Eligibility

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.

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.

If I have more than one business, can I make an application for each affected business?

Yes, provided each business is separately trading and separately meets the eligibility criteria. You will need to make separate applications for each eligible business, however, you must use the same Smarty Grants login for all applications.

Can I be compensated if I don’t meet the 30 per cent or greater reduction in turnover criteria, but the costs of running my business have increased?

No, you must be able demonstrate a minimum 30 per cent or greater 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, to be eligible for the new tier of the grant, or a 40 per cent or greater reduction for the same period to be eligible for the revised tier of the grant.

Can I apply if I have a mobile business (that is, not based in one location), such as a food truck?

Yes, provided your business meets all of the eligibility criteria.

Can I apply as a sole trader, if I have more than 20 employees, or if I am a franchisee?

Yes, provided your business meets all of the eligibility criteria. Tiered payments apply according to the number of FTE employees of your business.

Can not-for-profits apply for the Small Business Hardship Grant?

Yes, businesses which operate as a ‘commercial entity’ but their business structure is not-for-profit are eligible to apply for this grant.

I am a contractor – am I eligible?

Contractors who operate as sole traders with an ABN may apply for the program, provided they meet eligibility criteria.

There was more than one period of two consecutive weeks when my business experienced a decline in turnover between 1 January and 30 April 2022 – can I apply for multiple grants?

No, your business is only eligible for one Small Business Hardship Grant payment. You may not apply for multiple two-week periods or more than one tier of this grant program.

I applied for the Small Business Assistance Grant – December 2021 and the Tenant Rent Relief Scheme — can I apply for this grant as well?

Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria of each grant, you may apply for one tier of the Small Business Hardship Grant (Expanded Program) and other separate grant programs. Each grant requires a separate application. You must use the same SmartyGrants login for all applications.

What do I need to check to ensure that my Australia-wide annual payroll is less than $4 million to be eligible for this grant?

Your annual payroll calculation can be for the 2020/21 or 2021/22 financial year, and may be the Year to Date figure or projected payroll for the current financial year. Payroll calculations include any payment provided to an employee in return for services provided to their employer, including these different types of taxable wages.

Creating your application online

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 at mygovid.gov.au/set-up 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

Financial evidence

Why do I need to provide a PDF copy of my bank statement?

To assist in validating the eligibility of the application, including providing evidence that the business is currently trading, and to protect the program from fraud, it is important that we receive an unredacted PDF copy of the most recent business bank statement for the account into which the grant will be paid.

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

What evidence will I need to demonstrate that the annual turnover of my business is more than $50,000, exclusive of GST?

You may be asked to upload PDF documents as evidence of your annual turnover to support this eligibility criteria. Evidence may be in the form of:

  • Your lodged 2020-2021 financial year tax return.
  • BAS for the 2020-21 financial year.
  • A report from your bookkeeping system for the 2020/21 financial year.
  • A letter from your accountant.

The evidence must show actual turnover, and cannot be based on a forecast or prediction of turnover.

You will be notified if you need to provide this evidence.

What evidence do I need to prove my reduction in turnover?

You must provide turnover comparison data for the same period last year or a reasonable comparable period as described above. The data can be supplied as copies of:

  • A profit and loss statement from your bookkeeping system.
  • Business bank account transactions.
  • A sales report from your store Point of Sale system.
  • A letter from your accountant.

To support your application, you may also provide a completed copy of the SBDC’s Average decline in turnover calculator spreadsheet.

All figures quoted should be exclusive of GST. Unless otherwise indicated supporting evidence must be uploaded in PDF format.

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).

FTE employee evidence

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.

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 long do my employees need to have been working in the business to be counted in my total number?

Employees must have been employed at your business on or before 3 March 2022 for the purpose of this grant. For casual employees, please use an average that represents the typical number of casual hours worked each week in your business. The FTE calculation can be reported for any two week period between 1 January 2021 and 3 March 2022 and does not need to be the same two week period in which the revenue reduction was demonstrated - you can select a period from 1 January to 3 March where staffing levels best reflect a normal trading pattern for your business.

