Support for businesses

The important social distancing measures being put in place by the Commonwealth and State Governments are vitally important to slow the Coronavirus (COVID-19) down and protect our community. Unfortunately these measures will have significant economic and social effects on our local small businesses.

To provide feedback, take the support for businesses survey. The information will continue to assist how we provide services that are needed to support local businesses
Click here

The City of Stirling and the Federal and State Governments acknowledge the impact and is responding accordingly.

Federal Government support

On 12 March 2020, the Federal government announced:

  • 50 per cent wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees
  • Increase in the instant asset write off threshold to $150,000
  • 50 per cent accelerated depreciation for investments.

On 22 March 2020, the Federal government announced:

  • Early access to superannuation capped for sole traders who have seen their hours of work or income fall by 20 per cent or more
  • Additional payments for employers of up to $100,000 to help businesses retain staff and continue operating
  • Greater leniency for insolvency and bankruptcy with the threshold at which a creditor can take action against a small business increasing from $2,000 to $20,000
  • Will provide a guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital for small to medium businesses. 

On 29 March 2020, the Federal Government announced:

  • The National Cabinet agreed to a temporary moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.

On 30 March 2020, the Federal government announced:

  • Eligible businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy, the New JobKeeper Payment, from the Federal Government to continue paying their employees
  • Eligible sole traders will be granted access to the job seeker allowance.

For more information please visit the Coronavirus information and support for business page.

State Government support

On 16 March 2020, the State Government announced:

  • $607 million stimulus package to support WA households and small businesses in the wake of COVID-19
  • $114 million in additional measures to support small businesses
  • Small businesses that pay payroll tax will receive a one-off grant of $17,500
  • $1 million payroll tax threshold brought forward by six months to 1 July 2020.

On 31 March 2020, the State Government announced:

  • Electricity bills for around 95,000 small businesses will be reduced, with a one-off $2,500 credit available for Synergy and Horizon Power customers that consume less than 50 megawatt hours (MWh) per annum
  • Payroll tax will be waived for a four-month period between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020 for small-to-medium sized businesses with Australia-wide annual wages of less than $7.5 million in 2019-20
  • $100.4 million has been allocated to waive a wide range of licence fees for small and medium sized businesses in COVID-19 impacted industries for the next 12 months including licences for building services, plumbers and electricians, tourism businesses operating in national and marine parks, boat registration and mooring fees for tourism operators and commercial fishers, commercial fisheries licences, taxi booking service authorisation fees, settlement agent licence fees, and other statutory planning fees
  • Liquor licence renewal fees for 2020 will be waived and refunds provided for businesses that have already paid
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also apply for an interest-free payment arrangement and for late payment penalties to be waived for payroll tax, transfer duty, landholder duty, vehicle licence duty or land tax
  • No small businesses facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will face power or water disconnections due to late payments with no interest charged on deferred bill payments- for electricity, this will apply to Synergy and Horizon Power customers who consume 50MWh or less.

For more information please visit the Department of Premier and Cabinet Coronavirus business and industry advice page or the small business fact sheet.

The Small Business Development Corporation’s live blog is also a wealth of knowledge, visit the blog here.

Local Government support

More than 22,000 businesses call Stirling home and the City of Stirling is responding to emerging small business pressures and providing much needed support over the next six months.

The City’s Economic Stimulus and Community Recovery Package was adopted by Council on 12 May 2020 to support local businesses and increase connectivity in our neighbourhoods as we move towards the recovery phase of COVID-19.

The following initiatives were approved:

  • Rent abatement for small businesses (City owned properties)
  • Increased activation and connectedness through neighbourhood centre upgrades
  • Business counselling service
  • Partnerships to activate businesses
  • Business mastermind program
  • Holiday at Home program
  • Business friendly approvals process
  • Streamlining of customer processes through the Relationship Management System (RMS) implementation
  • Community creativity fund
  • City-run events
  • Town team activation fund
  • Event sponsorship
  • Locally targeted activation

The Economic Stimulus and Community Recovery package complements measures already implemented as an immediate response to COVID-19, detailed below.

Business counselling

The City is partnering with Business Foundations to provide our local businesses with tailored one-on-one advice on business continuity planning, identifying and reducing financial pressures, and implementing immediate strategies to get through the next six months.

If you are interested in this initiative please get in contact with the City’s Economic Development team at economicdevelopment@stirling.wa.gov.au.

Small Business Information Hotline

The City has developed a dedicated Small Business Information Hotline to provide Stirling based businesses with advice and assistance. You can contact the Hotline on (08) 9205 8904 from Monday 30 March 2020.

Verge bonds

The City is removing the fee for verge permits and reducing the amount of money tied up in verge bonds by up to $1,000. Existing verge bonds will also be refunded by up to $1,000 to allow more cash flow. The City’s Development Services team will be in contact with relevant businesses and households in the coming days.

Rates

The City will be temporarily ceasing collection on businesses with rate payment plans in place and removing interest charges.

Advice for restaurants and cafes offering delivery and takeaway

Many COVID-19 restrictions have now eased with Phase 3 of the WA roadmap enabling food businesses and licensed venues including cafés, restaurants, pubs, clubs, hotels and taverns to open with physical distancing measures in place, including a maximum of 100 dine-in patrons per undivided space or 300 patrons per venue, with two square metres per person.

Businesses will need to prepare a COVID Safety Plan before they reopen, to protect staff and customers. Businesses will need to ensure their COVID Safety Plan is available for inspection by authorised officers.

For further information please see COVID -19 Business and industry recovery

If you have closed your food business temporarily or moved to takeaway and/or home deliveries, please contact the City's Environmental Health team at environmentalhealth@stirling.wa.gov.au to advise of changes to your operation.

Food trucks

If you wish to continue to operate a food truck from your home, development approval is required. It is the proponent’s responsibility to ensure that all necessary approvals are obtained.

For further information please email planningexemptions@stirling.wa.gov.au.