Looking for government assistance for your small business?

5 min read
Quentin Aisbett

UPDATE: This government assistance for small businesses post was first published on 24 August 2020 and updated on 23 July 2021.

Depending on the nature of your business and where it's located, you may have been affected by the latest COVID-19 business restrictions.

Whether you need a business grant, tax relief or financial counselling, there is help here.

Let’s take a look at the four broad types of state and federal government assistance for small businesses currently on offer.

Related: How to add an eCommerce shop to your brick-and-mortar business 

1. Financial relief

If finances are an issue for you, you are not alone. Here is a partial list of government assistance for small businesses based on location.


For businesses located in NSW, three grants are available: 

  • The 2021 COVID-19 business grant provides a one-off payment of between $7,500 and $15,000, depending on the percentage of revenue lost. This grant is available to businesses, sole traders and not-for-profit groups affected by the Greater Sydney COVID-19 restrictions. Apply here.
  • The 2021 COVID-19 micro-business grant is for small businesses or sole traders with an annual turnover of between $30,000 and $75,000, with a 30% decline in revenue. The $1,500 fortnightly payment begins on 26 July 2021. Sign up to be notified.
  • JobSaver will deliver fortnightly payments to help maintain your headcount as of 13th July 2021 and provide cash flow. Available to those with turnover between $75,000 and $50 million and a revenue decline of 30% or more. Sign up to be notified.

You may also be eligible for payroll tax waivers of 25% (for businesses with Australian wages of between $1.2m and $10m that have experienced a 30% decline in turnover) or the NSW tourism support package.


If you own a business in Victoria, you'll want to look into these programs:

Your business may also be eligible for assistance through other Victorian Government programs.

South Australia

The COVID-19 Business support grant July 2021 will provide cash grants of up to $3,000 to affected small and medium businesses and $1,000 to sole traders.

To be eligible, you must have a payroll of less than $10m, an annual turnover of $75,000 or more and have suffered at least a 30% reduction in revenue in the week commencing 20 July 2021.

Fruit Seller Handing an Apple to a Buyer

Tax relief

If you’re struggling to meet your tax obligations, the Australian Tax Office may be able to provide low-interest payment plans or payment deferrals. ATO makes these arrangements on a case-by-case basis. For more info, visit this site.

Insolvency reform

Significant reforms to corporate insolvency laws for small businesses came into effect on 1 January 2021. Read the details here.

Note: The evolving nature of the pandemic means the state and federal government are introducing and reevaluating new and existing schemes regularly, so keep up to date with the Government website.

2. Instant Asset Write-off

The Australian government is keen to help businesses make the purchases they need to keep their ventures afloat. You’re likely familiar with the Instant Asset Write-off scheme, a government strategy to stimulate business purchases.

What the scheme allows you to do is spend a large sum of money on an asset for your business now.

But instead of depreciating it over time, it can be written off instantly, giving you much-needed tax relief.

From 1 January 2021, the instant asset write-off is only available for small businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million; the threshold will be $1,000.

Small Business Owner Applying for a Loan

3. Financial counselling

The government has provided funding to offer free and confidential financial counselling to small regional business owners who are struggling with finances.

The goal of this counselling is to help them:

  • Get a clear sense of their current financial position
  • Find useful options
  • Make plans to improve their business prospects

To be eligible, you must have 19 employees or fewer, be located within a regional area (not a metropolitan area) and be ineligible to access services under the existing RFCS Program.

This initiative will run until 31 December 2021. For more info, visit this site.

4. Mental health support

Recent events have understandably made people the world over feel anxious, stressed and worried.

The government offers a range of resources for those having mental distress due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business and livelihood.

Stressed Out Man Leaning His Head on His Hand

Whether it’s you or your employees who are suffering, know there are many agencies ready to help:

  • Beyond Blue
  • Australian Psychological Society
  • Headspace
  • Black Dog Institute
  • Comcar

You can find more resources and links here.

Related: Finding a supportive community in tough times

4 types of government assistance for small businesses

This is an unprecedented time for everyone, including small business owners. Don’t tackle it alone. There is support available — whether you need immediate financial help or simply want to put your business on a better footing for future growth and stability.

The information contained in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as an endorsement or advice from GoDaddy on any subject matter.