The existing Jobkeeper support program ceases on 28 March 2021. The Government has just announced a new $1.2 billion support package from 1 April 2021 to target the businesses, workers and regions still doing it tough.
Whilst our economy had recovered 85% of its fall from Covid-19, the Prime Minister said the package of half-price airline tickets, cheap loans for businesses and direct support for the airline industry, would be a bridge to a more normal way of life for Australians.
The “ticket to recovery” includes 800,000 half price airfares to 13 initial key tourism regions to get Australians travelling and supporting tourism operators, hotels, cafes, restaurants, travel agents and tour operators.
The 13 key tourism regions are (as quoted by the Treasurer):
- Gold Coast;
- The Whitsundays;
- Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island);
- Sunshine Coast;
- Alice Springs;
- Merimbula; and
- Kangaroo Island.
The discounts will be off the average fare and will be available from 1 April 2021.
The Government will also expand and extend its “SME Guarantee Scheme”. The scheme will be targeted and tailored to support those businesses that have been relying on Jobkeeper during the March 2021 quarter.
The SME Recovery Loan Scheme will benefit from an increased Government guarantee, increasing from the current 50/50 split between the Government and the banks to an 80/20 split, to encourage more banks to support small businesses.
The expanded scheme will increase the size of eligible loans, increasing from $1 million under the current scheme to $5 million. It will also increase the maximum eligible turnover from $50 million to $250 million, increase the maximum loan terms from 5 years to 10 years and will also allow lenders to offer borrowers a repayment holiday of up to 24 months. Importantly, the scheme will also be able to be used by eligible businesses to refinance their existing loans. The new loans will be available from 1 April 2021 and must be approved prior to 31 December 2021.
The $50 million Business Events Grants Program will also be extended by three months to support businesses to hold multi-day business events, covering up to 50% of costs incurred in business events during the 2021 calendar year, to support the events industry.
If you have any queries in relation to the above incentives, please contact us at Stanley & Williamson [Kreston Stanley Williamson].
Correct as of 23 March 2021
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