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Business news and trends

State Governments Step Up With COVID-19 Stimulus

State governments across Australia have been doing their bit to cushion the blow of COVID-19 on small businesses, unleashing a raft of cost reducing and capital injecting measures designed to ensure small businesses can continue operating and maintain employees during this difficult time.  

 Some benefits become available immediately and require no application process, while others will be paid out to eligible businesses in coming months and/or demand specific applications by eligible businesses. 

 The intention is that these measures will work in tandem with other measures announced at the federal level, which amount to $214 billion worth of stimulus for businesses to date. Learn more about the federal support for small businesses. 

States continue to announce new measures, so check back to stay up to date on support you can access.  

View the latest small business stimulus in your state:

New South Wales

  • Small business grants 
  • Fast-tracked payment of outstanding supplier invoices
  • Rent relief for Government tenants 
  • Rent relief for commercial tenants in private property


  • $10,000 grants for small business expenses, advice, marketing 
  • Fast tracked payment of outstanding supplier invoices 
  • Waivers and deferrals on payroll and other taxes and fees 
  • Rent relief for government tenants 


  • Small business grants
  • Job support loans 
  • Grants for agriculture, food, forestry and fishing exporters and their supply chain partners 
  • Payroll tax refund 
  • Power bill rebate 
  • Payroll tax relief  
  • Liquor license fees waived 
  • Rent relief for Government tenants 
  • Rent relief for commercial tenants in private property

Western Australia

  • Payroll tax relief  
  • Bill help  
  • Fee relief and refunds 
  • Rent relief 

South Australia

  • $300m Business and Jobs Support Fund 
  • Additional funding to Economic and Business Fund 
  • Payroll tax relief 
  • Fee relief  


  • Small Business Grants Program 
  • Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme increased 
  • Government will pay bills sooner 
  • Tax and fee relief 
  • Payroll tax relief 
  • Digital Ready for Business Program 
  • Business Continuity Advice 

Australian Capital Territory

  • Bill credits 
  • Capital works boost 
  • Payroll tax relief 
  • Tax and fee relief 

Northern Territory

  • Business Improvement Scheme grants 
  • Small Business Survival Fund grants 
  • Home Improvement Scheme grants 

New South Wales – last updated 14 April

The New South Wales government has released three stimulus packages to date, with a goal of boosting health resources and securing jobs during challenging times.

Capital injection: 

  • Small business grants: The NSW Government has announced thousands of small businesses across NSW will receive grants of up to $10,000. The application form will be on the Service NSW website by 17 April and remain open until 1 June 2020.  
  • NSW government fast tracking payments: NSW Treasury will support the immediate payment of all current suppliers in advance of the contracted payment terms as part of its Faster Payments scheme, releasing $750 million into the NSW economy in the week following the announcement. Learn more.

Cost reduction: 

  • Rent relief: Commercial tenants with less than 20 employees who rent State-owned premises can postpone payment of rent for six months. Private landlords will be granted land tax relief of up to 25 per cent of their 2020 calendar year tax liability only if they pass on rental relief to commercial tenants of the same or greater value.
  • Payroll tax relief: Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less receive a six-month tax break. Businesses with payrolls of over $10 million will receive a six month postponement of payroll tax. 
  • Payroll tax cuts will be brought forward, raising the threshold to $1 million for the next financial year (total value: $56 million) 
  • Other taxes deferred: Gaming and lotteries tax for clubs, pubs and hotels, deferred for six months, conditional on these funds being used to retain staff.  
  • A range of small business fees and charges will be waived, benefitting bars, cafes, restaurants and tradies (total value: $80 million) 

Learn more. 

Victoria – last updated 6 April

Capital injection: 

  • $10,000 grants for small business expenses, advice, marketing: The $500 million Business Support Fund will support the hardest hit sectors, including hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail. Applications now open.  
  • Fast tracking outstanding supplier invoices: The Government has promised to pay all outstanding supplier invoices within the following five business days (total value: $750 million). The private sector was urged to do the same.  

Cost reduction: 

  • Payroll tax waiver and refund: Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.  
  • Liquor license fees waived: Liquor license fees for 2020 will be waived. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed. 
  • Rent relief: The Government will work directly with commercial tenants in government buildings who can apply for rent relief 

Learn more.  

Queensland – last updated 20 May

Capital injection:  

  • Small business grants: Grants of up to $10,000 to cover financial, legal or other professional advice, marketing and communications activities and digital or technology strategy development. This includes the purchase of specialised digital equipment or business-specific software to move businesses online.
  • Job support loans: Temporary interest free loans to assist with carry-on expenses such as employee wages, rent and rates and other related expenditure 
  • Market diversification and resilience grants: Equipment purchase and project grants for agriculture, food, forestry and fishing exporters and their supply chain partners 
  • Payroll tax refund: Two-month refund on payroll tax for small, medium and large businesses 
  • Power bill rebate: $500 rebate on power for sole traders and small to medium businesses 

Cost reduction: 

  • Payroll tax relief: Three-month payroll tax break  
  • Six-month payroll tax deferral  
  • Liquor license fees waived: Fees Liquor licensing fees waived for venues forced to close 
  • Rent relief: Rent relief on state-owned premises. Private landlords will be granted land tax relief if they pass on rental relief to their commercial tenants of the same or greater value.

