Hands up who’s heard of the Small Business Hardship Grant program? No one? Well, that’s not surprising as the State Government doesn’t seem to be making a heap of noise about it. But it’s a really big deal. Here’s why.

The WA Government is providing grants of between $3,750 and $50,000 for businesses impacted by recent health and social measures. Applications close on 30 June 2022.

This is not just for the hospitality industry. Any business that can show a decrease in business turnover of at least 30% for a consecutive 14 day period across a specified period is eligible to apply.

The specified period is 1 January to 30 April 2022. So you’ll need to find 14 consecutive days during that period where turnover is 30% lower than the same period in the year prior – i.e. compared to the same 14 day period between 1 January and 30 April 2021.

The grant has two tiers, so a 40% reduction in turnover commands a bigger grant than a 30% reduction.

The grant amount is also determined by the number of full-time employees a business had. A business with no employees can receive a grant of $3,750 or $5,000, a business with 20 or more full-time employees can receive either $37,500 or $50,000, and there’s a couple of levels in between.

There are some general conditions. Your business must have an annual turnover of at least $50,000, an Australia-wide payroll of less than $4 million and a valid and active ABN.

Not for Profit organisations are also eligible if they are a “commercial entity” – not well described but likely to mean the NFP must have a business operation component to its activities. If that is the case, it can include all income like grants and donations in its turnover reduction calculation.

A further quirk is that JobKeeper proceeds form part of the turnover calculation. This is likely to contribute to the turnover reduction for businesses and NFPs that received JobKeeper support in the March 2021 quarter.

There’s a similar rent relief grant available that’s worth a further $3,000 for businesses that operate from a leased premises. It’s based on a 30% turnover reduction, but over a 28 day period.

There is some evidence that needs to be uploaded with the application and there’s plenty more information available at the website of the Small Business Development Corporation. The SBDC have said clearly that businesses need to meet the criteria, but don’t need to provide a story as to why the reduction in turnover occurred.

You can follow the instructions on the SBDC website and lodge your own application, however there are some quirks and potential complexities in calculating the reduction in turnover. Please contact us as soon as possible if you require our assistance.

Author: Mark Douglas
Email: mark@faj.com.au