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Jobs Rescue: $50 Million Small Business Survival Fund

27 Mar 2020 9:42 AM | Sonia Harvey (Administrator)

Office Chief Minister Michael Gunner

The Territory Labor Government’s $50 million Small Business Survival Fund will help local Territory businesses survive the unprecedented economic impacts of COVID-19.

Coronavirus is hitting Territorians hard and this government is doing everything it can to soften the blow.

This fund is specifically targeted at supporting industries such as retail, hospitality, tourism, and entertainment businesses, including beauty parlours and gyms, who are bearing the brunt of this national crisis. 

More than 1000 Territory businesses will be supported through this fund who employed around 10,000 Territorians prior to the restrictions.

The fund will provide payments based on business size and full time equivalent (FTE) employee numbers.

From today, eligible businesses will be able to apply for two payments:

  • An Immediate Survival Payment of between $2000 and $50,000 to help offset the immediate costs pressures on businesses
  • A Rapid Adaption Payment of between $1000 and $5000 to assist businesses make the necessary changes it chooses to help adapt to the new operating environment 

Immediate Survival Payment

An initial lump sum payment directed to businesses to help offset immediate cost pressures and provide time to plan.

  • $2000 for business with 1 FTE/sole traders
  • $5000 for businesses with 2 to 5 FTE employees
  • $20,000 for businesses with 6 to 19 FTE employees
  • $50,000 for businesses with more than 20 FTE employees

Business will provide a certified financial/payroll statement identifying number of employees pre-shutdown.

Assessment of eligibility criteria includes demonstrating the impact of the restrictions on the business, including reduction in turnover, impact of fixed costs and employment reduction. 

Rapid Adaption Payment

  • A payment of up to $1000 for sole traders and up to $5000 for other eligible businesses to offset costs incurred in adapting current business model to suit restrictions.
  • Application based, paid direct to business.
  • Paid on provision of appropriate invoice. Buy local provisions will be highlighted to businesses.
  • Expenditure to occur post announcement and applications close 1 May 2020.
  • After this time businesses have full access to Improvement and Immediate Works grants under the Jobs Rescue and Recovery package.

This is the first stage of the Small Business Survival Fund. The Business Advisory Group is continuing to meet and will provide advice for the next stage of the package.

Businesses can complete an application form on business.nt.gov.au/recovery from 5pm today and will be assessed using the following criteria; that they:

  • are a legal entity and hold a valid Australian Business Number (ABN) as at 23 March 2020, and
  • are operating in the Northern Territory, and
  • is a Territory Enterprise, and
  • have a significant permanent presence in the Northern Territory, and
  • employ Northern Territory residents (sole traders are included), and
  • usually operate in one of the industry sectors affected by the social gathering restrictions announced on 22 March 2020 and 24 March 2020, and
  • have been directly financially affected by the social gathering restrictions. 

The Department will also actively reach out to directly affected businesses to discuss their suitability for support from this Fund, as well as the other support that is now available from both the Territory Government and the Federal Government.

The Small Business Survival Fund is in addition to the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package and the Tourism Resilience Package announced previously.

The Territory Government is investing nearly $120 million so far in response to the coronavirus. And we will continue to scale up to save jobs. 

Quotes from Chief Minister, Michael Gunner

“My only focus right now is saving lives and saving jobs. I’ll do whatever it takes to protect Territorians.

“The Territory Government is investing nearly $120 million so far in response to the deep economic impacts of the coronavirus crisis. And we will continue to scale up to save jobs.

“When you spend a dollar in the Territory, you save a Territory job – and in times like these we need our community to band together to keep our small, local businesses open, and as many locals as possible working.”


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