Michael Ferguson,Minister for Finance
The Tasmanian Liberal Government yesterday announced details of our Social and Economic Support Package – the most significant business support package in the history of our state.
Combined with the Support and Stimulus Package announced last week, it totals almost $1 billion.
There are more than 38,000 small businesses and sole traders in Tasmania, and they are the backbone of our economy. We want to provide support through the dark times, so that they are in a better position to be with us through the recovery.
That is why we will:
- Freeze, waive or cap Government fees and charges for small businesses, including water and electricity;
- Waive the roads component of motor tax and vehicle registration where a business has been significantly impacted by measures taken to manage COVID-19;
- Land tax for 2020-21 on commercial property owners financially impacted by the COVID-19 response will be waived, where the tax is paid by the business owner;
- Payroll tax waivers will be extended for hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, and for Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less than $5 million, and that have been impacted by coronavirus, to ensure they pay no payroll taxes for the entire 2019-20 year;
- Extend the Local Government Loan Scheme from $50 million to $150 million to encourage local councils to upgrade infrastructure and employ Tasmanians in the process;
- We will also increase the Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme from $20 million to $50 million, which is available for businesses with turnovers of less than $10 million;
- A new $40 million Small Business Grants Program with $20 million set aside for emergency grant support and $20 million for larger grants payments will also be available;
- We will provide $250,000 for business continuity advice in the tourism, retail, hospitality, arts, entertainment and health sectors suffering financial hardship;
- The Government will also boost the Digital Ready for Business Program, with $150,000 to assist businesses who want to take their business online;
- We have made $750,000 available to provide businesses cash flow and continuity advice. This includes a $50,000 grant to the Small Business Council of Tasmania;
- A further $200,000 will be provided to Rural Business Tasmania for the extension of its Rural Financial Counselling service; and
- $100,000 will be provided to support our local Chamber of Commerce organisations as they themselves assist businesses manage COVID-19.
These are actions our Government can take. But there are critical actions Tasmanians can take as well. Stay at home, if you’re not at work or school. If you’re asked to self isolate, do it. Practice social distancing at all times and exercise good hygiene practices.
Together we can get through this.