Are contractors considered employees under this grant program?

Contractors who have their own ABN, for whom you don’t pay tax or superannuation contributions, are not considered employees of your business.

I am a non-employing business – what evidence do I need to provide?

If you are applying for the grant as a non-employing business, you can upload a copy of your individual tax return for 2020-21 in which the section for business items demonstrates your business income and expenses.

General

How much is the grant payment?

Eligible applicants will receive a tiered grant payment, dependant on the percentage of turnover decrease and the number of Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees of the business, in the following amounts:

Number of FTEs New tier
30% decrease
Revised tier
40% turnover decrease
Sole traders (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

What can I use the grant for?

The grant is intended to help offset the losses incurred by your business due to reduction in turnover related to increasing community cases of COVID-19 and the implementation of Level 2 Public Health and Social Measures Directions, however there is no specific guidance as to how you may use the money.

Why was the period 1 January to 30 April 2022 chosen as the applicable period for this Small Business Hardship Grant program?

During the reference period, there were increased cases of COVID-19 in the Western Australian community that may have impacted businesses. In addition, in response to increasing Omicron COVID-19 community cases, Level 2 public health and social measures were in place from 12:01am 3 March 2022. Measures included mandatory wearing of masks in public indoor areas, and density and capacity limits at businesses. The reference period recognises the impact of reduced turnover during this period on small businesses.

Are turnover figures based on cash or accrual accounting?

Either cash or accrual methodology can be used, provided the same method is used to demonstrate turnover for the comparative period.

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.

How do I upload my bank statement and other evidence?

Make sure you have saved PDF copies of your supporting documents. The only acceptable format for uploading bank statements is PDF. At the appropriate stage in the application process, you will be prompted to upload evidence from your device. It is recommended you do this from a desktop device and not a mobile phone if possible.

When do applications close?

The closing date for this grant program is 4:00pm 30 June 2022 (AWST).

What happens if I receive a grant but my business is later found to be ineligible?

Payment is based on the information you provide, in good faith and to the best of your knowledge, during the application process. However, the WA Government will conduct audits of the information provided and reserves the right to recover any payments made that did not meet the eligibility guidelines.

If, by making an application for a grant, you knowingly provide false or misleading information, create false documents or impersonate a person or business with the intent to deceive the grant provider in order to obtain a benefit, this may constitute a fraud offence under the Criminal Code Act 1913 and be subject to criminal penalties.

Who do I contact with any queries regarding the application process?

If you have any queries about the application process for the Small Business Hardship Grants program, please email grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au. Our team will aim to respond to you within three business days. Please do not enquire about the progress of your application, as we are unable to respond to these enquiries due to the volume of applications expected.

Application status

How long will it take for my application to be assessed?

Due to a very high volume of applications currently being received, the assessment timeframe is currently approximately 12 weeks from the date your completed application is submitted, to payment date, if you are eligible. Please do not enquire about the progress of your application, as we are unable to respond to these enquiries due to the volume of applications being processed. You will be contacted by a member of our team if any information is outstanding, or to be notified whether your application has been approved or declined.

If my application is successful, will I be notified, and how and when will I receive the payment?

If your application is successful, you will be notified by email and payment will be made to your nominated bank account. Please remember to check your junk folder for emails from grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or add this address to your ‘safe senders’ list.

Will I be notified if my application is unsuccessful?

Yes, you will be notified by email if your application is unsuccessful. Please remember to check your junk inbox for emails from grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au or add this address to your ‘safe senders’ list. If you have not received an email from us regarding the outcome within 12 weeks of submitting your application, please email grants@smallbusiness.wa.gov.au.

If my application is unsuccessful, can I appeal the decision?

Yes, an appeal process will be in place for this grant. If your grant application is unsuccessful, we will provide you with written advice on the appeal process.

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.

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.

 

Return to Hardship Grants overview page