This week saw the arrival of the heavily anticipated federal budget – which comes against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recession.

The 2020 federal budget included a heavy emphasis on supporting small business owners through mental health resources and economic stimulation.

Such measures include:

  • $1.2 billion on the extension of wage subsidies for apprentices and trainees
  • $850 million on JobMaker hiring credit payable for up to 12 months to employers who hire young people (aged 16-35 years)
  • $15 billion in JobKeeper payments
  • $1.9 billion for loss carry back tax provision
  • $26.7 billion in instant asset write-offs for business – with the annual revenue threshold extended to encompass far more businesses, boosting medium-sized enterprises as well as micro- and small businesses
  • $4.3 million for Beyond Blue’s NewAccess service, providing mental health support for small businesses
  • $800 million national digitisation plan

The $4.3 million expansion of the NewAccess program is set to provide mental health support for small businesses, and is run by Beyond Blue in partnership with Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO).

It includes six free one-on-one sessions with trained mental health professionals, and is expected to be made available early next year.

This comes as the government has also announced $2.2 million to expand a professional development program at Deakin University, that educates business advisors on how to better support small business clients.

Small business ombudsman, Kate Carnell, has praised the Government’s response to the financial and personal wellbeing of small business operators.

“[The] Budget represents the biggest-ever fiscal response to an economic downturn in Australian history. Given the number of measures that target the small business sector in this Budget, the Federal Government has clearly acknowledged the role small and family businesses have to play in the nation’s economic recovery,” explains Carnell.

 

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