Weekly Digest – 15 April 2020


We’re back for another week!

Many of us are adjusting to a new normal of staying home as much as we can, while finding a groove with working remotely, if that’s an option. The government is putting together financial resources to support small business, and many other businesses are doing what they can to help business owners keep the lights on and maintain sanity during these strange days. Here are some recent updates and helpful resources we’ve put together.


JobKeeper update

In case you missed it, the government passed legislation for the $130 billion JobKeeper payment last week.

The ATO’s website has a dedicated spot to enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment from 20th April onwards. The website has details of the steps you (or your registered tax professional) can take to enrol for the JobKeeper payment.

Please be aware, you are required to continue paying at least $1500 to each eligible employee per JobKeeper fortnight (the first JobKeeper fortnight is the period from 30 March to 12 April).

You also have to ensure you meet eligibility requirements and notify your eligible employees. Your employees will have a notice to complete and return to you by the end of April (if you want to claim from April).

Note: you cannot pay your employees less than $1500 per fortnight and keep the difference.

There’s an 8-step process you need to complete, which you can find here. Please get in touch with us if you would like to chat through this.

It’s worthwhile checking your bank account details in the MyGov portal for your business and update them if necessary.


Need to have MyGovID to apply for JobKeeper Payment

Businesses need to have set up their MyGovID (replacement for Auskey) to enroll for the JobKeeper Payments. See our previous blog for more information on MyGovID.


Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum payments amounts for 2020 and 2021 years

For many retirees, the significant losses in financial markets as a result of the COVID-19 crisis are having a negative effect on the account balance of their superannuation pension or annuity.

To assist retirees, the Government has reduced the minimum annual payment required for account-based pensions and annuities, allocated pensions and annuities and market-linked pensions and annuities by 50% in the 2019–20 and the 2020–21 financial years.

Superannuation and annuity providers calculate the minimum annual payment required at 1 July each year, based on the account balance of the member or annuitant. The 50% reduction will apply to the calculated minimum annual payment.


NSW Small business COVID-19 support grant

The NSW Government has announced a COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant as part of the NSW Government Small Business Support Fund. This assistance supports the ongoing operations of small businesses highly impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic following the NSW Public Health Order of 31 March 2020.

The grant is for amounts up to $10,000, but the NSW based businesses must have experienced a decline in turnover of at least 75% compared to an equivalent period in 2019. For more information please see the Services NSW website.


Protect yourself

The government warns there has been an increase in cyber activity around COVID-19. Often these criminals are trying to steal personal information and banking details and will sometimes try to get you to install software. This website has some good tips to keep your information safe.


Helpful resources

LinkedIn has made a number of courses aimed at small businesses free til June. These courses cover topics including marketing, managing remote teams, self-care, and financial planning.

Zapier has been all-remote since it started, and in this article, co-founder Wade Foster explains how the company relies on teams, tools, processes to make it all work.

Managing a remote team requires a different mindset and a different understanding of each employee’s situation. This post from Lighthouse has 31 questions and helpful context for better management of remote teams.

This pandemic won’t last forever, but it’s likely that businesses will be different afterwards. This article in Harvard Business Review has ideas for preparing your business for the post-pandemic world.

Futurist and founder of XPRIZE Peter Diamandis discusses three things he’s hopeful about and three things that small businesses should do to prepare for what comes next.


Fee-Free NSW TAFE Courses

NSW TAFE is offering fee-free courses in conjunction with the NSW government. To be fully subsidised, you must live or work in NSW. You can find the eligibility requirements and courses available on their website.


Time for some good news!

An anonymous donor has gifted every household in a small US town with gift cards from local businesses, including a grocery store, restaurant and coffee shop. Buying a gift card to redeem later is a nice way you can support your local cafe, restaurant or other struggling business.


Thank you

That’s it for this week. Thank you for your continued support and patience as we work to wade through government packages, announcements and updates each week. Please get in touch if you have any questions. We are in this together.

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