- The Australian government provides a variety of financial relief for business owners and individuals affected by debt, income loss, natural disasters, and other circumstances.
- Financial relief options for small business owners and individuals include grants, low or no-interest loans, tax relief and subsidies.
- Accessing these financial relief and business funding options can boost the local economy and help your business regain financial stability.
Individuals and small businesses can access various forms of financial relief through the Australian government, including grants, funding, tax relief and loans. This financial relief is typically available to businesses or individuals affected by natural disasters or economic struggles and helps them to relieve debt due to income loss or damages.
Take a look at the list of government financial relief resources below.
Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements program provides wage subsidies to employers who engage a new Australia apprentice between March 31 and June 30, 2022. Businesses may be eligible for a 50 percent subsidy of apprentice gross wages paid up to $7,000 per quarter.1
Businesses of any size, industry or location can apply for this subsidy. Apprentices or trainees must be undertaking a Certificate II or higher qualification with a training contract formally approved by the state training authority. The subsidy can’t be combined with any other form of Australian Government wage subsidy.
New Business Assistance with NEIS
The New Business Assistance with NEIS can help individuals turn ideas into small businesses. In addition to training and business plan development assistance, this program provides financial benefits such as a NEIS allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS rental assistance for up to 26 weeks.2
The proposed NEIS business idea must have an independent structure, be lawful and capable of withstanding public scrutiny, commercially viable and operate solely within Australia. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, legally allowed to work in Australia, be available to perform required labour for the proposed business, not previously received NEIS assistance in the past year and not be an undischarged bankrupt.
Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate
The Small Business Fees and Charges Rebate encourages economic growth and helps small businesses and nonprofit organisations from financial struggles. It provides a rebate of $3,000 to offset the costs of eligible NSW and local government fees and charges paid from March 1, 2021. This includes liquor licences, food authority licences, event fees, council rates, and other charges.
The rebate can’t be used toward fines or penalties. Eligible businesses must have total Australian wages below $1.2 million and have an Australia Business Number register in NSW or premises operating in NSW.3
Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive WA
The Apprenticeship and Traineeship Re-engagement Incentive helps businesses employ apprentices and trainees to maintain a skilled workforce across various trades and occupations. Businesses receive a one-time payment of $6,000 for an apprentice and $3,000 for a trainee whose training contract was terminated by a previous employer on or after March 1, 2020.
Eligible employers must be based in WA and have an active training contract for the apprentice or trainee. Employees must reside in WA, begin work between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022, and complete the training contract with the new employer.4
Incentive Payments for WA Landlords
The Landlord Rent Relief Scheme provides a single incentive payment to landlords providing rent relief to small business tenants. Recipients get a one-time payment of $1,500.5
This incentive is for landlords who match the Tenant Rent Relief Scheme with payments of $3,000 to their small business tenants who had a 30 percent revenue loss for four consecutive weeks between January 1 and April 30, 2022.6
To qualify for this incentive, landlords must provide evidence that they have matched the $3,000 Tenant Rent Relief Scheme grant payment to their tenant. They must not be related to the tenant.
Clean Tech Co-Funding Scheme ACT
The Clean Tech Co-Funding Scheme ACT program provides individuals and businesses with funding up to $30,000 to undertake clean technology research and development. The program provides funding for 10 to 20 percent of the total project funding, so proposals must secure other cash or contributions to help fund the project. High value projects may receive a higher proportion.7
Applicants must have an Australian business number. They must also meet the Renewable Energy Innovation Fund objectives of securing direct commercial benefits for ACT companies and supporting the development of the ACT as an export-oriented hub for renewable energy innovation.
Major Events Funding WA
Event managers and organisers running major events promoting tourism in WA may be eligible for the Major Events Funding WA program. Funding varies on a case-by-case basis and is assessed with consideration to the event’s economic impact, media impact, frequency, and private sector investment. Events that have higher frequency and funding by the private sector are more favourably assessed.
Any business or organisation hosting an event in WA can apply, but applications must be submitted 12 months before the event date.8
Disaster Assistance Loans – Small Business QLD
The Disaster Assistance Loans – Small Business QLD program provides Queensland small businesses with low-interest loans impacted by eligible disasters. Recipients can get low-interest loans up to $250,000 on a maximum 10-year term to help re-establish normal operations, such as repairing buildings, replacing lost stock, paying rent, and repaying damaged equipment.
To be eligible, applicants must be a Queensland small business owner substantially impacted by an eligible disaster, have adequate security for the loan and demonstrate ongoing business viability. Applicants must continue to operate within the same local government area and have taken reasonable precautions to avoid loss or damage, such as insurance.9
Drought Assistance Fund NSW
New South Wales farmers affected by drought may be eligible for the Drought Assistance Fund NSW program. Eligible applicants can receive loans up to $100,000 to be used toward desilting dams, improving water and fodder infrastructure, transporting livestock and supplies, and collecting genetic material of livestock.
The first two years of the loan are repayment-exempt, and principal-only payments are required for the next five years. The loan must be repaid within seven years.
Applicants must demonstrate eligibility criteria including ownership of a farm business in NSW, that the business trades agricultural products and negative impact from drought. Farmers need to earn more than 50 percent of their gross income from the farm and can’t have off-farm assets exceeding $5 million.10
The Disaster Assistance program provides various types of assistance and support to businesses and individuals affected by natural disasters. This program is provided through the Commonwealth-Territory Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.11
The Disaster Assistance program provides a one-time disaster recovery payment for people and businesses who have had their income affected by a disaster. Eligible adults can receive up to $1,000.12
To receive funding, applicants must make a claim within the claim period and be located within an eligible assistance area.
Disaster Assistance (Essential Working Capital) Loans – Small Business QLD
The Disaster Assistance (Essential Working Capital) Loans – Small Business QLD program provides low-interest loans to Queensland small businesses affected by an eligible disaster. To help small businesses recover from income loss due to disasters, low-interest loans help with normal operations such as paying salaries, rent and creditors. These loans are not intended to compensate for loss of income or provide assistance to disaster-related damages.
Small businesses can access loans up to $100,000 with 10-year terms. Applicants must be a small business owner in Queensland operating before the disaster occurred and have suffered significant income loss as a result. They must also be able to demonstrate adequate security for the loan and ongoing viability of the business.13
Employment Assistance Fund
Workers with disabilities or mental health conditions can access the Employment Assistance Fund to get the modifications, equipment or services needed for work. Funding is available to individuals looking for a job or already employed, as well as self-employed individuals with disabilities.
Funding can be used toward work-related assistance such as modifications to the work environment, special equipment, work vehicle modifications, communication devices, and specialist services. It can also be used to fund disability awareness and mental health first aid training.
Eligible applicants must be a citizen or permanent resident, have employment expected to last at least 13 weeks and have an ongoing disability lasting two years that impairs work capabilities. Individuals must work at least eight hours per week or 20 hours if self-employed.14