Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Businesses and employers


Government assistance is available to help your business withstand the impact of the Coronavirus and encourage an economic recovery into the future.

The temporary assistance measures include:

  • a wage subsidy to support businesses and not-for-profits
  • help to manage cash flow
  • a wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees
  • a safety net for companies facing financial distress
  • a time-limited asset investment incentive
  • and credit and loans

JobKeeper Payment

The Government’s JobKeeper Payment will help businesses keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact of the Coronavirus.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses and not-for-profits will be paid a fortnightly payment for part or all of their salary or wages for eligible employees. 

On 21 July the Government announced an extension of the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021, targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus.

Further changes were announced on 7 August 2020 to adjust the reference date for employee eligibility and make it easier for organisations to qualify for the JobKeeper Payment extension.

Ensuring cash flow to pay bills and wages

Temporary cash flow payments up to $100,000 are available to keep eligible small to medium-sized businesses operating, paying your bills and retain staff.

Apprentices and trainees

The government is supporting the continued development of Australia’s skilled workforce and helping eligible businesses retain apprentices and trainees by offering a 50 per cent wage subsidy.


Financial distress

During this difficult time otherwise profitable and viable businesses face temporary financial distress.

It is important that these businesses have a safety net to make sure that when the crisis has passed they can resume normal operations.

A safety net will apply to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push your business to being wound up or forced into insolvency or bankruptcy during this time.


Investing in your business

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million.

Whether you are purchasing new equipment for your warehouse or a second hand tractor, your business may benefit from the increased and expanded instant asset write-off until 31 December 2020.

Accelerated depreciation deductions will also be available for eligible businesses via a 15-month investment incentive initiative.


Credit and loans

Under the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme, the Government is providing a guarantee of 50 per cent to participating lenders to support new loans to SMEs. This will allow businesses to access funding, by enhancing lenders’ ability to provide credit.

Phase 1 of the Scheme provided SMEs with access to unsecured working capital loans to help them get through the impact of the Coronavirus. Phase 1 commenced on 23 March 2020 and closed for new loans on 30 September 2020.

The Government has extended the Scheme to help businesses recover and provide continued support for those businesses facing the ongoing impacts of the Coronavirus. As part of this extension, the Government has made targeted amendments to the Scheme’s parameters to meet the evolving needs of businesses. Phase 2 of the Scheme will continue to support lenders’ ability to provide credit and ensure that SMEs benefit from lower interest rates.

Phase 2 of the Scheme commenced on 1 October 2020 and will be available for loans made until 30 June 2021.

Supporting regions and sectors

The Government has set aside $1 billion to support communities, regions and industries most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. These funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and to help with the recovery. In addition, the Government is assisting our airline industry through a package of up to $715 million.