Applications for the Small Business Hardship Grants (Expanded Program) have now closed.

Applications are now open for the Small Business Hardship Grants (Expanded Program).

The Level 2 COVID-19 Business Assistance Package - Small Business Hardship Grants Program is designed to provide financial support for businesses most impacted by Level 2 public health and social measures that came into effect on 3 March 2022.

Under an expanded program, two tiers of grants will now be available to businesses that experienced a decrease in turnover for a consecutive two-week period between 1 January and 30 April 2022:

  • A revised tier for businesses that experienced a decline in business turnover of 40 per cent (reduced from the original 50 per cent decline) or more.
  • A new tier for businesses that experienced a decline in business turnover of 30 per cent or more.

Eligible applicants will receive a tiered grant payment, dependant on their reduction in turnover and the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees of the business. For the purpose of this calculation, the business owner is excluded from the FTE calculation. The following grant tiers are available:

Number of FTEs New tier
30% decrease
Revised tier
40% turnover decrease
Non-employing (business owner, no additional employees) $3,750 $5,000
Micro businesses (business owner, plus 1-5 employees) $7,500 $10,000
Small businesses (business owner, plus 6-19 employees) $15,000 $20,000
Medium businesses (business owner, plus 20+ employees) $37,500 $50,000

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the Small Business Hardship Grants Program, the applicant must meet all criteria listed below:

  1. Verify their identity using MyGovID.
  2. Hold a valid and active ABN for the period covered by their application.
  3. Be currently trading in Western Australia and:
    1. Have an annual turnover of more than $50,000, excluding GST.
    2. Have an Australia-wide annual payroll of less than $4 million.
  4. Demonstrate a reduction in turnover for a consecutive two-week period between 1 January and 30 April 2022, compared to an equivalent period in the previous year.
    1. For the 40 per cent tier, a reduction of at least 40 per cent.
    2. For the 30 per cent tier, a reduction of at least 30 per cent
  5. Provide evidence of the number of FTE or equivalent employees of their business.
  6. Provide an unredacted PDF copy of their business bank statement showing 2022 transactions, a BSB, an account number and the business name associated with the application.
  7. Agree to the program’s Terms and Conditions.

Hardship Grant webinar

This Small Business Hardship Grants webinar covers what small businesses need to know to create their grant application. We cover the eligibility criteria, the myGovID verification process, how to complete your application and the evidence you need to get ready.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is this grant assessable income for tax purposes?

Generally, grants or support payments from the government are taxable and need to be included as assessable income in your tax return, unless they are specifically made non-taxable. The WA Government’s COVID-19 business grants have NOT been declared non-taxable by the Commonwealth Government, therefore they should be declared as assessable income. Instead, the Commonwealth has committed to providing a 25 per cent top-up payment to the grants, which will be paid in the 2022-23 financial year.

Further information on the tax implications for government grants is available from the Australian Taxation Office.

I originally applied for this grant when a 50 per cent reduction in turnover was required. Do I need to reapply?

Previous applicants for the Small Business Hardship Grants program do not need to reapply. Your application will be reassessed in line with the new decrease in turnover criteria and you be notified if your eligibility status has changed.

I was approved for the original program but it appears I am now eligible for a higher payment – who do I need to contact?

If you have already received a payment for this program and are now eligible for a higher payment according to the new settings, this will be automatically deposited into your nominated bank account. You do not need to contact us.

What industries must businesses operate in to be eligible to apply for this grant?

To be eligible for this grant, your business must be primarily based in Western Australia and may operate in any industry, provided you meet all of the eligibility criteria.

I don’t have a MyGovID – how can I apply?

It is a requirement of the program that the person applying on behalf of the business verifies their identity using the myGovID app, set to a standard strength. Instructions for obtaining a myGovID are available online and on this video tutorial.

In exceptional circumstances, alternative ID arrangements may be made by contacting grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au

I’m a bookkeeper/accountant. How do I use MyGovID when applying on behalf of one of my business clients?

If you are an authorised person acting on behalf of a business to apply for this grant, you must use your own myGovID to verify your identity as the applicant. You must also provide evidence of your authority to act on behalf of that business, for example in the form of a letter from the business owner uploaded as a PDF with your application. Please ensure that the authority to act uses the same name as your myGovID. You will use your own myGovID and be regarded as the applicant, even though you may be applying on behalf of multiple businesses.

I am having technical issues with myGovID – can you help?

myGovID is administered by the Australian Government. If you’re having trouble, you can find support to help you verify your identity through the Australian Government’s support documents or contact them for further assistance.

What is a “reasonable comparative period” to demonstrate a minimum 30 per cent or 40 per cent reduction in turnover over a two week consecutive period?

An equivalent consecutive two week period the previous calendar year (between 1 January and 30 April 2021) is the most suitable comparative period. However, alternative comparative periods of two consecutive weeks between 1 January and 31 December 2021 will be considered if the equivalent period in 2021 provides an inaccurate representation of the business revenue performance, for example if the business was impacted by COVID-19 restrictions during the equivalent period in 2021.

Example: John operates a school incursion service in the Perth metropolitan area, employing three full time staff. Business turnover was affected in February 2021 due to public health restrictions in place for Perth and Peel at the start of the school year, traditionally a busy time. John may choose to compare his decrease in turnover for a two week period between 1 January and 30 April 2022 with a consecutive two week period during term four 2021, when his business was operating at full capacity.

