Weekly Digest – 4 November 2020

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. We hope you and your family are safe and doing well. Read on for this week’s updates and some ideas that will help us all overcome this crisis.

Victoria Reports No COVID-19 Cases For Fifth Straight Day

Victoria, Australia’s coronavirus hotspot, reported zero COVID-19 cases for the fifth straight day as states started easing regional border restrictions. This increases the prospects for a faster return to normal.

Last week Victoria allowed restaurants and cafes in Melbourne to reopen after over 3 months under stringent lockdown, but gatherings remain under tight control.

RBA Cuts Interest Rates to New Record Low

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the cash rate by 15 basis points in November, taking it to a new record low of 0.10%.

As of November 4, 2020, the following have confirmed that they are passing on this November 2020 rate cut to variable-rate home loans:

  • Athena
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Freedom Lend
  • Homeloans.com.au
  • Homestar Finance
  • Reduce Home Loans
  • Westpac

Find out if your lender is passing the cut on with Savings.com.au‘s comprehensive and regularly updated list.

Minimum Wages Increase by 1.75%

The Fair Work Commission has announced a 1.75% increase to minimum wages. This will apply to all award wages, but the increases will start on 3 different dates for different groups of awards.

You can find a complete list of awards in each group here. Meanwhile, if you are not sure which award applies to you, use this tool.

Research: Local Spending Soars During Lockdown

It appears Australia’s love for shopping locally has reignited amid the COVID-19 lockdown,  new research commissioned by Mastercard showed 91% are now spending up to $200 per week on their local high street.

Despite three quarters of Australians being mindful of their spending during the initial COVID-19 lockdown period, 73% are wanting to actively spend in the local community to help them bounce back and recover.

If your business is struggling to stay afloat due to the pandemic and the social restrictions that come with it, do not hesitate to get in touch to discuss a plan.

Australian Business Growth Fund Launches

The government-backed Australian Business Growth Fund has launched to ensure small and medium-sized businesses have access to equity finance as the country recovers from the COVID-19 crisis.

The Australian Business Growth Fund will have an initial investment capacity of $540 million, with a goal to grow the fund to $1 billion.

The government is making a $100-million investment, while major banks including ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, and Westpac have also committed $100 million each.

The fund will allow Australian businesses to apply for long-term equity capital investments between $5 million and $15 million, where they have generated annual revenue between $2 million and $100 million and can demonstrate three years of revenue growth and profitability.

If you need help in assessing your eligibility or to consider other financing options, do not hesitate to contact us for guidance.

Australians to Receive Tax Cuts

The Government approved $17.8 billion in personal tax cuts, quickly pushing through measures announced recently.

More than 11 million Australians and 1 million businesses will begin receiving tax relief within weeks.

Under the new tax package, people earning $48,000 to $90,000 will gain an extra $1,080 in 2020-21 from a one-off extension of the low and middle-income tax offset. Meanwhile, those earning more than $120,000 will have a permanent cut of $2,430 in 2020-21 and beyond.

Our team can help with any questions you may have.

Supporting Apprentices and Trainees Wage Subsidy Extended

The Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy has been expanded and extended to include medium-sized businesses who had an eligible apprentice in place from 1 July 2020.

Eligible employers will receive a wage subsidy of up to 50% of the wages paid until 31 March 2021 worth up to $7,000 per quarter, per eligible apprentice or trainee, to manage their cash flow challenges. Subsidies will also be available to any new employer who re-engages an eligible apprentice that was displaced by an eligible small or medium-sized business.

This may be of particular interest to employers who are not eligible for the JobKeeper extension. We can provide professional advice in applying for this wage subsidy or any other funding assistance.

Sole Trader Support Fund

The Victorian Government has announced the Sole Trader Support Fund for eligible non-employing businesses affected by COVID-19 restrictions. Under this scheme, sole traders will receive a grant of $3,000.

Grant applications will open in the coming days and the full list of eligibility criteria will be published soon. We will keep you updated as soon as more information is available.

Government-backed COVID-19 Loans Extended

The government is extending its small business COVID-19 loans scheme until June 2021. If you need help to access these loans or you want to find out if you are eligible, do not hesitate to contact us.

Get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of the above further, our team at Cadenze are here to help.