The Federal government has announced several new stimulus measures and the extension of some existing measures for the period following the end of the JobKeeper scheme.
Broadly, the SME Loan Guarantee Scheme will be extended to 31 December 2021 although access to the scheme is being restricted to businesses which were recipients of JobKeeper payments for the period between 4 January 2021 and 28 March 2021, specifically small and medium sized businesses with up to $250 million turnover. Other key changes in the operation of the scheme include:
- An increase in the proportion guaranteed by the government (up from 50% to 80%);
- Increasing the size of eligible loans from $1 million to $5 million;
- The turnover threshold is increasing from $50 million to $250 million;
- Maximum loan terms under the expanded scheme increased from 5 to 10 years; and
- Allowing the refinancing of existing loans.
The other main element of the package is aimed at the airline and tourism industries, which have of course been heavily impacted by COVID-19. While the precise details of these measures have not been released, the headline item is a half-price airline ticket program initially encompassing specific destinations within Australia.