Everyday we see the effects of COVID-19 restrictions on small businesses. A number of business owners have turned to their bankruptcy attorney to explore the idea of filing bankruptcy.
While our team do what they can to help local small businesses survive the current COVID-19 restrictions and business downturn, unfortunately some financial challenges do not have a legal solution. We are aware that both the federal and state governments continue to announce ways of assisting small businesses to weather the current storm. The latest support package is the Queensland Government’s Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program. Whilst you are able to tap into JobKeeper to assist you to keep your staff and hopefully to continue some form of trading through the current restrictions, this new grant may assist you to rebuild the business as we start to move out of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Help for small businesses to recover form COVID-19 effects
As part of the Queensland Government’s Economic Recovery Strategy the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program has been introduced to assist businesses with fewer than 20 employees, recover from the impact of COVID-19 and regenerate their business.
The program opened on 19 May 2020 and in the first day 903 applications were submitted, requesting to draw on 9% of the funds available.
The objective of the program, stated on the Queensland Government website, is to support small businesses subject to closure or that have been significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown restrictions, to adapt and sustain their operations and build resilience.
The program aims to help small and micro businesses:
- prepare for the safe resumption of trading in the post COVID-19 recovery;
- access digital technologies to rebuild business operations and transition to a new way of doing business;
- respond to online opportunities, where possible, to sustain employment and maintain potential for longer-term growth;
- upskill and reskill business owners and staff to benefit from new technologies or business models; and
- embrace business diversification to adapt and sustain operations
- create or retain employment.
The available grant amount is up to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible small or micro business and the funding can be used towards:
- financial, legal, or other professional advice to support business sustainability and diversification;
- strategic planning, financial counselling or business coaching aligned to business development and diversification;
- building the business through marketing and communications activities, for example, content development (web pages, mobile apps, visual and audio media etc.);
- digital/technological strategy development;
- digital training or re-training to adapt to new business models;
- capital costs associated with meeting COVID-19 SAFE requirements;
- specialised digital equipment or business specific software to move business operations online (e.g. logistics program for online ordering); or
- meeting business costs, including utilities, rent.
Grant funds can also be used towards any of the above activities that were undertaken from 23 March 2020 onwards, but the project must be completed within a maximum of 6 months from the date of approval.
Applying small businesses must meet the eligibility and assessment criteria to be considered for funding and information about how to apply for grants can be found at: https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/grants-support
Applications for the program will close once the program budget has been fully allocated.
Only 1 application will be accepted from an individual ABN or a financial beneficiary of a business. Successful applicants cannot reapply for funding under this grant program
To be eligible, a business must:
- have been subject to closure or otherwise highly impacted by current shutdown restrictions announced by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer on 23 March 2020;
- demonstrate that business revenue has been significantly impacted since 23 March 2020 over a minimum 1-month period due to the onset and management of COVID-19;
- employ staff and have fewer than 20 employees at the time of applying for the grant;
- have a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) active as at 23 March 2020;
- be registered for GST;
- have a Queensland headquarters;
- have an annual turnover over $75,000 for the last financial year;
- have a payroll of less than $1.3 million; and
- not be insolvent or have owners/directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.
Applying for the grant
The Government information to apply, complete the following steps on the website at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/adaption :
- read the eligibility criteria;
- read the application guidelines, terms and conditions and frequently asked questions (FAQs);
- apply using the SmartGrants link: https://dtesb.smartygrants.com.au/adapt
In addition to meeting the eligibility criteria, applications will be assessed on:
- funding availability – applications will be processed on a ‘first come, first served’ basis, and therefore not all applications will be successful;
- submission of a complete application form, with all requested supporting documentation included (i.e. your application must contain the requested supporting documentation, otherwise you will be contacted to provide appropriate evidence, and this may delay your application’s progress);
- value for money, as determined by the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT).
You can get more information about the program and application process by phoning 1300 654 687 or emailing email@example.com.
There are other grants available to Queensland businesses that your business might also be eligible for. You can find more about the available grants at https://www.business.qld.gov.au/starting-business/advice-support/grants/schedule
The Active Law team are available to assist you with any queries you may have about rebuilding or ‘pivoting’ your business as a result of COVID-19 effects.
Active Law can assist you with legal advice regarding:
- Workplace Relations/Employment;
- Intellectual Property;
- Real and Personal Property;
- Body Corporate;
- Building and Construction; and
- Commercial Disputes/Litigation.
You can reach us at 07 3160 0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer – Reliance on Content
The material distributed is general information only. The information supplied is not and is not intended to be, legal or other professional advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should seek legal or professional advice in relation to your specific situation.