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Settlement guide: Building safety net for small businesses during COVID-19 pandemic

Building Safety net for small business Source: Getty Images

As the devastating impact of COVID-19 is felt across the Australian economy, the banking sector, federal, state, and territory governments are taking urgent measures to keep small businesses afloat. Here's how you can build a safety net and weather the storm.

You can read or listen to this news feature in English here.

Peter Strong the Chief Executive of Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) says if small business owners are dealing with a big landlord and experiencing some troubles, they can talk to the state Small Business Commissioner in VictoriaSouth AustraliaWestern Australia, or New South Wales. There is also a Small Business Champion in Queensland and the office of the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Around 690,000 businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million can receive a tax-free payment between $20,000 to $100,000 to keep their workers.  The instant asset write-off threshold has also been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 for businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million until the end of June according to the Australian government.

Besides the Australian government and the Reserve Bank of Australia also chipped millions to keep business cash flow alive and they can get a 6 months tax-free and an interest-free loan from the banks to keep their businesses staying afloat.

Jobkeeper payment is another package that business can apply on behalf of their workers from the Australian government to pay and to keep their employees continue working as long as possible.

If you’re under stress and need to talk to someone about your emotional well-being, ring Lifeline on 13 11 14  or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4646 for 24-hour support. 

You can also ring the Australian Tax Office’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 up to 10 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time during the week or from 10 am to 4 pm on the weekends.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman information line is open from 8 am to 8 pm Monday to Friday at 1300 650 460

For language help, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 13 14 50

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others and gatherings are limited to two people unless you are with your family or household.

If you believe you may have contracted the virus, call your doctor (don’t visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you are struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information are available in 63 languages at SBS or access news and information about coronavirus in Hmong at SBSHmong or Department of Home Affairs.

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