Low-earning sole traders lose again
Arts practitioners and some sole traders are again left without support as lockdown restrictions in greater Melbourne eased and the Victorian Government announced additional support for businesses that continue to be affected.
After two weeks of Victorians being in lockdown, restrictions on some businesses have eased and more businesses are able to reopen.
Treasurer Tim Pallas acknowledged some businesses will still be affected by restrictions and will share a new $8.4 million support payment, however, those businesses need to meet eligibility criteria.
“Victorians have banded together and now we can relax many restrictions in a safe way, backed by the best public health advice,” Mr Pallas said
“This top-up payment will support businesses who will still be affected in the coming week, so they can be in the best position to recover once their doors reopen.”
The initial funding supported small- and medium-sized businesses and sole traders, including restaurants and cafes, tourism and accommodation providers, and non-essential retailers.
Top-up payments of $2,000 are available to businesses in metropolitan Melbourne that are closed due to extended restrictions announced June 9, taking the total amount available to businesses in eligible sectors to $7000.
However, sole traders who are not registered for GST find themselves again ineligible for support payments.
Businesses need to pay GST, but registering to pay the tax is only necessary once you earn over $75,000.
This is the same as last year during the extended lockdown, but sole traders could eventually apply for JobKeeper.
Artists have been questioning the reason for being continuously left out with no real explanation provided.
The Business Costs Assistance Program FAQ page does advise:
“This program requires a business to be registered for GST because it shows the business was actively trading before Thursday 27 May 2021 and is a genuine operation, which the owner and their employees or contractors rely on for income.”
Applications for the Business Costs Assistance Program are open, and businesses will only need to submit one application to receive their maximum payment •