ACT announces support grant for small and medium businesses

ACT announces support grant for small and medium businesses

The Commonwealth and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have announced a support grant to support small and medium businesses in the territory that have been impacted by the lockdown measures introduced yesterday

For employing businesses, $10,000 will be delivered in financial support. Non-employing businesses will be able to access $4,000 over the three week lockdown period. The businesses' turnover must decline by 30 per cent or more as a result of the COVID 19 health restrictions. 

The package will be split on a 50/50 basis between the Commonwealth and ACT governments, with the territory to administer the program. 

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has welcomed the support.

"We understand that this lockdown comes off the back of a period of slower economic activity as a result of outbreak of the virus in Sydney. ACT businesses have been supporting the Government's efforts to respond to the pandemic in the Territory, but that has come at a cost", Barr said. 

"We want to protect jobs during this period, and it was important that the ACT and the Commonwealth were able to come together quickly and have this package ready for businesses that may be worried about their future as a result of this lockdown."

"Should the lockdown in the ACT be extended beyond this seven day period, further jointly funded support programs will be considered."

The ACT government will also open a COVID-19 Small Business Hardship Scheme, whereby eligible businesses can apply for credits on the cost of eligible fees and charges of up to $10,000 (including GST) per ABN.

The program will provide credits for payroll tax, utilities, rates and certain business licence for the small to medium businesses that can demonstrate a 30 per cent loss in revenue.

Small businesses with a turnover between $30,000 and $10 million per annum can apply.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the business support package builds on the $2.1 billion the government has delivered to households and businesses in the territory. 

"The ACT is facing its most challenging period this year, but it has shown remarkable resilience throughout the pandemic," he says.

"This package will help to keep businesses in business and people in jobs."

"As we have done so throughout this crisis, we will continue to work with the ACT Government to ensure the ACT economy recovers from the impact of COVID-19."

Canberra reports two new cases of COVID-19 

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced two new cases of COVID-19 since yesterday evening, bringing the total number of active cases in the community to six. 

One of the positive cases is a 14 year old boy from Gold Creek School in Gungahlin. All students, staff and construction workers at the school are considered secondary contacts and will need to get tested immediately and quarantine, including the families of those students and staff. 

A significant number of close contacts have been identitfied - with 1,862 contacted by ACT Health. Authorities are urging people who are considered close contacts to come forward to get tested immediately. To see a list of exposure sites, click here

"If you do not have symptoms and you are not identified as a close contact you do not need to be tested today," says Barr. 

"Please stay at home, there'll be an opportunity to be tested in the days ahead, but the priority right now is to test those people who ACT Health have contacted."

The territory has also conducted 2,000 tests since yesterday - a record for the jurisdiction. Of those, 1,330 have returned a negative result so far. 

Updated at 10.03am AEST on Friday 13 August 2021.

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