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*PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR COVID-19 FAQ’s*

 


06/04/2020

Summary of concessions for equipment finance lenders

We have found a great resource of lenders at the moment – which can be found here.

The majority of Australian lenders are offering loan deferments of up to 6 months, which could be great if your business needs it.

This was created by Phillips Basile Equipment Finance over at pbef.com.au


30/03/2020

JobKeeper payment

Today the Government announced a 3rd stimulus package that involves a ‘JobKeeper payment’ to help businesses keep their staff in this hard time.

We recorded a video explaining what we know so far, as well as Shaun’s assumptions and interpretations.

JobKeeper payment explained

Once the legislation passes, we’ll do another video going through everything. If you’d like to make sure you receive this follow up video and any other updates like this, please sign up to our mailing list here.


29/03/2020

FAQ’s

We are starting to compile Covid-19 assistance FAQ’s that we are receiving.

Please click over here to have a read through, and please let us know if you have any additional questions.


26/03/2020

We just want to do a quick update because we know how stressful a time it is for businesses right now.

If you are feeling particularly anxious please have a read here.

Your mental health is important, just like your actual health is. Take care of yourself.


25/03/2020

Yesterday we held a webinar explaining the support available to businesses affected by Covid-19, thank you to all who attended!

We hope it was very helpful and answered some questions that you had.

If you’d like to watch a recording, please click below:

covid-19 business assistance webinar


23/03/2020

2nd Coronavirus Stimulus Package

The Government yesterday released a second, far reaching $66.1 bn stimulus package that boosts income support payments, introduces targeted changes to the superannuation rules, provides cash flow support of up to $100,000 for small business employers, and relaxes corporate insolvency laws.

The stimulus measures are not yet legislated. Parliament is in session today.

The Prime Minister has warned that there are no “quick solutions” and that business should prepare for 6 months of disruption.

In Summary:

Business

Tax-free payments up to $100,000 for employers

  • From: 28 April 2020
  • Eligibility: Small and medium business entity employers and not-for-profit entities, with an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million.

 

The Government has increased the previously announced measures to provide cash flow support to business.

Now, eligible businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will initially be able to access tax-free cash flow support, with the minimum amount being increased to $10,000 and the maximum amount increased to $50,000 (previously $2,000 to $25,000). However, additional support will be provided in the July – October 2020 period so that eligible entities will receive total minimum support of $20,000 and up to $100,000.

In order for a business to qualify for this support it must have been established prior to 12 March 2020. The rules are more flexible for charities because the Government recognises that new charities might be established in response to the pandemic.

The cash flow support measures will be provided in the form of a credit in the activity statement system. The support will be provided in two phases.

  • The first phase ensures that eligible employers receive a credit equal to 100% of the PAYG amounts withheld from salary and wages paid to employees during the relevant period, up to the maximum amount of $50,000.
  • The second phase ensures that eligible employers receive another series of credits, equal to the credits that were received under the first phase. For example, if a business received $40,000 of credits in the first phase it will receive a further $40,000 of credits in the second phase. These additional credits will be spread over two or four activity statement periods, depending on whether the employer lodges on a quarterly or monthly basis.

 

If a business pays salary and wages to employees but is not required to withhold any tax then a minimum payment of $10,000 will be made in the first phase and a further payment of $10,000 will be made in the second phase.

The credits are automatically calculated by the ATO and employers will need to lodge an activity statement to trigger the entitlement. If the credit puts the business in a refund position the excess amount will be refunded by the ATO within 14 days.

Businesses that lodge activity statements on a quarterly basis will be eligible to receive credits in the first phase for the quarters ending March 2020 and June 2020. Credits in the second phase will be available for the quarters ending June 2020 and September 2020. The minimum $10,000 payment will be applied to the first lodgement.

Business that lodge on a monthly basis will be eligible for the credits in the first phase for the March 2020, April 2020, May 2020 and June 2020 lodgements. Credits in the second phase will be available for the June 2020, July 2020, August 2020 and September lodgments. The minimum $10,000 payment will be applied to the first lodgement.

Eligibility for the measure will be based on prior year turnover. We will have to wait for the legislation for the finer details.

Not-for-profit employers, including charities, with an aggregated turnover under $50 million will also be able to access the cash flow support.

 

Solvency safety net

A safety net has been put in place to protect businesses in temporary financial distress as a result of the pandemic by lessening the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business. These include:

  • A temporary 6 month increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company from $2,000 to $20,000.
  • The time a company has to respond to statutory demands will increase from 21 days to 6 months.
  • For 6 months, directors will be provided with temporary relief from personal liability for trading while insolvent.
  • See also bankruptcy safety net below

It will be more important than ever for business to stay on top of their debtors.

