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ACT stimulus package will help small business through COVID-19 crisis

- March 20, 2020 < 1 MIN READ

Small businesses in Canberra will get a $750 rebate on their power bill, payroll tax waivers and deferments and a $622 credit on their commercial rates bill under a $137 million stimulus package announced by the ACT government.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr said it was just the initial response by the territory government to a “once-in-a-century crisis”, with more planned.

“There will be more to come, there will need to be more to come,” he told the ABC. “There will be a second, most likely a third and possibly even a fourth over the coming 12months.”

The stimulus includes deferring payroll tax for 12 months on businesses with a turnover under $10 million. Some industry sectors will have a one-off six-month waiver on payroll tax. Food and liquor licence fees for the hard-hit hospitality industry are also waived and clubs will get financial support to retain casual staff.

The government plans to shift public sector staff involved in events into maintenance roles and $20 million will go towards basic public building infrastructure maintenance.

Levies on taxis and rideshare services will be suspended and planned increases to the costs of car rego, public transport and parking have been frozen.
Households will receive a $150 rates rebate and $200 towards utilities, and public housing tenants will get $250 in cash payment. $500,000 will go to arts grant funding.

$7 million in support will go to non-government organisations on the frontline of social services, along with more support for Lifeline.

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