Cash splash revealed
5200 Territory businesses benefit from federal stimulus aid
MORE than 750,000 small and medium-sized businesses have received an average of $22,900 under a government stimulus scheme to help them hold on to their workers during the pandemic.
New tax data, provided exclusively to the Sunday Territorian, shows that $17.51 billion has been paid to small and medium-sized businesses across the country to cushion the economic blow of COVID-19.
The stimulus measure, announced in March, meant notfor-profit organisations and firms with a turnover below $50 million would receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of the amount withheld from their workers’ wages, up to a maximum of $100,000.
Under the scheme, all eligible businesses that pay income tax on their employees’ salaries could receive a minimum payment of $20,000. By linking the payments to wage tax withholdings, the government hoped to encourage businesses to hold on to more of their workers.
The latest data has revealed the average cash boost paid to NT businesses was $27,700.
In the Northern Territory, almost 5200 businesses have benefited from the scheme, which included 2756 across Darwin and Palmerston.
Later this year, eligible businesses that have already received an initial cash boost will receive a second payment for the June to September quarter, delivered in two or four instalments, depending on the reporting period. The payments are tax-free and flow automatically through the Australian Taxation Office.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the cash flow boost was a “lifeline to many businesses” and came on top of the JobKeeper payments.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy,” he said.
“The Morrison government will continue to provide the support necessary to keep businesses in business and Australians in jobs throughout the crisis.”
The government initially predicted the scheme would help about 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people, and 30,000 not-forprofit charities.