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Further support for ACT businesses impacted by COVID-19

Media Releases

Date : 30 September 2021

Author: The Hon Josh Frydenberg MP

 THE HON JOSH FRYDENBERG MP

Treasurer

SENATOR THE HON ZED SESELJA

Senator for the Australian Capital Territory

THE HON ANDREW BARR

Chief Minister

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

30 September 2021

FURTHER SUPPORT FOR ACT BUSINESSES IMPACTED BY COVID-19

The Commonwealth and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Governments have worked together to continue supporting ACT businesses impacted by COVID-19.

A jointly-funded package of grants from the Commonwealth and ACT Governments will support thousands of small and medium-sized businesses through until mid-October at which point the ACT is expected to reach 80 per cent vaccination.

Additional ACT COVID-19 Business Support Grants

There will be an additional ACT COVID-19 Business Grant Extension payment of $10,000 for all employing businesses and $3,750 for non-employing businesses, it will be paid to all businesses who were eligible for the COVID-19 Business Support Grant in industries still significantly impacted by health restrictions.

In addition to the above, another top-up payment will also be made for larger businesses at the following rates:

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

COVID-19 Tourism, Accommodation Provider, Arts, Events, Hospitality & Fitness Grants

The COVID-19 Tourism, Accommodation Provider, Arts, Events, Hospitality & Fitness Grants program will also be expanded. This grant program will now offer:

ACT businesses in the fitness/sport industry, such as gyms, personal trainers and dance teachers/instructors, will now also be eligible to apply to the grants program, recognising the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on these businesses.

The eligibility criteria will continue to match the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 Business Support Grant. Further information on this grant will be made available in October.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said this package comes on top of the Morrison Government’s more than $2 billion in direct economic support to ACT households and businesses since the start of the pandemic.

“The Morrison Government understands the significant impact lockdowns and border closures have had on small and medium businesses across the ACT which is why safely opening up in line with the plan agreed at National Cabinet is so important.

“The jointly funded business support package tapers once the state reaches 70 per cent full vaccination rate, to ensure support is focused on those industries that remain closed or severely restricted.

“The Commonwealth will cease funding state business support programs at 80 per cent full vaccination in line with the National Plan for Reopening.

“At this point it will be a matter for each state to decide whether any additional targeted business support is needed in their jurisdictions as a result of any health restrictions they elect to impose.

“We can’t eliminate the virus, we need to learn to live with it in a COVID-safe way. Our economy has bounced back strongly before once restrictions are eased and is well positioned to do so again when lockdowns lift.”

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the extension of the COVID-19 Business Support Grants will provide further transitional support for business as the economy is gradually reopened in October and November.

“The COVID-19 Business Support Grant program has been an important lifeline to businesses impacted by significantly reduced turnover. This is the largest and most complex grants program that any ACT Government has ever administered.” the Chief Minister said.

“Our detailed pathway forward has focused on protecting public health, getting people back to work and supporting the mental health and wellbeing of the ACT community.”

“The ACT Government has run the most efficient mass vaccination program in the nation and we are on track to achieve world leading vaccination levels. For every thousand people that we vaccinate, we are preventing around a hundred hospitalisations. Continuing our vaccination program well beyond 80 percent of the 16+ population makes Canberra safer and supports an even stronger economic recovery in the Territory.”

“The ACT Government has worked constructively with the Treasurer Frydenberg and I thank him for his willingness to work with us on this shared goal.”

Senator for the ACT, Zed Seselja, said today’s two week extension of business support measures, as well as additional assistance for the fitness industry, would help protect Canberra jobs and our economy at this challenging time.

“Whether it be through business grants or individual support payments, the Morrison Government has been supporting the needs of Canberra businesses and workers right throughout this difficult lockdown period.

“As we approach the end of lockdowns and as vaccination rates get higher, it is now critical that Canberra businesses be allowed to get back to work in line with the National Plan for re-opening.”

Ends

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