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COVID-19 Business Continuity – 5th May

I’m here with the COVID-19 business continuity update for Tuesday 5th May.

In today’s update:
1. A COVID-19 caution for businesses
2. News from the Victorian Government – not great news but not bad news
3. More news from the Victorian Government – actual good news for smaller businesses!


1. A COVID-19 caution for business owners

The recent coronavirus outbreak at the meatworks plant in Melbourne serves as a strong warning to all of us that we need to maintain hygiene practices and social distancing. Not only for our health but for the health of our businesses.

Think about what has happened to Cedar Meats at a time when their product is in high demand:

  • the business is out of operation while it undergoes cleaning,
  • many of his team are off sick with the virus, others are self-isolating for 14 days and cannot attend work,
  • his customers are having to find another supplier to purchase from.

The break in the relationships with clients and the damage to the business reputation may take a very long time for the business to recover from, if it even does.

I encourage you to remind your team of the importance of hygiene and distancing, for the current and future livelihood of your business.

Safe Work Australia has boosted their website with advice on keeping safe during COVID-19 for a wide range of industry sectors. See here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces


2. News from the Victorian Government – not great news but not bad news

You may have heard today’s announcement that the Victorian government is offering more payroll tax support for businesses. Unfortunately, it seems there’s more hype than real value.

Here’s a summary:

  • It’s for businesses in JobKeeper who are paying payroll tax
  • Wage top up payments to qualify for JobKeeper are exempt from payroll tax. For example, if your employee’s normal wage is $1300 and you have to top them up $200 to meet the JobKeeper eligibility, you won’t have to pay payroll tax on the $200.
  • If you have an employee who is on JobKeeper and who is completely stood down (i.e. they are not performing any work), then the $1500 JobKeeper payment you pay them is exempt from payroll tax.
  • Additional payments are not included in rateable remuneration for calculating WorkCover Premiums.

We’ve assessed this is going to have a minimal impact on the majority of Tenfold clients. If you’d like to read more, see here: https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/saving-jobs-and-reducing-the-burden-on-businesses-and-families/


3. More news from the Victorian Government – actual good news for smaller businesses!

Grants of $10,000 are available to Victorian small businesses to assist with operating costs during COVID-19 crisis. Yes, another grant, and one that we believe a significant number of Tenfold clients will be eligible for.

To be eligible for this Victorian government grant, your business must:

  • Be in the JobKeeper scheme; and
  • Have a wages bill less than the payroll tax threshold of $650,000; and
  • Have annual turnover of more than $75,000

The grants had previously only been available to businesses in industries directly affected by the shutdown of non-essential services. They are now open to businesses in any sector. (However, the grants are not available for sole traders.)

We’ve had a look at the application process and it’s very straight forward. You need to provide some basic information about your business and attach your most recent BAS statement. If your application is approved, the money is paid directly into your bank account. I’d estimate that the application process would take about 30 minutes; for $10,000 I’d certainly encourage you to do it.

You can apply for the Business Support Fund grant until 1st June. To apply or find out more, visit: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-fund


On another note, both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer made public statements today. The most important message coming from both is that we need as many people as possible to download the COVIDSafe app. I have, and I hope you and your team will too.


Ashley Thomson B.Eng(Hons), Grad. Dip. Mgmt, MEI
Managing Director
Tenfold Business Coaching

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