Small Business Support -Coronavirus

The following information is to assist MP&DA members to understand key Coronavirus assistance that is available through Federal government and others.  This information has been gathered from updates the Association receives from government and external supporters and is directed toward sole traders (don't employ anyone) and small business (those that employ).

Federal government Business Help Hotline 13 28 46 (open 7 days 7am to 11pm)


1. Access to Social Security Income Support

Sole traders/self-employed people now have access to the social security system, specifically the Job Seeker or Youth Allowance. You can receive a $550 fortnightly Coronavirus supplement. You can earn up to $1,000 a fortnight before the payment cuts out. Assets tests and other restrictions have been removed.

This is a change from existing rules. Currently if you are running a small business as a self-employed person but on low income you could not get social security. Now you can.
Examples are:

  • An artist can do shows and receive a social security top up.
  • An IT contractor can to do phone support work and receive a social security top up.
  • A café owner will be able to still serve coffee but receive social security support

Info here.

2. Cash Flow Support Where You Have Employees

Tax free subsidy from $20,000 to $100,000 where you have employees.
Applies for the period March to September this year (2020)

The way it works is as follows as we understand it:

  • You lodge your normal PAYG statement (monthly/quarterly)
  • The ATO will apply a credit against your account up to 100% of your PAYG payments. It appears that this means you make your payment less the credit.
  • Or you will receive a subsidy payment from the ATO if you have low income employees who pay no tax.

The amount you receive will depend on the size of your business.
Minimum will be $20,000. Maximum $100,000.
Note: It's confirmed that this is only intended if you employ people.
ATO info here.
General info here.

3. Access to Your Superannuation

Sole traders with reduced income (20% + reduction) can access $10,000 from super this financial year and $10,000 next year.
Info here.

4. If You Have Apprentices or Trainees

50% wage subsidy on each apprentice or trainee up to $7,000 per quarter (max $21,000).
Info here.

5. Defer Loan Payments

The banks are a deferring loan repayments for 6 months for small businesses needing help.
Info here and here.

6. Government-backed Small Business Loans

The Commonwealth is supplying a 50% guarantee on new small business loans up to $250,000 for terms up to 3 years. Loans are available through your bank from 1 April 2020 for 6 months. You don’t need to provide security and will not need to make repayments for the first 6 months.
Info here

7. Instant Tax Asset Write-off

Any business assets you buy can be instantly written off against your tax. Now applies to purchases up to $150,000 (increased from $30,000).
ATO info here.
General info here.

8. If You Look Like You’re Going Broke

Temporary relief from creditors' demands against you plus temporary relief for your personal liability as a director while trading insolvent.
Info here.

9. Links to Support from State Governments

Info here.
This table is a summary overview of the main efforts made by the States. It’s not a complete list. Check the link above for details.


Payroll Tax

Fees on business

Fund /grants








Refunds & deferrals

Liquor lic waived


Govt pay businesses 5 days
Rent deferral on govt buildings.




Loans & Grants




Liquor lic waived


Land tax relief
Unemployed benefits




Loans & grants











Electricity rebates




Fund & grants



10. Business Tips During Coronavirus

Info here.

11. Low-income Households Support

Info here.

12. Cancellations—Refunds (Travel, Events, Gym etc)—Scams

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has provided official advice on legal obligations and rights of businesses and consumers.
Info here.

Watch out for Coronavirus scams.
Info here.

These 12 steps have been provided to the Association by SEA through CosBA.  

Useful documents
Documentation to assist your business when dealing with staff working from home and signage you can use if you or someone within your household is at risk from the spread of this virus are being uploaded to the members centre over the next two days.   To log in please use your email address and password.  If you do not know your password please follow the prompts after entering your email address. 

Training & Development
MP&DA are working with Small Business Development Corporation to deliver online (Webinar) training for our members during this pandemic.  Courses such as "Understanding Cashflow", "Marketing", "Social Media", "Estimating", "Debt Recovery" are but a few currently available and we are sure SBDC will be developing other courses specific to the needs of the time.  If you have anything specific you would like us to look at delivering for you please email with your suggestions.

Finally, MP&DA are working along side other Industry bodies to lobby government to reinforce our position that we are each and, as a whole, an essential service.  We fully support and embrace the safety requirements so we as a trade can continue to operate.  Further to this we will be addressing other items such as removal of payroll tax, reduction or removal of council and water rates (commercial and residential) and reduction in electricity and gas charges.  All items the government can easily control and implement.  We look forward to keeping you up to date as this progresses.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Association for assistance.

Stay safe & well.

Amanda Dawes
CEO, Master Painters & Decorators Australia
M: 0448 950 587

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