Debts incurred will still be payable by the business. Only those debts incurred in the ordinary course of the business will be subject to the safety net measures.

 

Access to working capital for SMEs – supporting lenders

The Government has announced a Coronavirus SME guarantee scheme that will guarantee 50% of new loans to SMEs up to $20 billion. These loans are new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs.

SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans.

The Government will provide eligible lenders with a guarantee for loans with the following terms:

  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
  • The loans will be up to three years, with an initial six month repayment holiday.
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will not have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

Loans will be subject to lenders’ credit assessment processes with the expectation that lenders will look

through the cycle to sensibly take into account the uncertainty of the current economic conditions.

This latest measure builds on the previous initiatives to ensure small business can access capital, including:

 

Sole traders and self-employed eligible for Jobseeker payment

The eligibility criteria to access income support payments will be relaxed to enable the self-employed and sole traders whose income has been reduced, to access support.

More:

 

Temporary relief from Corporations Act requirements

The Treasurer has been given a temporary instrument-making power to amend the Corporations Act to provide relief or modifications to specific compliance obligations.

ASIC has announced measures for those companies with a 31 December financial year that need to hold their AGMs by 31 May 2020, providing a two month no action period and enabling hybrid virtual AGMs.

Individuals

Early release of superannuation

From mid-April, individuals in financial distress will be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation in 2019-20, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. The withdrawals will be tax free and will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.

To be eligible to access your superannuation you need to meet the following requirements:

  • you are unemployed; or
  • you are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (which includes the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • on or after 1 January 2020:
    • you were made redundant; or
    • your working hours were reduced by 20% or more; or
    • if you are a sole trader — your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20% or more.

 

For those eligible to access their superannuation, you can apply directly to the ATO through the myGov website.

More:

 

Temporary reduction in minimum superannuation draw down rates

Superannuation minimum drawdown requirements for account-based pensions and similar products will be reduced by 50% in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Age

Default minimum drawdown rates (%)

Reduced rates by 50 per cent for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 income years (%)

Under 65

4

2

65-74

5

2.5

75-79

6

3

80-84

7

3.5

85-89

9

4.5

90-94

11

5.5

95 or more

14

7

 

The upper and lower social security deeming rates will be reduced further. As of 1 May 2020, the upper deeming rate will be 2.25% and the lower deeming rate 0.25%.

More:

 

Time limited fortnightly $550 ‘coronavirus supplement’

For the next 6 months, the Government is introducing a new Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients in the eligible payment categories.

The payment will be made to those receiving:

  • Jobseeker payment (and those transitioning to the jobseeker payment)
  • Youth allowance jobseeker
  • Parenting payment
  • Farm household allowance
  • Special benefits recipients

In addition, eligibility to income support payments will be expanded to:

  • Permanent employees who are stood down or lose their job
  • Casual workers
  • Sole traders
  • The self-employed
  • Contract workers who meet the income test

The Government notes that these criteria could include those required to care for someone affected by the Coronavirus.

Asset testing has also been reduced and will be waived for 6 months. Income testing will still apply.

The payment is not available if you have access to any employer entitlements such as annual or sick leave or income protection insurance.

More:

 

Second $750 payment to households

The Government is now providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders residing in Australia (see the full list here). The payment will be exempt from taxation and will not count as income for the purposes of Social Security, Farm Household Allowance and Veteran payments.

  • Payment 1 from 31 March 2020 (previously announced on 12 March): Available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession card holders at any time between 12 March 2020 to 13 April 2020;
  • Payment 2 from 13 July 2020: Available to people who are eligible payment recipients and concession card holders on 10 July 2020.

The payments will be made automatically to those that meet the criteria.

More:

 

Bankruptcy safety net

A temporary 6 month increase to the threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor will increase from $5,000 to $20,000. In addition, the time a debtor has to respond to a bankruptcy notice will be temporarily increased from 21 days to six months.

Where someone declares their intention to enter voluntary bankruptcy, the period of protection from unsecured creditors will be extended from 21 days to 6 months.

More:

 

More information:


22/03/2020

Upcoming webinar

We will be holding a webinar on Tuesday 24th March!

COVID-19 ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL to MEDIUM SIZED BUSINESS OWNERS

Small and Medium sized businesses employ approximately 7,800,000 people in Australia.

We are bringing to you a webinar with all the FACTS surrounding the measures available to Small & Medium businesses without the media spin.

