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.

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 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 wage subsidy scheme, businesses and not-for-profits will be paid a fortnightly payment for part or all of their salary or wages for eligible employees. 

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

If you invest in an asset after 7.30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020

Your business may benefit from Temporary Full Expensing if the eligible asset is acquired and first used or installed from announcement on Budget night (7.30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020) until 30 June 2022.

This builds on the existing instant asset write-off (IAWO) and backing business investment (BBI) incentives by allowing eligible businesses with an aggregated annual turnover up to $5 billion to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets of any value in the year they are first used or installed.

Full Expensing will generally apply to new assets, and will also allow small and medium-sized businesses (with aggregated annual turnover below $50 million) to deduct the full cost of new and second‑hand assets. The cost of improvements made during this period to existing eligible depreciable assets can also be fully deducted.

Other assets purchased that don’t qualify for Full Expensing may still qualify for the IAWO or the BBI incentive.

If you invest in an asset before 7.30pm AEDT on 6 October 2020

Your business may benefit under the $150,000 enhanced instant asset write-off and backing business investment incentives announced by the Government in March 2020.


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 cheaper funding, by enhancing lenders’ ability to provide lower interest rates.

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.