Weekly Digest – 13 April 2022

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Mask Mandate to be Dropped in South Australia

South Australians will be spared from wearing masks in most public indoor spaces from Good Friday, but will still be required in high-risk settings such as hospitals, aged care or residential disability facilities, on public transport and in ride-sharing vehicles.

Business Conditions Improved in March

The National Australia Bank showed its index of business conditions doubled to +18 in March, while confidence added 3 points to +16. The surge was largely driven by the retail sector, which saw conditions rise 23 points, as well as recreation & personal services and finance, business & property. However, inflation runs hot with purchase costs and labour costs rising at the fastest pace in the history of the survey, pushing retail prices up.

Unemployment Rate Predicted to Fall Below 4%

The official jobless rate could drop as low as 3.8% when the Australian Bureau of Statistics reports labour data for March, according to market economists. However, labour shortages force some restaurants to limit services, and recruiters find it difficult to secure talent even at higher wages.

Australia to Invest $44 Million In New AI Centres

The government us to invest $44 million in four new artificial intelligence (AI) and digital capability centres to stimulate growth and employment. The aim of the investment is to give small and medium-sized businesses access to local expertise to enable them to develop and adopt AI technologies.

Bonus Tax Deductions for Small Businesses

The Technology Investment Boost allows small businesses to claim 120% of the costs of new technologies and training courses to upskill staff as deductions. An annual cap of $100,000 will apply to eligible technology expenditure, with the initiative set to last until 30 June 2023.

Super to Cover More Employees

From 1 July 2022, you will need to pay super to your employees who earn less than $450 per month, provided they meet other eligibility requirements. This expands super guarantee eligibility so employees can receive super regardless of how much they earn.

Upcoming Key Dates

  • 21 April- March monthly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter super guarantee due
  • 28 April- March quarterly BAS due
  • 28 April- March quarter PAYG instalment due

New Zealand Opens Borders to Australians

Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand from April 12. New Zealand borders will start to open for other countries from May 1.

Business Assistance Package for WA Businesses

The Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package is available for businesses in Western Australia most impacted by restrictions. The assistance includes a $66.8 million Small Business Hardship Grants Program, $2.8 million of payroll tax relief for large hospitality businesses, and $2.1 million for a COVID-19 Commercial Sporting Franchises Support Program.

Safe Transition Industry Support Package

The WA Government has launched a $77 million Safe Transition Industry Support Package to assist eligible businesses and individuals in sectors most affected by the decision to delay the full reopening of WA’s borders. It includes nine support programs for the international education, tourism, aviation and events sectors.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

People who are forced out of work to isolate due to being infected or being a close contact are eligible for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.

You are also eligible if you are caring for a child under 16 years old who is a close contact or infected, or someone with a disability or a severe medical condition who is a close contact of someone with COVID-19.

You can find more information about Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment conditions specific to your state or territory here.

Support for Small Businesses

If your business is struggling, the ATO offers a wide range of support for those affected by the pandemic, natural disasters, mental health issues, or financial difficulties.

Learn more about the available support, and the small business debt helpline for free, independent advice.

Get in touch

Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss the next steps for your business.