Now that JobKeeper has ended many accountants are calling the end of State Government COVID grants. And that is not the case at all. In particular the Small Business Hardship Grant is particularly attractive for businesses.
How much can I get?
The amount of the grant is dependent on the number of employees you have on board. The grant is calculated as:
Number of External Full Time Employees
Amount of grant
1 to 5
6 to 19
Do I qualify?
To enjoy the WA Small Business Hardship Grant, you must:
1. Have an Australian Business Number; and
2. Have a turnover in excess of $50,000; and
3. Be based mainly in WA; and
4. Have an Australian payroll under $4m; and
5. Demonstrate a 50% reduction in revenue between 1 Jan 22 and 30 April 22.
The above criteria will include subcontractors and sole-traders.
How to test?
If you have an online cloud accounting software program like Xero you can run reports to compare the periods. At Westcourt we have helped clients run these programs and export them to excel and then perform the decline in turnover test.
It is important to note that the 14 day period is any period in the 14 day’s provided that it is a “reasonable comparison period”. On a practical level we do not think that Easter (which was the first half of April in 2021) will be a “reasonable comparison period” (which is the second half of Easter in 2022).
The tests have other criteria to avoid fraud including production of a reasonable profit and loss together with providing current trading bank statements. And for clients who have just started a business, or whose comparison period is not fair, a separate argument can be made for using an alternate comparison period.
You will also need to demonstrate the number of FTE staff you have on your books. And for clients who have Single Touch Payroll, or for those who engage Westcourt to run their payroll, this should be a relatively simple function.
The test applies to each ABN. So if you have multiple businesses with multiple ABN’s each ABN can apply.
What is the catch?
You must have a MyGovID to do the paperwork and if you make a mistake on the application, you might encounter delays. However, at Westcourt as your registered tax agent we can also apply on behalf of Western Australian businesses seeking grant assistance.
Further, you must have accounting records that are able to produce reports that can cater for fortnightly reporting. For some businesses that are still using clunky software that does not give fortnightly reporting we have been able to break out the data to a csv format and then recreate financial reports to show a fortnightly reporting that will give the grant the paperwork evidence needed.
Are there other grants?
Yes – from rent relief, payroll tax waiver and a range of other benefits. We continuously monitor government packages and programs to review what can assist our clients.
Where do I get help?
Westcourt is well versed in obtaining government grants and completing grant paperwork together with reviewing financial data to investigate grant options for comparable reporting periods. Given our focus on family owned businesses we are a natural choice for families in business that are seeking to get ahead through grant applications.