Join us on Tuesday to hear:

– Assistance from State Government
– Assistance from Federal Government
– ATO Concessions & Assistance and the sting to watch out for!
– How the banks are chipping in.
– Frequently Asked Questions from over 60 calls in the past week with business owners covering:
– Cashflow improvement practices,
– Negotiating with landlords,
– Where to find help if you need to lay off staff.

Supporting businesses is a major priority, as it keeps people employed and the economy moving.

If you can’t attend and would like a link to the video and resources please register as normal and we’ll e-mail a recording.

Sign up here.


18/03/2020

Help from Aussie banks at this difficult time

There is alot of support from banks for small–medium businesses, that you may not be aware of.
We have compiled a list of information from their own websites.

CBA

Contact details: 13 26 07 or CommBank Relationship Manager 

  • Deferring repayments on business loans and overdraft products, for 90 days
  • Deferring repayments and fee waivers for various products
  • Adding additional resourcing and extended hours to ensure faster commercial lending decision time
  • Waived merchant terminal fees for impacted customers with CommBank payment terminals, for 90 days
  • Deferring repayments on vehicle and equipment finance loans, and tailoring restructuring options to meet individual customer needs
  • Waiving early redraw fees on business term deposit accounts (including Farm Management Deposit accounts)
  • Waiving establishment fees and excess interest on Temporary Excess products

ANZ

Contact Details: 13 13 14 or your Relationship Manager

As the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continue to evolve, we are closely monitoring and reviewing our response in line with advice from the World Health Organisation and health and government authorities in the regions where we operate.

The health, safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and the community is paramount and we are taking a cautious approach consistent with the latest medical advice and government requirements.

We have introduced measures to ensure the safety of our employees and customers and to enable banking services to continue as far as is practical including restrictions around:

  • International business travel
  • Domestic business travel
  • Large group gatherings
  • Non-authorised visitors to our office buildings

In some regions where ANZ operates there are enhanced precautions in place.

Business customers

There is financial support available to ANZ business customers experiencing hardship due to the outbreak.

This includes:

  • Suspending interest repayments
  • Providing early access to term deposits without incurring break fees
  • Providing access to additional credit subject to approval

If you have been affected by the financial impacts of COVID-19 please contact ANZ or your relationship manager.  

 

National Australia Bank

Contact details: 1300 769 650 or your relationship manager.

  • If you’re experiencing financial hardship we can help, whether you’re a personal or small business customer, please contact us: 
  • Consumer- 1300 683 106 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm AEST/AEDT; and now Saturday 9am-1pm AEST/AEDT)
  • Business- 1300 769 650 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm AEST/AEDT)
  • For business customers needing some extra support, this could include measures such as:
  • Deferral of business loan repayments for up to 3 months, assessed on a case by case basis
  • Extension of a business loan term by a period of up to 3 months, where individual circumstances warrant
  • Support to restructure existing business loans, including equipment finance
  • Business credit card deferred repayments. 

Rest assured, NAB is open for business. We continued lending throughout the Global Financial Crisis and we’ll continue to lend through this. Through every challenge we’ve faced together, for more than 160 years, our support has remained. 

The safety and wellbeing of our customers and team is our priority. With this in mind, we’re following the advice of Australia’s Chief Medical Officer and the World Health Organisation. We’re also staying in close contact with Federal and State Government authorities as we put in place measures to support and protect families, businesses and the economy. 

We’ve stepped up preventative hygiene measures at our branches and business banking centres. And we’ve enhanced what you can do remotely, so if you can’t come into a branch, you can still get your banking done. 

Here’s some of the ways you can access your banking: 

  • Our online and telephone banking services are available to you 24/7. You can visit nab.com.au or call 13 22 65. Our team will do their absolute best to answer your calls and solve your queries as quickly as possible. 
  • The NAB app and internet banking provide you with many of your banking needs, including checking your balance and statements, making a funds transfer or managing your cards including block, unblock or reorder, changing your card PIN and activating your card. 
  • You can increase your Internet banking transfer limit up to $40,000. 
  • You can deposit cheques by taking a photo of them in the NAB App. Deposit up to $1500 every 7 days. 
  • Businesses needing fast access to cash can apply online for an unsecured QuickBiz Loan of up to $100,000 or QuickBiz Overdraft up to $50,000 
  • For our agribusiness and business customers across the country, please call your relationship banking team directly. They have the tools and guidance to make decisions on the ground to support you. 

If you’re experiencing financial hardship, we can help. Whether you’re a personal or small business customer, please contact us: 

  • Personal – 1300 683 106 (Monday to Friday 8am-8pm AEST/AEDT; Saturday 9am-1pm AEST/AEDT)
  • Business – 1300 769 650 (Monday to Friday 8am-6pm AEST/AEDT) 

Westpac

Contact Details: 132 142 or Relationship Manager 

For business customers our support measures may include fee free redraws, Business loan deferred payments up to 3 months and deferred payments for Business credit cards.

