More Business Support Fund FAQs, answered!

September 24, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, our small business bookkeepers in Melbourne wrote an article explaining the Business Support Fund.

In it, we went over all the details and covered the most frequently-asked questions:

  • Eligibility criteria
  • What the grants can be used for
  • How much money eligible businesses can claim
  • Differences for regional businesses
  • What happens if you’ve already qualified for the first round of payments

Of course, that was before the Victorian government announced yet another series of payments under the third round of the Business Support Fund!

And just like the JobKeeper extension we wrote about last week, there are just enough changes and modifications to this scheme that a lot of the information is no longer relevant.

That’s why we’re back this week with another writeup!

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“How much am I eligible for this time?”

Depending on the size of your payroll, your business could qualify for grants worth $10,000, $15,00 or $20,000 in value.

Specifically, you’ll receive:

  • $10,000 if your annual payroll is less than $650,000;
  • $15,000 if your annual payroll is between $650,000 and less than $3 million
  • $20,000 if your annual payroll is between $3 million and up to $10 million 

Right off the bat, it’s a noticeable increase over the amounts available under previous rounds of the Business Support Fund!

As with last time, there are no strings attached to these grants, no fine print saying that you can only use it for specific costs. Covering expenses, seeking legal or financial advice, diversifying your operations… just like before, just about anything goes.

Of course, if everything was the same as last time, we wouldn’t need to write this.

As we hinted at above, there are a couple of differences between this particular incarnation of the program and its previous ones. Before you rush off and apply for another grant, it’s important that you know…

Eligibility criteria

Luckily, this is one part of the program that hasn’t changed.

All the standard eligibility criteria apply – you must:

  • Operate in Victoria
  • Be part of an industry that has been restricted or which isn’t going to be eased
  • Participate in JobKeeper
  • Be registered for GST
  • Record payroll of up to $10 million
  • Hold an ABN

Unlike previous installments of the Business Support Fund, the wording on this third incarnation is pretty clear: only businesses in specifically nominated industries may apply.

Specifically, it’s targeted towards industries and sectors that are most affected by business shutdowns, and which will be the last to return to normal operations under the state government’s roadmap towards reopening like:

  • Tourism
  • Arts and culture
  • Entertainment
  • Events
  • Sports and recreation

When do you need to apply by?

Businesses that want to apply for a third round of grants will need to get their application in by 11:59pm on November 23, 2020.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that you have months to sit on your application (not that you should if you work in an affected industry).

There’s only a finite amount of funding available under this scheme – if funds are exhausted before the ending date, your business won’t get anything, simple as that.

That’s why we recommend filing an application as early as possible!

Need help getting the financial information needed for your application in order? A small business bookkeeper can help with that.

Will previous Business Support Fund rounds impact your eligibility? 

Just like with the second round, a grant received under a previous round of the Business Support Fund won’t impact your eligibility for the third.

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What about other support programs?

The Business Support Fund isn’t the only program in place to support your business – there are also other grants and schemes available.

In addition to the Business Support Fund, there are packages tailored for specific industries. Just remember that in some cases, this will render you ineligible for Business Support Fund grants.

For example, despite the impact lockdowns have had on hospitality, this sector was explicitly excluded from the eligible sectors under the third round of grants thanks to the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund.

That’s because they already have their own separate program, the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund – making them eligible would allow them to double-dip.

How our Melbourne bookkeepers help

If you plan on applying for funding under the third round of the Business Support Fund, you need a small business bookkeeper on your side.

And if your business isn’t part of one of these nominated industries, don’t worry. While you may not qualify for this specific program, you may still be able to qualify for the recently-announced Business Resilience Package.

No matter what support program you’re applying for, it’s important that you have a bookkeeper on-side.

As part of the application process, you’ll need to:

  • Present your business finances
  • Provide payroll information
  • Prepare GST statements, as well as BAS/IAS documents

Not only that, but you’ll also need help deciding what to spend your grant on.

A small business bookkeeper can help with each of these things, helping you prepare your application and crunching the numbers for you, maximising the chances of your application being accepted.

Our team offers a wide range of bookkeeping services in Melbourne, ranging from one-off services like account clean-ups to ongoing bookkeeping services.

We can even upgrade your bookkeeping system, setting up a faster, automated cloud bookkeeping system.

All you need to do is get in touch.

Give our bookkeepers a call today on (03) 9589 0128, or click here to contact our team online.