Media Release 12 March 2020

Coronavirus stimulus package will keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs

The Federal Government’s $17 billion stimulus package provides vital support to keep businesses in business in the wake of the damaging effects of coronavirus.

The package focuses on supporting small business through cash payments, wage subsidies for apprentices and trainees and a significant expansion of the instant asset write-off is key to keeping people in work and helping the Australian economy bounce back.

Tax-free payments for small to medium sized businesses will help ease the cashflow hardship many businesses are facing and help them to pay bills, pay staff and stay afloat.

Businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will be eligible for a tax-free payment up to $25,000 to help strengthen cashflows, which in industries like travel, tourism and retail are under intense pressure from widespread booking cancellations, declining orders and softening consumer demand.

The expanded instant asset write-off available to businesses with a turnover of up to $500 million and for much bigger items worth up to $150,000 will help businesses bring forward investment in productivity enhancing plant, equipment and technology needed to stay competitive.

Small business employers of Victoria’s 30,000 apprentices will welcome the wage assistance of up to $7,000 per quarter to help them retain their existing apprentices and trainees, noting the wage subsidy will also be open to employers of any size that re-employ someone who loses their position as a result of the coronavirus downturn.

Casual workers unable to attend work due to coronavirus will be eligible to apply for the Government’s sickness payment. In addition, a $750 stimulus payment will be available to families receiving family tax benefits, people on Newstart and pensioners.

To be attributed to Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Paul Guerra:

“This package won’t solve the coronavirus problem but will help ease the cashflow hardship many businesses are facing and help them to pay bills, pay staff and stay afloat.

“As the Prime Minister recognised in his announcement today, business keeps people in jobs and during these tough times it is vital that businesses are given the help they need to keep their employees and survive until the coronavirus is contained and our economy can rebound.

“We know this is going to be a challenging time for Victorian businesses. Our regions are still reeling from the bushfires and are worried coronavirus will cripple them. The $1 billion announced to assist severely affected regions and communities is crucial to rebuild those hard-hit areas that are reliant on industries such as tourism, agriculture and education.

“Our priority is to support all Victorian businesses to get through this period and help them bounce back on the other side.

“The Victorian Chamber has given all Victorian businesses free access to its expert services and advice lines by waiving membership fees for our two entry level memberships for all businesses and providing $500 credit to existing members for training and services.”

Media Contact

All media enquiries may be directed to the Media and Communications Manager

03 8662 5310

0423 883 945

For all other enquiries please contact the Victorian Chamber on 03 8662 5333

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