Learn more. 

Western Australia – last updated 6 April

Cost reduction: 

  • Payroll tax relief: Four month payroll tax break for small to medium-sized businesses with annual taxable wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20.  
  • Bill help: Electricity bills reduced for small businesses impacted by COVID-19-related trading restrictions and one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers consuming less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum. No power or water disconnections for impacted small businesses due to late payments and no interest will be charged on late bill payments.  
  • Fee relief and refunds: Breaks on a range of business license fees, including liquor license renewal fees for 2020. Refunds will be sent to businesses that have already paid.  
  • Interest-free payment arrangements and late payment penalties will be waived for various taxes, including payroll, for businesses impacted by COVID-19. 
  • Rent relief: No rent due for small businesses and not-for-profit groups in State Government-owned buildings for the next six months. 

Learn more.  

South Australia – last updated 6 April

Capital injection 

  • $300m Business and Jobs Support Fund: Created to directly assist individual businesses and industry sectors facing potential collapse and the loss of jobs due to the ongoing COVID-19 impacts. Further details to be shared once they become available. 
  • Additional funding to Economic and Business Fund: Funds will be made available to support projects that are able to start work within a short period of time and which are capital intensive or require significant purchasing of materials, services and/or supplies.    

Cost reduction: 

  • Payroll tax relief: Six month payroll tax break for businesses with annual taxable wages up to $4 million. Six month payroll tax break for employers with annual taxable wages above $4 million if able to show significant impacts on cash flow from COVID-19. 
  • Fee relief: Liquor license fees waived for 2020-21 for hard-hit hotels, restaurants, cafes and clubs. Six month land tax relief for businesses with outstanding quarterly bills.

Tasmania – last updated 6 April 

Capital injection: 

  • Small Business Grants Program: $40 million available to small businesses, with $20 million set aside for an emergency grants program providing cash payments of $2,500. The program also provides a $5,000 grant for businesses that hire an apprentice or trainee in the tourism, hospitality, building and construction, and manufacturing industries. 
  • Small Business Interest Free Loan Scheme increased: Funds available to small businesses have risen from $20 million to $50 million.  
  • Government will pay bills sooner: Payment terms by Government agencies will be reduced from 30 days to 14 days.  

Cost reduction:  

  • Tax and fee relief: Various government fees will be frozen, waived and capped, including water and electricity bills.  
  • Waive fees and charges relating to the roads component of motor tax for heavy vehicles and vehicle registration for businesses severely impacted by COVID-19. 
  • The relief waives of a number of lease, license and parks’ entry fees for tourism operators.  
  • A 50 per cent discount on liquor licencing fees and a waiver of all application fees for the calendar year 2020, back dated to 1 January 2020. 
  • Annual fees and levies for the rock lobster, giant crab, fin fishers and for abalone divers, will be waived for 12 months. 
  • Payroll tax relief: Hospitality, tourism and seafood sectors, and Tasmanian businesses with payrolls less $5 million will see payroll tax break extended for remainder of financial year.  
  • Small businesses with payrolls of up to $5 million will be able to apply, based on the impact of virus, to have their payroll tax waived.  
  • Youth Employment Scheme introduced to provide a payroll tax rebate for one year, to businesses that employ a young person aged 24 and under 


  • Digital Ready for Business Program: Assists businesses looking to take their business online. 
  • Business Continuity Advice: $750,000 in funding made available for businesses to seek cashflow and continuity advice. 

Learn more.

Australian Capital Territory – last updated 6 April 

Capital injection:  

  • Credits: $2,622 credit to commercial rates bill 
  • $750 rebate to small businesses through their next electricity bill. 
  • Capital works boost: $20m fund for simple infrastructure works on public buildings 

Cost reduction: 

  • Payroll tax relief: Businesses that pay up to $10m in wages will be able to defer payroll tax for 12 months 
  • Affected industries will receive a one-off six month tax break on payroll tax 
  • Tax and fee relief: Taxi and rideshare fees waived, food and liquor licence fees waived 

Learn more.  

Northern Territory – last updated 6 April 

Capital injection: 

  • Business Improvement Scheme: Eligible businesses can access $10,000 for upgrades. If a business also wants to contribute its own $10,000, the government will pitch in an additional $10,000 for a total of $30,000. 
  • Small Business Survival Fund: Immediate survival payment of between $2,000 and $50,000 to help offset the cost pressures on businesses, plus a rapid adaption payment of between $1,000 and $5,000 to help businesses make the necessary changes they need to adapt to the new operating environment. 
  • Home Improvement Scheme: Territory homeowners will receive $6,000 to undertake renovations and improvements to their property by a local business or tradie. 

Learn more.  

Things to remember:

Many government staff are working remotely at this time and as a result we wouldn’t be surprised if some Intuit customers experience increased delays for online and phone enquiries for the foreseeable future.  

While you’re waiting, have a read of our guides, tips and resources on how you can navigate the coronavirus crisis, or  check out our blog on Federal government stimulus support to learn more about what has been announced at the Federal level to support small businesses.  

If you’re looking for other assistance accessing this government support, keep an eye on this blog, contact your accounting advisor or use the QuickBooks portal to find one near you

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