WESTERN AUSTRALIA GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE
New measures to support businesses
Regulatory changes will be made shortly to allow truck movements to continue seamlessly.
This will mean deliveries to shopping centres can occur 24 hours a day, allowing more stock to be delivered to shops. There will also be changes to allow for residential deliveries.
Support for small and medium sized businesses
The WA state government is investing $114 million in measures to support Western Australia’s small and medium businesses including:
1) One-off grants of $17,500 to small and medium businesses
Small and medium businesses whose annual taxable payrolls are between $1 million and $4 million will receive a one-off grant of $17,500 to assist them to manage the impact of COVID-19.
No applications are required. Grants will automatically be paid from July, but there may be delays for taxpayers whose tax status changed during the 2018-19 assessment period or who commenced as new employers in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
It is expected 6,200 WA businesses will benefit from the grant.
2) Fast-track payroll tax relief for small businesses
Payroll tax will be waived for a four-month period between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for small-to-medium sized businesses with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20.
The payroll tax threshold will be increased to $1 million from 1 July 2020, six months earlier than planned.
11,000 WA businesses will benefit from the cut in payroll tax.
3) Small business electricity relief
Electricity bills for around 95,000 small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum. The credit is available for current customers (as of March 31, 2020) and will be allocated from May 1, 2020 to reduce current and future electricity bills. The measure will provide some $236.8 million in relief to businesses including beauticians and small retail stores that have been heavily impacted by recent trading restrictions to contain COVID-19
4) Rent Relief
The WA Government will be legislating National Cabinet’s mandatory Code of Conduct to help small and medium-sized enterprises in financial distress survive the current restrictions.: $100 million in land tax relief grants are available for commercial landlords who reduce rent for small business tenants impacted by COVID-19. To be eligible, commercial landlords must provide rent relief that equates to a minimum of three months' rent and freeze outgoings to small businesses that have suffered at least a 30 percent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19. Grants equivalent to 25 per cent of the landlord's land tax bill for 2019 20 for the property in which an eligible tenant is provided relief will be paid to landlords.
The Commercial Tenancies (COVID-19 Response) Bill 2020 will introduce:
- a six-month moratorium on evictions due to non-payment of rent;
- a freeze on rent increases;
- restrictions on penalties for tenants who do not trade or reduced their trading hours;
- prohibitions on charging interest on rent arrears;
- the introduction of a dispute resolution process; and
- an ability for government to prescribe a Code of Conduct.
5) Other Support
A wide range of licence fees will be waived for small and medium‑sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months. Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid.
Impacted businesses can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax.
No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments. In addition, no interest will be charged on deferred bill payments. For electricity, this will apply to Synergy and Horizon Power customers who consume 50MWh or less.
For more information on support for WA households, pensioners and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19, see the WA state government’s announcement.