Do I need to meet the minimum turnover and reduction in turnover criteria if I am a new business and haven’t yet traded for a full year?

Yes, all applications need to meet the minimum turnover criteria in FY2020/21 or YTD for FY2021/22. You must have a comparison trading period from 2021 to show the reduction in turnover (therefore, businesses started in 2022 will not be eligible).

Can I apply if I am the new owner of an established business?

If a business has been purchased as a going concern, you can use financial records from the previous owner to demonstrate the business meeting minimum turnover requirements, or as evidence of a reduction in turnover, compared to their equivalent period 2021 trading figures. You should provide additional evidence about the sale of the business to verify the turnover claims submitted.

I’m an owner/director working in my business. Can I count myself as an employee as well as the owner or director?

If you are the main business owner, you are not classified as an employee. If there are multiple business owners in a company or other structure, who are paid a salary/wage and superannuation contributions via Single Touch Payroll, you may count any person additional to the primary owner as an employee, applying the FTE test described above. Business owners who take drawings rather than a wage are not considered employees.

How is FTE calculated?

For the purposes of this grant program, the calculation of Full Time Equivalent employees is the total number of hours worked in any consecutive fourteen day period divided by 74 hours. The claim period can be any two weeks between 1 January 2021 and 3 March 2022 inclusive. You will need to state the total number of hours worked in a fortnight by full-time, part-time and casual employees of your business, noting the following:

  • annual, sick, personal or other leave hours are not included
  • employee hours must be derived from the business payroll and do not include contractor or labour hire hours
  • the hours for one business owner are not included but if the business has multiple owners, or multiple working directors, one of those can be nominated as the business owner, and the hours of the others can be included if they are drawing salaries/wages through the business payroll
  • salaried employees whose hours are not recorded are considered full-time at 74 hours per fortnight
  • standard rounding practices are applied so any calculation resulting in a number less than 0.5 is rounded down to the nearest whole number, and any calculation resulting in a number with 0.5 or above is rounded up to the nearest whole number. The only exception is for calculations resulting in a number more than zero but less than 0.5, which is not rounded up but is still considered in the micro business tier (business owner, plus 1-5 employees).

Example: Linh (business owner) works full time (37 hours per week) in her catering business and employs two part-time sous chefs, each working 25 hours per week, and a part-time delivery driver for 15 hours per week.

Linh:

  • adds the hours worked by all employees (excluding herself as the business owner) of her business 25 + 25 + 15 = 65 hours per week. Multiplied by two = 130 hours per fortnight
  • divides the total hours (130) by 74 = 1.8 FTEs

Linh therefore has 2 FTEs and if found eligible, would qualify for the micro-business tier.

You can use our FTE calculator spreadsheet to enter the details from your own payroll evidence and work out the FTE for your own business. If you do use the calculator you will still need to provide evidence to verify your payroll figures in your application.

What evidence do I need to demonstrate my number of FTE employees?

You need to upload a document that verifies the employee numbers and hours that you have entered in your application form. This can be a payroll summary, payroll history report, payslips or other document generated by your accounting software. You can also upload additional evidence such as timesheets, or our FTE calculator spreadsheet as supporting documents but these are not sufficient evidence on their own. This evidence must be uploaded as a PDF.

Can I speak to someone about my circumstances over the phone?

Unfortunately, our Grants team is unable to accept calls from the public. If you have a question that is not covered by our terms and conditions and frequently asked questions document, you can email grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au.

Please note: it may take up to three business days to receive a reply via email and we are unable to provide updates regarding the progress of your application earlier than four weeks after successful lodgement.

See the full list of FAQs

Terms and Conditions

Download the program terms and conditions  

Key steps

  1. Ensure your internet browser is up to date, the following browsers are recommended:
    • Google Chrome v3.0+
    • Safari v3.0+
    • Firefox v 2.0+
    • Internet Explorer v8.0+
  2. Follow the myGovID identity verification procedure:
    1. Ensure you have set up your myGovID app to standard security strength on your smart device (see video tutorial).
    2. Click on the “Verify your identity” button on this page to go to the myGovID verification page on wa.gov.au.
    3. Click on the “Confirm identity” button then “register now” in the digital identity section. You will be redirected to identity.gov.au.
    4. Select “myGovID” and login with the email address assigned to your myGovID account.
    5. Enter the code show on the screen into your smart device’s myGovID app.
    6. You will be redirected to wa.gov.au where you give your consent to share your identification details.
  3. On the wa.gov.au page you have been redirected to, complete your other details including your ABN, select the grant/s you are applying for, and submit the form. You will see a confirmation message.
  4. You will receive an automated email with details on how to start your grant application. Select the link for the grant you are applying for to take you to the SmartyGrants platform.
  5. You can log in to SmartyGrants using an existing login from your registered email, or create a new account. Note that applications on the SmartyGrants platform can be saved and returned to later by using your account details, but can’t be accessed or edited once submitted.
  6. Once you have submitted your application, you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt. Without this acknowledgement, your application has not been successfully submitted.
  7. Applications must be received by 4:00pm 30 June 2022 (AWST).
  8. Applications will be reviewed as quickly as possible and you will be notified of the result via email.
  9. Payments for successful applications will be made to your nominated business bank account.

Fraudulent grant applications

Do you have information about a fraudulent attempt to benefit from a COVID-19 grant? To make an anonymous online report, visit the Crime Stoppers WA 'COVID-19 Grant Fraud - Make a Report' page.