COVID-19 Business Update – 23 December 2020

Thank you for your amazing support during this incredibly busy and challenging year. We hope you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and healthy festive season. We look forward to working with you next year!

As usual, here are the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

November Retail Sales Surge

Preliminary data showed Australian retail sales jumped 7% in November from the month before, led by pre-Christmas shopping in a sign fourth-quarter economic growth will rebound strongly.

Annual turnover climbed 13.2%, led by the country’s second-most populous state of Victoria following the easing of coronavirus restrictions, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported.

COVID-19 Cluster in Sydney’s Northeast

NSW reported 8 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, seven of which are connected to the Northern Beaches cluster. As a result, modest restrictions have been put in place over Christmas given contact tracing and social distancing seems to be working.

Lockdowns Continue in Sydney’s Northern Beaches

The NSW Premier’s highly-anticipated press conference today revealed that lockdowns will continue in Sydney’s Northern Beaches over Christmas. The Northern Beaches have been split into two areas with varying restrictions. You can find an overview of the restrictions here.

For Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Wollongong and Nepean Blue Mountains the number of visitors (i.e. people outside the household) allowed in a place of residence will be limited to 10 people. However, from 24th-26th December, you’ll now be able to have an unlimited number of children under the age of 12, in addition to those 10 visitors. This will change again on the 27th December.

State-by-State Guide to COVID-19 Restrictions Ahead of Holidays

As Australia plans to reopen in time for Christmas and the New Year, authorities are reminding people to follow the COVID-19 restrictions that remain in place. Over the months, states and territories have continuously changed travel and social restrictions to curb the spread of the virus. You may check this guide for a state-by-state breakdown of which restrictions remain in place in your particular state.

Can The JobMaker Hiring Credit Help Your Business?

The JobMaker Hiring Credit could mean that your business will receive payments for new positions you create.

Eligible employers will receive payments of up to:

  • $200 a week – for each eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years old
  • $100 a week – for each eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years old.

To be eligible, your business must meet criteria including:

  • holding an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • being registered for pay as you go (PAYG) withholding
  • reporting through Single Touch Payroll
  • being up to date with income tax and GST lodgement obligations
  • not falling into any of the exclusion categories.

You can register for the JobMaker Hiring Credit using ATO online services or the Business portal or contact us so we can help you with your application.

JobKeeper Payment Extension Starts Soon

The second JobKeeper Payment extension starts from Monday 4 January 2021.

It means:

  • if you are eligible for JobKeeper extension 2 you will need to complete a new decline in turnover test
  • the payment rates for your eligible employees will change
  • if you are new to JobKeeper you can enrol in the program to participate in the remaining fortnights.

For JobKeeper fortnight 20 (Monday 21 December 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021):

  • You will have until the end of Monday 4 January 2021 to pay your employees (meet the wage condition).
  • Business monthly declarations for JobKeeper fortnights 18, 19 and 20 are now due 28 January 2021.

For JobKeeper fortnights 21 and 22 (starting Monday 4 January 2021 and Monday 18 January 2021):

  • You will have until Sunday 31 January 2021 to meet the wage condition for your eligible employees.

Financial Help and Free Mentorship For Online Businesses

Micro and small business operators can get financial assistance and free mentoring through a government-funded programme called New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS).

New entrepreneurs can access free mentoring for the first 12 months of participation in the program and receive financial assistance for up to the first 39 weeks of business operation.

Existing micro-businesses impacted by COVID-19 can access NEIS if they need help to keep their businesses running.

Also, people with part-time contracts, who are working up to 25 hours per week, can access NEIS if they are looking to start their own business.

You can learn more about this government assistance here. Alternatively, you can contact us so we can also help you evaluate other funding and business support options you may be eligible for.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, don’t hesitate to drop us a message.

5 Ideas for Your Business This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us. For many businesses, it is the busiest and most profitable time of the year. While it is undoubtedly exciting, it can be a little nerve-wracking at the same time.

Here are 5 ideas for you to prepare and grow your small business during this time of year:

  • Create a Holiday-Focused Marketing Campaign– Everyone loves the holidays. So let your target market know that you have what they need through holiday-focused marketing efforts this gift-giving season.
  • Stock Up on Extra Inventory– It might be a good idea to have extra inventory in case your holiday sales are better than expected.
  • Decorate Your Windows and Stores– If you are operating during the holidays, take time to decorate your storefront to match the season. It will add a festive vibe and draw people’s attention. Meanwhile, if you are running an online business, you can also temporarily change the look and feel of your website or add bits and pieces to project a holiday theme.
  • Prepare Your Staff– Expect that it will be busier than usual during the holidays. So set a meeting or train them so they will be prepared in case it gets busy.
  • Invest in New Software or Tools– A new bookkeeping, inventory tracking, employee management, or other systems can help your business run more smoothly. If you have the budget, this is the best time to upgrade and gift your business new software or tools.

Interested in more business and finance tips? Contact us and let’s schedule a one-on-one chat.

New Year’s Resolutions For a Better Financial Health in 2021

With all the unexpected twists and turns, challenges, and massive disruptions we’ve experienced in 2020 due to COVID-19, we can all agree how important it is to have a sound financial health to weather storms and bounce back quickly from a crisis.

Here are some money-related resolutions you might want to consider for the coming year:

  • Save more– Set up a savings regime, no matter how small.
  • Pay off your credit card debt– Get into the habit of paying off your credit card debt in a timely manner to avoid interest and penalties.
  • Cook more meals at home– It is not only cheaper, but also more fun especially if you do it with your family.
  • Refinance or pay off your mortgage faster– Review your mortgage instead of rolling it over when it matures. You may also want to pay it off faster by switching from monthly to fortnightly payment scheme or making lump-sum payments.
  • Get insurance– Insurances provide protection when you need them and can give you peace of mind.
  • Stick to your budget– Track your spending and identify expenses you can cut back. Once you’ve set your budget, stick to it.
  • Start an emergency fund– The pandemic has taught us it pays to be prepared for anything and this includes having a dedicated fund set aside for such unprecedented events. It is recommended to have at least 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses as your emergency fund.
  • Seek expert advice– When making crucial personal or business financial decisions, getting advice from an expert can make a huge difference.

Let us be your partner throughout your financial journey–get in touch with us for unbiased, independent advice.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business. Otherwise, we’ll resume this digest in January.

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