Q: What grants are available under the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 package?

The Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 provides support for employing and non-employing businesses as follows:

  1. Employing Businesses, that meet the eligibility criteria, have access to a $6,000 grant; and
  2. Non-employing Businesses, that meet the eligibility criteria, have access to a $2,000 grant.

In addition, businesses eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 (both employing and non-employing) operating from a commercial premise located in the Adelaide CBD will be eligible for a further grant of $2,000.

Q: What businesses are eligible for the further $2,000 grant for businesses operating in the CBD?

Businesses eligible for the COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 (both employing and non-employing) operating from a commercial premise located in the Adelaide CBD will be eligible for a further grant of $2,000.

The Adelaide CBD is defined as a commercial premise located in the 5000 postcode.

Residential premises and vacant land are not considered commercial premises for the purpose of this grant.

The further grant is not available for mobile operators or businesses that may provide services to or within the Adelaide CBD, but do not have a commercial premise located within the Adelaide CBD.

Q: I operate a mobile business. Can I apply for this grant?

Yes, mobile businesses are eligible to apply for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 of $6,000 for employing businesses and $2,000 for non-employing businesses, subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria.

A mobile business does not meet the criteria of operating from a commercial premise in the Adelaide CBD, so will not be eligible for the further $2,000 grant for businesses operating in the Adelaide CBD.

Q: What industry sectors are eligible for COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

There is no ANZSIC code eligibility requirements for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021.

Q: Are operators of taxis, Ubers and other commercial passenger vehicle ride services eligible for a grant?

Yes, subject to meeting all the eligibly criteria for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021.

Q: Is there a minimum turnover test to apply for the grant?

No. The Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 does not have a minimum turnover requirement, but a business must be registered for GST as at 12:01am Monday,
27 December 2021 to be eligible as well as meet all other criteria.

Q: Is a contractor considered an employee for the purpose of assessing eligibility for the $6,000 Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 (employing business)?

To be considered an employee, staff must be under the control of the business, receive regular PAYG salary or wages from the business, and have Pay As You Go Withholding amounts as well as superannuation paid by the employing business.

Q: Are sole-traders eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

Sole traders that do not employ staff may apply for the $2,000 (non-employing business) grant.

Sole traders that employ staff may apply for the $6,000 (employing business) grant.  A business or not-for-profit must have employed staff as at 12:01am Monday, 27 December 2021 to be eligible for this grant.  To be considered an employee, staff must be under the control of the business, receive regular PAYG salary or wages, and have Pay As You Go Withholding amounts and superannuation paid by the employer.  An owner is not considered to be an employee for the purpose of the $6,000 grant.

Q: Are partners in a partnership eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

The $2,000 (non-employing business) grant is open to partnerships that do not employ staff.

To be eligible for the $6,000 (employing business) grant, a business or not-for-profit must have employed staff as at 12:01am Monday, 27 December 2021.  Partners are not considered to be employees for the purpose of the $6,000 grant.

Q: Are Trusts eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

A trust structure does not prevent an applicant from applying or being eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021. The trust will still need to meet all the criteria of the grant programs.

A beneficiary of a trust is not deemed an employee, just because they are a beneficiary. Being deemed an employee requires a genuine employer/employee relationship with Pay As You Go Withholding amounts and superannuation paid by the employer.

Q: Are directors or shareholders of a company deemed to be an employee for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

A company can employ a director or shareholder in a role other than a director or shareholder. The employee would receive regular PAYG salary or wages, and Pay As You Go Withholding amounts and superannuation would be paid by the employer. Where the company employs workers, including a director or shareholder, they may be eligible for the $6,000 (employing business) grant.

Q: I operate multiple separate and distinct businesses with no employees. Am I eligible for a grant for each business?

No. Multiple non-employing businesses meeting the eligibility criteria that are controlled by one individual, company, partnership, or trustee, are able to apply for one grant only for all non-employing businesses controlled by the individual, company, partnership, or trustee.

Q: How do I calculate turnover?

Turnover will be defined according to the current calculation for GST purposes and is reported on Business Activity Statements. It includes all taxable supplies and all GST free supplies but not input taxed supplies.

Under the GST law, only Australian based sales are included and therefore, only Australian based turnover is relevant.

Q: What evidence do I need to provide to prove my business has had a 50 per cent decline in turnover?

Businesses will be required to declare a reduction in turnover due to restricted trading conditions. They will not be required to provide any supporting information at the time of application but will be required to retain supporting information for 2 years that could be made available if required such as:

  • Turnover comparison data for the assessment periods;
  • Emails or texts to or from clients or suppliers detailing cancelled orders or appointments;
  • Receipts for refunds provided;
  • Invoices or delivery dockets.

