Programs and initiatives

Get the latest information on programs, services and grants to support your small business.

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Early childhood education and care relief package

The Australian Government will provide free childcare to support families during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The funding will cover outside school hours care and vacation care.

To find out more, contact your childcare provider.

JobKeeper payment for employees

The JobKeeper payment helps businesses significantly impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) cover the costs of their employees’ wages.

Employers can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 for each employee, effective from 30 March 2020, for up to six months.

To find out more, go to the Australian Government’s Treasury website.

Deferred business loan repayments

All Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) for six months.

Small businesses are encouraged to contact their banks to apply.

For more information, go to the Australian Banking Association website.

Cash flow support and relief from financial distress

Cash flow assistance is available to help keep small businesses going.

The Australian Government is also providing temporary relief for businesses that are in financial distress.

Find out more about cash flow support and relief on the Australian Government's Treasury website.

Company directors

Company directors will be exempt from personal liability for trading while insolvent for six months.

Read more on the Australian Institute of Company Directors website.

Access to credit

The government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small business lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to businesses.

Find out more about access to credit on the Australian Government's Treasury website.

Support for export businesses

The trade and investment toolkit has a full list of support available to Territory export businesses.

For more information, go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation website.

Changes to planning rules

Some planning approval process regulations have been suspended for works carried out through the Northern Territory (NT) Government’s Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan.

Applicants do not need to lodge an application to start construction on projects related to the following programs:

  • Home Improvement Scheme
  • Business Improvement Grants
  • Immediate Work Grants.

For more information read changes to planning rules: coronavirus (COVID-19).

Reducing payroll tax

Territory businesses that demonstrate substantial hardship* due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis will be eligible for the following:

  • payroll tax abolished for six months - if you are a small or medium-sized business
  • payroll tax deferred for six months - if you are a large business
  • power, water and sewerage bills cut by 50% (all businesses) for six months.

Businesses can apply from 1 May 2020.

Commercial tenancies

Territory businesses who need relief on the cost of their lease will receive extra support.

The following conditions apply:

  • commercial tenants must demonstrate economic hardship* and request rent relief - landlords will be expected to negotiate relief in line with the code of conduct for commercial tenancies
  • if they do this, they will also be eligible to receive payroll tax and utilities bills relief.

The government will also waive the property activation levy for relevant landlords whose property becomes vacant due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis .

However, if commercial landlords do not negotiate in good faith with their tenants, they will not be eligible for this relief, or any of the economic support packages recently announced by the government.

Read more on the Prime Minister of Australia website.

*Businesses with less than $50 million turnover who have experienced a reduction of turnover of more than 30%.

Worker and Wellbeing Fund

The Worker and Wellbeing Fund can help you if you have lost your job or your income has been reduced because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

You can only apply for this fund if you are not already receiving financial and / or wellbeing support, including Centrelink benefits.

To apply or for more information, go to the Department of the Chief Minister website.

Jobs Rescue and Recovery

NT businesses can get involved in the NT Government's Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan.

The plan includes the following:

  • Home Improvement Scheme
  • Business Improvement Grant
  • Immediate Work Grant
  • Small Business Survival Fund
  • Business Hardship Package.

Eligible businesses can apply for funding through the Small Business Survival Fund.

To apply for funding or for more information, go to the Business Recovery website.

Territory Jobs Hub

Territory Jobs Hub is an online portal designed to help Territory workers find a new job quickly.

Businesses that need workers can also use the portal to connect with those looking for work.

Read more about the Territory Jobs Hub.

Support for export business

Trade Support Scheme - COVID-19 Quick Response Grants

Find out how you can get help with the cost of export and international marketing activities. Read more about the COVID-19 Quick Response Grants.

Additional support for export businesses

The trade and investment toolkit has a full list of support available to Territory export businesses.

For more information, go to the Department of Trade, Business and Innovation website.

Support for tourism businesses

Tourism business support program with KPMG

A $200,000 grant program will provide business support to tourism operators to ensure they are able to survive the economic impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For more information about KPMG business support, go to the Tourism NT website.

You can also find out about the Tourism Resilience Plan on the Tourism NT website.

Support for sports and arts organisations

Creative industries sector Immediate Response and Resilience program

A $2 million re-prioritised funding program will support the arts, creative and screen industry sector with a focus on artists, arts groups and not-for-profit arts organisations.

Find out more on the Department of Tourism, Sport and Culture website.

Sport and active recreation sector Immediate Response and Resilience program

A $1.3 million re-prioritised funding program will support the sport and recreation sector.

A specific coronavirus (COVID-19) working group will also be established to guide a response and recovery plan for Territory sport and active recreation, to and ensure organisations can rebound strongly from this current crisis.

For more information, go to the Department of Tourism, Sports and Culture website.

Last updated: 20 May 2020

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