Q: Can I access the Small Business Grant if I am a non-employing business?

The Small Business Grant is open to businesses that have employed staff during 2019-20 and had employees as at 1 March 2020. If your business has had to let staff go after 1 March 2020 as a result of closure or being highly impacted by shutdown restrictions announced by the Government to-date, subject to meeting the other eligibility criteria you will be eligible to apply for this grant.

Q: Is a contractor considered an employee for the purpose of assessing eligibility for the Small Business Grant?  

Generally, to be considered an employee, staff must be under the control of the business, and have Pay As You Go Withholding amounts and superannuation paid by the employer.

Q: Are sole-traders eligible for the Small Business Grant?

A business or not-for-profit must have employed staff as at 1 March 2020 to be eligible for the grant. Generally, to be considered an employee, staff must be under the control of the business, 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 Small Business Grant.

Q: Are partners in a partnership eligible for the Small Business Grant?

A business must have employed staff as at 1 March 2020 to be eligible for the grant. Partners are not considered to be employees for the purpose of the Small Business Grant.

Q: Are directors or shareholders of a company deemed to be an employee for the Small Business Grant?

A company can employ a director or shareholder in a role other than a director or shareholder. The employee would receive a wage 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 are be eligible for the Small Business Grant.

Q: Why are applications only open to businesses with an annual turnover of more than $75,000?

Businesses with a turnover below this level are likely to be sole traders that do not employ people or not the only source of business/income for the owners. $75,000 is also the threshold for when the Australian Taxation Office requires a business to register for GST.

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 an annual turnover of more than $75,000?

A Business Activity Statement (BAS) is required as evidence that your business has an annual turnover of more than $75,000.  If you are unable to provide a BAS, you must provide business bank statements to evidence that your business activities in the 2018-19 or 2019‑20 financial year meet the eligibility criteria.

Q: I am registered for GST, however my turnover was below $75,000 in 2018-19 and is likely to be below $75,000 in 2019-20.  Can I still apply?  

No, eligibility requirements are for turnover greater than $75,000 in 2018-19 or 2019‑20.

Q: I am a not-for-profit with turnover above $75,000 but am not registered for GST.

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.  The application form will request not-for-profit organisations not registered for GST to attach evidence that annual turnover is greater than $75,000.

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 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: How much can my business apply for under the Small Business Grant?

Businesses and not-for-profit organisations can apply for a one-off grant of $10,000.

Q: I run a not-for-profit organisation, can I apply for a grant under the Small Business Grant?

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

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: What if my total Australian taxable payroll was over $1.5 million in 2018-19 but is now expected to be below $1.5 million in 2019-20 due to impacts from the COVID pandemic?

You can apply for the payment if you expect that your payroll will be below $1.5 million in 2019‑20.

Q:  I have applied for JobKeeper, can I still apply?

Yes. You may upload evidence of your JobKeeper approval if available, such as a screen shot of your eligibility confirmation from the ATO or a bank statement demonstrating receipt of JobKeeper payments.  Note that you may be required to provide evidence of your eligibility at a later date, in accordance with the grant Terms and Conditions

Q: Are JobKeeper payments included to calculate the payroll threshold ($1.5 million total Australian taxable payroll)?

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

Q: What constitutes ‘highly impacted’?

A business or not-for-profit organisation eligible for the Commonwealth JobKeeper payment will be deemed to be highly impacted.

Q: What businesses are subject to closure?

Businesses subject to closure are based on directions issued by the State Coordinator relating to COVID-19.

For further information see: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/business-and-work/business-restrictions-and-closures

Q: My industry wasn’t directed to close, but my business has been highly impacted.  Can I still apply for the Small Business Grant?  

Yes, provided you are eligible for the Commonwealth JobKeeper Program. You may upload supporting evidence to demonstrate eligibility for the Commonwealth JobKeeper program, such as a screen shot of your JobKeeper eligibility or bank statement demonstrating receipt of Jobkeeper payments. Note that you may be required to provide evidence of your eligibility at a later date, in accordance with the grant Terms and Conditions

Q: My turnover had not decreased significantly, but I believe it will in the coming months. Am I eligible?

If you have been approved for JobKeeper based on anticipated falls in turnover then you can apply for the Small Business Grant.  You may upload evidence of your JobKeeper approval if available, such as a screen shot of your eligibility confirmation from the ATO or a bank statement demonstrating receipt of JobKeeper payments.  Note that you may be required to provide evidence of your eligibility at a later date, in accordance with the grant Terms and Conditions

Q: I have already applied for / received a COVID-19 assistance grant from the Government of South Australia to assist my business.  Can I still apply for the Small Business Grant?

Yes, however if a business has received any other Government of South Australia grants to address COVID-19 related business impacts, the value of these payment(s) will be deducted from the $10,000 grant.

Q: Does enrolment into JobKeeper constitute evidence of eligibility for this grant?

You may provide confirmation of your enrolment with the JobKeeper program to support your application for a Small Business Grant. Note that you may be requested to provide further evidence (such as evidence of JobKeeper payments) at a later date, and will be subject to the audit provisions of the grant Terms and Conditions. Alternatively, you may choose to wait and submit your application with evidence of JobKeeper payments received prior to the Small Business Grant closing date of 1 June 2020

Q: Are Trusts eligible for the Small Business Grant?

A trust structure does not prevent an applicant from applying or being eligible for the Small Business Grant. The trust will still need to meet all the criteria of the grant program, which includes employing staff as at 1 March 2020.

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: 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.

Application form related FAQs

Q: I cannot verify my email address

Please enter your email address and select the ‘Verify’ button. A security code will then be sent to that email address, and a second row will appear on the application form page asking for the security code.

To verify the email address, enter the security code into the second row, and then select the ‘Next’ button.  If you instead select the ‘verify’ button, a new code will be sent to your email address and you will then have to enter that code into the second row (and select ‘Next” to proceed).

Please note: if you do not receive a verification code in your inbox check the spam/junk folder.

Q: The online form does not recognise my address:

To complete your address details, follow the following steps:

1 - Click on the drop down field to select Address type (Australian, Overseas, Other)

2 - (where “Australian” is selected in step 1 above) type in your address details and click Search

3 - select your address from the list that appears to validate your address.

4 - If your address is not found, please select Address Type Other to complete.

Q: The form will not accept my ABN

The ABN field is linked to the Australian Business Register for all registered ABNs.  Please ensure that you enter all 11 digits of your ABN without any spaces, starting at the far left of the blank data field, then select the ‘verify’ button to verify the ABN.  This will populate the fields directly below the ABN field with your registered business details.

Q: I cannot find my BSB / I can only see ANZ BSBs

Please enter the first three digits of your BSB, followed by a hyphen, then select the drop-down arrow and scroll through the list until you find your BSB.

Q: I am having issues uploading my BAS

if applicants are experiencing issues uploading their Business Activity Statement it is recommended that they use an alternate internet browser

Q: Can I access the online application once it has been submitted?

That functionality is not yet available, but we are working with the system developers on a solution to edit or supplement information in submitted applications. If this feature becomes available, applicants will be notified via their verified email address.