You will also have an opportunity to connect and network with other small businesses facing similar issues. 

·        Waivers of some registration and licencing fees for inbound tour operatorscommercial activity agreements and permits, and variations to liquor licenses.

·        Supply chain issues – Assisting Queensland manufacturers and businesses that are currently impacted by COVID-19. If you are finding it difficult to obtain vital materials and supplies to remain open, please access the link and complete your details.

·        The Worker Transition Scheme – For workers who may find themselves without work.

·        Queensland Government Grants Finder – Find Queensland Government grants and assistance programs that may help you. 

Please note: If you have not already, businesses are invited to complete an online Business Impact Evaluation so the Queensland Government can capture the actual impact to small business at this point of time.

Also, contact your Local Government Authority for the latest grants and support in your region.

Information on workplace health and safety

For the latest COVID-19 workplace risk management advice, resources and assistance, visit the ‘Keeping your workplace safe’ page on the Business Queensland website. This includes information on: 

  • Queensland Department of Workplace Health and Safety’s

Other useful information that may be of assistance to you

·        Business Australia have an online hub for COVID-related business information and support, as well as a free business advice phone line and email service. Small businesses can join as a free member to access both of these resources.

·        Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland

·        Linkt are offering a toll credit program for customers impacted by COVID-19 through unemployment, significantly reduced hours or income, as well as small business owners with less than 20 employees. Applications for the program are now open.

·        Telstra and Optus are offering assistance via hardship programs for personal and small business customers.

·        Industry Capability Network – Tenders, Requests for Information and Expressions of Interest in response to COVID 19 

· – Making financial decisions guide

·        Australian Banking Association – Small business relief, deferral of loans

·        Australian Small Business Advisory Services (ASBAS) Digital Solutions webinars and low-cost digital advisory services to Queensland small business. 

·        Office of the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur – resources, support and suggestions on how to adapt and pivot your business

·        Queensland Tourism Industry Council COVID-19 Resources for tourism businesses

·        For Education and Schools

·        General State Government updates

·        Queensland Health information.

Additional wellbeing and support information

· – Supporting small business to be mentally healthy

·        ‘Dear Mind’ campaign –

·        ASBFEO’s My Business Health web portal, which offers dedicated holistic support to employers and sole traders during COVID-19.

·        Queensland Mental Health Commission (resources to help you stay mentally and physically healthy and well)

·        Emergency Relief Program search (Queensland Government) 

·        Salvation Army (Disasters and emergencies support) – phone 1300 662 217

·        Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 13 11 14

·        Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) including Practical tips to help you run your small business from home – phone 1300 224 636

·        Headspace (Youth mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1800 650 890.

·        Care Army (Volunteer to help older people living in the community)

Please note that all of the latest updates are available on the Business Queensland website and it is suggested that you regularly visit this site to stay in touch with the most up to date information.

You can also follow Business Queensland on FacebookLinkedInTwitterInstagram and YouTube for further updates.

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