The McGowan Government is expanding the Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package initiatives to see more support delivered to local businesses.
Businesses will benefit from an increase in payments through the Small Business Hardship Grants Program, and more businesses will be able to apply for the boosted grants with adjustments made to eligibility requirements.
A new tiered grant will be available to businesses that have experienced a 30 per cent reduction in turnover over any consecutive four-week period between January 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022, relative to the same period last year.
Businesses in this category will be eligible for a grant of between $3,750 and $37,500 depending on the size of the business and the number of employees.
The original eligibility criteria for the Small Business Hardship Grants of a 50 per cent reduction in turnover threshold over any consecutive two-week period between January 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022, relative to the comparable period last year, has also been lowered to a 40 per cent reduction over a consecutive two-week period to help more businesses qualify.
The value of grants has also been increased depending on the size of the business and the number of employees, with payments to sole traders increased from $3,000 to $5,000, and payments to micro businesses increased from $7,500 to $10,000.
The eligibility criteria for large hospitality businesses to access payroll tax relief has also been expanded.
Large hospitality businesses with payrolls of between $4 million and $20 million will now receive a three-month payroll tax waiver if they have experienced a 40 per cent drop or more in turnover over any four-week period between January 1, 2022 and April 30, 2022, relative to a comparable period last year.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“My government is committed to protecting and supporting WA businesses, local jobs and the economy from the impacts of COVID-19.
“Our Safe Transition Plan has fortunately set our course for a much softer landing than experienced elsewhere in the country.
“This has meant we have experienced less of an impact to our economy than first expected, and the level of demand for some of our support programs has been lower than predicted.
“Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that some businesses haven’t been doing it tough – there are some businesses that have been impacted while some health and social measures were deemed necessary to keep Western Australians safe.
“To assist these businesses, we are increasing the amount of support available and making it easier to qualify for support.
“My Government’s strong budget management gives us the financial capacity to offer more support for more businesses, which in turn supports local jobs and the economy.”
As stated by Small Business Minister Don Punch:
“Small businesses are essential to the economic vitality and social fabric of every corner of Western Australia, and this Government is committed to supporting the small business sector as we navigate through this phase of the pandemic.
“Whilst the Small Business Development Corporation’s extensive advisory and financial support programs for small business have been critical during the pandemic, those taking up the Level 2 Business Assistance Package has been lower than expected.
“To ensure this funding makes its way into the hands of those small businesses most impacted by the pandemic, we have expanded the program’s eligibility criteria and increased the grant funding available to businesses.
“I urge all small businesses impacted by COVID-19, including those who did not qualify under the initial criteria, to check their eligibility against the revised criteria and apply online.”