CASH INJECTION: Mayor Otto is encouraging South Burnett residents to apply for the JobKeeper Stimulus package in the light of COVID-19. Photo: File
CASH INJECTION: Mayor Otto is encouraging South Burnett residents to apply for the JobKeeper Stimulus package in the light of COVID-19. Photo: File

Mayor urges businesses to apply for JobKeeper package

THE federal government’s $130 billion JobKeeper Stimulus Package is now accessible to eligible businesses and their employees.

South Burnett Regional Council said they encouraged local businesses to not miss this important opportunity to keep their businesses in a viable position and continue to pay their staff.

Mayor Otto said the the package had the potential to inject in excess of $100 million into the region’s economy over the next six months.

“South Burnett businesses in the manufacturing, commercial, retail, hospitality, personal services and primary production sectors with a turnover of less than $1 billion who can demonstrate that they have had their turnover reduced by more than 30 per cent on monthly basis since March 1, 2020 as a result of COVID-19 can access $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee,” Cr Otto said.

“The government has opened up the scheme to individual business operators who do not employ staff but operate as sole traders, in a partnership or through a company or trust structure.

“The scheme is also open to not for profit organisations who are able to demonstrate the 30 per cent downturn.

“Registered charities are only required to demonstrate a reduction of 15 per cent.

Cr Otto said applications for JobKeeper opened on April 20.

“The application process is straight forward and can be completed by eligible businesses through the ATO Business Portal or by their tax or BAS agent,” he said.

“Eligible employees include those staff who were on the payroll of the business as at March 1, 2020, including full time and part time permanent staff and casual employees who have been with the business for a period of 12 months or more.

“Staff who have had their hours reduced or have been stood down due to Covid-19 are also covered by the payment.”

He said payments would be made by the ATO directly into the bank account of the business and must be passed on to employees after deducting the required PAYG withholding tax.

Businesses have until April 30 to apply to receive the first round of monthly payments, payable in early May.

Payments will be made to businesses on a monthly basis as follows:

May $3000 per eligible employee

June $3000 per eligible employee

July $3000 per eligible employee

August $3000 per eligible employee

September $4500 per eligible employee

October $3000 per eligible employee

Businesses or employees seeking advice or assistance with the scheme should contact their registered tax or BAS agent.

Cr Otto said the ATO website was being updated daily and was an excellent source of information on the payment. Visit the website here.

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