What are the key reference periods for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

The Impacted and Benchmark Periods are defined as:

  • Impacted Period: 27 December 2021 to 9 January 2022
  • Benchmark Period:
    • For businesses that commenced operations before 1 December 2020 and:
      • Prior to 2019-20: the same two-week period (i.e. 27 December to 9 January) in 2019-20.
      • In 2019-20 or 2020-21 (before 1 December 2020): the same two-week period (i.e. 27 December to 9 January) in 2019-20 or 2020-21.
    • For businesses that commenced operations on or after 1 December 2020:
      • average fortnightly turnover between when the business commenced and 30 November 2021.

How do I calculate whether my business satisfies the 50 per cent reduction in turnover test?

The reduction in turnover for the purpose of determining eligibility is calculated as follows:

Reduction in turnover % = [1-(GST turnover in two-week impacted period/GST turnover in two-week benchmark period)] x 100  

If the reduction in turnover (as calculated using this formula) is less than 50 per cent, then the business is not eligible for this grant.

Q: I run a not-for-profit organisation. Can I apply for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

Not-for-profit organisations may apply for a grant as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Q: I am a not-for-profit with turnover above $75,000 but am not registered for GST is my NFP eligible for the grant?

The BAS registration threshold for not-for-profit organisations is $150,000 so it is possible to have annual turnover greater than $75,000 but not be registered.  Not-for-profit organisations that are not registered for GST are asked to upload evidence with their application that annual turnover is greater than $75,000. In this instance, NFPs should answer “yes” to the statement “The business was registered for GST at 27 December 2021 or is a not-for–profit not registered for GST with an annual turnover in excess of $75,000 per annum”.

Q: I recently registered my business for GST. Will this affect my eligibility?

To be eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021, your business must have had an active GST registration as at 12:01am Monday, 27 December 2021. Note the exemption for NFPs above.

Q: What are acceptable versions of BAS?

  1. Evidence must clearly indicate that the business activity statement has been lodged with the ATO (lodged Business Activity Statements are available on the ATO’s Business Portal or through your tax agent).
  2. Activity has occurred in FY2020-21 or FY2019-20 (can be either monthly or quarterly BAS, depending on how your business reports).
  3. If on an ATO letterhead – it should include the phrase “Activity Statement”.
  4. Multiple forms of evidence may make up an acceptable submission, as long as there is:
    1. Evidence it has been lodged with the ATO (could include payment confirmation).
    2. An ABN (first 11 digits of BPAY reference may include ABN if not stated elsewhere).
    3. Activity has occurred in the current financial year

Q: If I am a successful applicant, are there restrictions on what I can spend the funds on?

No. The grants are provided to support eligible businesses that have been adversely impacted by COVID-19.

This may include expenditure on:

  • Utilities, salaries and rent.
  • Seeking financial, legal or other advice to support business continuity planning.
  • Developing the business through marketing and communications activities.
  • Other supporting activities related to the operation of the business.

Q: Are JobKeeper payments included to calculate the payroll threshold ($10 million total Australian taxable payroll)?

JobKeeper payments are excluded from the calculation of total Australian payroll.

Q: I received previous COVID-19 business support grants from the Government of South Australia. Can I still apply for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

Yes. Businesses are eligible to receive the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 even if they have received support under any of the following State Government COVID-19 support packages, including:

  • COVID-19 Business Support Grant;
  • COVID-19 Additional Business Support Grant;
  • COVID-19 Tourism and Hospitality Grant;
  • COVID-19 Business Hardship Grant (September 2021 package);
  • Major Events Support Grant (September 2021 package); or
  • Regional COVID-19 Support Grant – Lower South-East.

Businesses will NOT be eligible to receive a Business Hardship Grant – December 2021 if they have received support under any of the following State Government COVID-19 support packages launched on and after 27 December 2021, including:

  • Tourism, hospitality and gym grant - automatic payment;
  • Tourism, hospitality and gym grant - turnover based payment; or
  • Major Events Support Grant.

Q: I’m awaiting the outcome of an application for another South Australian Government business support program. Can I apply for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021?

If you are awaiting the outcome of another application to another COVID‑19 South Australian Government business grant program, you may apply for a grant under this program but your existing application to another program will be considered first.

This may delay the outcome of an application to this program.

Q: Am I eligible for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021 if I have received the Commonwealth Government COVID‑19 Disaster Payment?

Businesses may have received Commonwealth Government support. This does not affect your eligibility to apply for the Business Hardship Grant - December 2021.

Q: Can my accountant/lawyer apply on my behalf?

Yes, it is permissible for an agent such as an accountant or lawyer to submit the application on behalf of business provided they have been instructed to do so by the following authorised people:

  • In the case of a business that is a sole trader that employs, the sole trader
  • In the case of a business that is a partnership that employs, a partner
  • In the case of a business that is a body corporate that employs, a director, secretary, public officer or equivalent.

Q: Is the Business Support Grant taxable?

An application is being lodged with the ATO for the grants to be treated as Non Income Non Exempt in accordance with the treatment afforded similar COVID-19 Business Assistance Programs.

Until a ruling has been received determining otherwise, the grants will be treated as assessable income.