Here to help businesses facing the financial impact of COVID-19

Our support measures are here to help our business customers impacted by COVID-19 and related disruption to trade and cash flow.
 

COVID-19 support measures may include:
 

  • Fee free redraws
  • Business loan deferred repayments up to 3 months
  • Option to extend Business Loan term by up to 3 months
  • Restructuring and consolidating loans
  • Access to term deposit funds without reduction in interest rate
  • Deferred payments for Business Credit Cards
  • Business Financial Counselling access
  • Merchant terminal rental fee waivers for up to 3 months
  • $0 establishment fee for equipment finance loans
     

These measures reflect our ongoing commitment to support customers facing Financial Hardship due to illness, a natural disaster, loss of employment, relationship breakdown or something else. For any customer experiencing Financial Hardship at any time, Westpac Assist may be able to help.

 

BankWest

Contact Details: 13 17 19

In the current uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus, the financial and personal wellbeing of our customers and people remains our priority. Contacting us should be your first step if you’re struggling to make your repayments due to unforeseen circumstances. Getting assistance as early as possible could take the pressure off and help you to manage your finances.

Your circumstances are unique and we assess each situation individually. Our Customer Assist team is dedicated to guiding you on the best approach for your current financial position. We offer appropriate solutions, such as payment plans, where possible.

 

Macquarie

Contact Details: 1800 620 673

Like all Australians, we’re closely monitoring the latest developments in relation to coronavirus. We’re here to help and we’re committed to fulfilling our clients and partners’ immediate and ongoing financial needs.

We know every situation is different, so there’s a range of ways we can help which can be tailored to specific circumstances. We also have long-held practices and policies in place that enable us to provide flexible financial assistance to individuals and businesses in need during this time.

While we’ll need to consider each specific situation, some examples of how we may be able to help include:

  • deferral of payments for home loan, cards and vehicle finance products
  • reduction in credit card interest rates for an agreed period
  • a range of emergency assistance measures to support clients with urgent needs
  • specialist and tailored assistance for business clients experiencing flow on impacts from coronavirus, including loan restructuring and reassessment of loan terms.

At Macquarie, we’ve adapted our working arrangements across all of our offices to support the wellbeing of our people, clients and partners. The majority of our teams will be working remotely from this week. Given our well-tested resilience plans and longstanding focus on flexible working, we will continue to serve you as we normally do.

As a digital bank, you can have confidence knowing we’re able to continue our services and operations as normal and you’ll continue to have uninterrupted access to your banking via our online and mobile platforms.

For our personal banking customers, we strongly recommend downloading our mobile banking app or accessing your accounts via our online banking platform. You can find out more here.

Visit our Help Centre to self-serve online, or send us a direct message on our @macquariebank social media channels. For any clients who need immediate financial assistance, we’re ready to discuss your needs on the numbers below.

 

Bendigo Bank

Contact Details: 1300 660 115 or your Relationship Manager. 

We understand the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) could affect you financially, that’s why we have a plan in place to help you out.

The following financial assistance package has been announced for all affected Bendigo and Adelaide Bank customers nationwide, and includes:

  • Home Loan and Business Loan customers can apply for relief on loans for up to three months
  • Waiver of fees for the restructuring or consolidation of loans
  • Discounted interest rates on new personal loans taken out by existing Bendigo Bank customers
  • Waiver of interest rate reduction for early withdrawals on term deposits prior to maturity
  • Deferral of payments and extensions for Equipment Finance on a case by case basis

Contact information for affected customers:

  • Affected Business Banking customers are advised to contact their Business Banker.
  • Affected Bendigo Bank customers are advised to speak with their local Branch Manager or contact our Mortgage Help Centre on 1300 652 146 regarding financial hardship and applying for assistance.
  • Affected Adelaide Bank customers can contact our Mortgage Help Centre on 1300 650 259 regarding financial hardship and applying for assistance.
  • Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s agribusiness specialist, Rural Bank is also providing a range of assistance measures and will be working with impacted farming customers to understand their individual circumstances and apply the most effective means of support. This is in addition to existing support provided to those recovering from prolonged drought and bushfires. Customers are advised to speak with their Relationship Manager, contact our customer service team on 1300 660 115 or visit Rural Bank.

16/03/2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Package explained

Transcript of this video can be read here.


12/03/2020

The first Coronavirus Stimulus Package has been released. Details here


Looking to stay up to date with Covid-19 assistance measures and support for businesses? Sign up to our newsletter here where we are doing our best to send out timely and helpful information.