Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a second government stimulus package worth $66 billion to stabilise employment and prevent small businesses, such as some quarries, from closing their doors permanently.
The federal government has introduced a new $66 billion stimulus package, providing up to $100,000 in cash payments for small and medium sized businesses bearing the brunt of the economic knockdowns from the coronavirus pandemic.
Many small and medium sized quarries will be granted higher cash grants than the government’s first stimulus package, with payments previously ranging from $2000 to $25,000.
The new stimulus is designed to stabilise employment and allow small businesses to stay afloat during the economy’s decline.
“Whether it is a coffee shop or mechanic or hairdresser … by providing at a minimum $20,000 and up to $100,000 for small businesses who employ people, [it] gives them a chance to get to the other side,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
With some Australian quarries qualifying as small businesses (100 people or less), the new stimulus presents as another vital step towards keeping the industry in good stead, according to Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox.
“The additional economic measures being announced by the Federal Government today are a timely and welcome response to the rapidly escalating challenges facing Australian businesses and households,” he said.
The government has also introduced a coronavirus small and medium enterprise guarantee scheme to encourage lenders to provide credit to SMEs, with up to $20 billion out of $40 billion in SME loans guaranteed by the government under the scheme.
KEEPING THE DOORS OPEN
With many non-essential businesses such as restaurants and pubs expected to close their doors, Willox stressed the importance of the construction industry to stay open during the pandemic.
“Health services, pharmaceuticals and health equipment are clearly essential. As are energy generation and distribution and telecommunications. Food production, goods required for hygiene and sanitisation are critical as is waste collection and disposal. It is no less important that the industries that support the supply and distribution of essential goods and services are able to operate. This includes a range of logistics, manufacturing, maintenance and construction businesses and their supply chains.”
“The situation is changing daily. Confidence, cash flows, trading and macro-economic conditions are rapidly impacting business operations and the employment prospects of hundreds of thousands of Australians.
“The increase in the cash flow assistance for small businesses who keep employing staff is a sensible expansion of the PAYG relief for these businesses and will help keep them afloat and supporting their employees.”
So far, the government has inserted $189 billion into the economy during the pandemic.