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Keep up to date with the Office of the Small Business Commissioner News and other information relating to small business.
COVID-19 Easing of Restrictions and your Small Business
With COVID-19 close contact isolation rules and mask wearing easing, somesmalbusinesses are celebrating while some are concerned about safety of their customers and staff.
Many industry bodies lobbied the state government to ease the close contact rules, and the guidelines have now been eased to the following:
This includes restrictions on attending a number of health, care and correctional settings, unless to access medical care or supplies.
If you work in one of these settings, you can attend your workplace under protocols specific to the sector. These protocols are available on the SA Health website: bit.ly/3ONly0o
If you are a close contact, you must:
- wear a mask in public (12 and over) for 7 days after exposure
- undertake 5 rapid antigen tests (RATs) over a 7 day period (with at least 24 hours between tests and one test on day 7)
- report your RAT if you test positive
- get a PCR test as soon as any symptoms develop and quarantine until you receive a result
- notify your employer, school or early childcare setting.
- It is also recommended for 7 days after exposure to:
- avoid non-essential gatherings
- avoid contact with people at risk of severe illness
- work from home where possible
For more information on the close contact guidelines and a full list of health, care and correctional settings, visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVIDcontacts
Businesses can choose to have customers and staff wear masks while on premises, and suggest that businesses can include some of the following words on signs at the door of premises:
‘While it's no longer compulsory to wear a face mask, we ask you to consider the health of yourself and others and continue to wear one while on our premises.
Some of our customers and staff are immune-compromised or have serious health issues.
Wearing a mask helps us reduce the spread or catching it yourself while on our premises. Our staff will continue to wear masks while at work’.
Mask Restictions Easing from Friday 15 April 2022
Mask restrictions will be easing from this Friday, 15 April 2022 with a few exceptions as listed below.
Businesses can still elect to have a policy in place, where customers, in order to come into your premises, must maintain the wearing of a mask.
- passenger transport (including taxis and rideshare)
- indoors at airports
- hospitals and community healthcare
- residential aged care
- disability care facilities
- correctional service facilities
For up-to-date COVID-19 information, please visit SA Health website.
Federal Budget and how your Small Business is Impacted
COVID-19 Response Package
- Fringe benefits tax will not be incurred by businesses where COVID-19 tests are provided to employees to attend a place of work (also, tax deductible for individuals). Start date 1 July 2021.
Varying the GDP uplift factor for tax instalments
- The ‘uplift factor’ for GST instalments for the 2022/23 year has been reduced to 2%. That is, the ATO will calculate regular instalments based on the previous year plus 2 per cent, instead of the 10 per cent per the statutory formula. This will provide cashflow benefits to small businesses. Start date 1 July 2022.
Modernisation of PAYG instalment systems
- Businesses may choose to have their pay as you go (PAYG) instalments calculated based on current financial performance (extracted from business accounting software) – this is intended to support business cash flow by ensuring instalments reflect current performance of the business. Start date 1 January 2024.
Primary Producers – increasing concessional tax treatment for carbon abatement income
- Proceeds from the sale of Australian Carbon Credit Units and biodiversity certificates generated from farm activities are to be treated as primary production income for the purposes of concessional tax treatment (that is, the Farm Management Deposits scheme and tax averaging). Start date 1 July 2022.
Skills and training boost
- Small Businesses (turnover <$50m) can deduct an additional 20 per cent of expenditure incurred on external training courses provided to their employees. Start date 29 March 2022 to 30 June 2024.
Technology investment boost
- Small Businesses (turnover <$50m) can deduct an additional 20 per cent of the cost incurred on business expenses and depreciable assets that support their digital adoption, such as portable payment devices, cyber security systems or subscriptions to cloud based services. Annual expenditure cap of $100,000. Start date 29 March 2022 to 30 June 2023.
Smarter reporting of taxable payments reporting system data
- Businesses will be able to report Taxable Payments Reporting System data (businesses that make payments to contractors may need to report these payments to the ATO) on the same lodgement cycle as their activity statements, thereby lowering compliance costs for taxpayers – Start date 1 January 2024.
Making COVID-19 business grants non-assessable non-exempt
- The existing measure which enables payments from certain state and territory COVID-19 business support programs to be non-assessable non-exempt for income tax purposes, has been extended to 30 June 2022. In SA this applies to the Tourism and Hospitality Support Grant and the Business Hardship Grant.
Support Package for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 Restrictions
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its significant impact, in particular to small businesses, the South Australian Government has introduced the ‘COVID-19 Support Fund’. The fund is designed to support a range of businesses and community organisations during the COVID-19 restrictions, specifically those put in place from 27 December 2021.
A series of new grants will be available under the fund to eligible businesses across the state’s tourism, hospitality, gym/fitness, and major events industries, as well as those in other industries experiencing similar hardship.
South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas announced that initial automatic cash grants of up to $11,000 will be paid to eligible tourism and hospitality businesses as well as gyms.
Further grants will be available on application for businesses experiencing 30 to 50 per cent reduction in turnover in the two-week period commencing 27 December 2021 to 9 January 2022. The support package also includes a deferral of payroll tax payments and waiving of liquor licence fees for six months for eligible hospitality businesses.
Click here for important eligibility, application, and payment information for the Grants available.
South Australian Small Business COVID Ready Plan
For the latest COVID-19 advice you are strongly advised to visit www.covid-19.sa.gov.au
There is also a hotline on 1800 253 787 that will provide you with the latest updates as the State opens up for business.
Check that you're doing the right things to ensure the safety of your staff, customers and community - refer to the trusted resources below:
- Information on business responsibilities
- Advice and rules surrounding face masks (SA Health)
- Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws (Fairwork Australia).
Businesses are reminded to have QR codes displayed near their entrances and to ensure customers are checking in via QR codes, or paper registers, when entering the premises.
All people aged 12 and over can now book a COVID-19 vaccination. Roll up now and get vaccinated.
South Australia's COVID-Ready Plan
More information about South Australia’s COVID-Ready Plan has been released, including the latest test, trace isolate and quarantine requirements from Tuesday, 23 November.
These requirements mean fewer people will be required to quarantine and it will also enable more people to quarantine for shorter periods of time.
The SA Health website outlines how this applies in:
- Testing and quarantine requirements for contacts of a COVID-19 case and
- Frequently Asked Questions – Assessing and Managing the risk.
There is also specific information for businesses that explains what to do to and how to assess and manage the risk when any person with COVID has attended the premises (including staff). The advice is for hospitality, community sport, entertainment, higher education, beauty, recreation and other educational facilities.
The guidance relates to your responsibilities to communicate with SA Health as well as cleaning requirements and test, trace, isolate and quarantine.
Workplace rights and obligations for COVID-19 vaccinations
South Australian employers need to ensure they understand their workplace rights and obligations before having conversations with their staff about whether COVID-19 vaccinations will be mandatory in their workplace.
Employers should exercise caution and get their own legal advice before deciding if their employees will have to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has provided some guidance to assist employers.