Supporting jobs and the economy

Business Hardship Package

The Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan's Business Hardship Package is an initiative to help Northern Territory (NT) businesses that have experienced significant hardship as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Support is available to Territory businesses with a turnover less than $50 million who can demonstrate a reduction of turnover of 30% or more due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Once approved for the hardship register, businesses will receive a business hardship certificate that they can use to access relevant concessions such as payroll tax, utilities, rents and rates being offered as part of the Business Hardship Package.

The registration will enable businesses to apply for:

  • waiving or deferring payment of payroll tax
  • reducing utilities bills
  • providing incentives for commercial landlords to reduce rents
  • reducing or deferring rates
  • other relief which may be offered from time-to-time agreed to by the responsible minister.

Read the full terms and conditions.

How to apply

Applications are now closed.

Note: If you have already applied and been approved under this program, and are seeking an extension of eligibility due to continued hardship, you do not need to complete a new application. Please email us at hardshipregister@nt.gov.au with your request for an extension for the period 1 April to 30 June 2021.

What support is available

Businesses listed on the business hardship register receive a certificate to confirm hardship.

Your business is then assessed by the relevant authority (for example, Department of Treasury and Finance, local government council or utilities provider) to determine the relevant concessions.

Payroll tax concessions

Once hardship has been confirmed, and your business has been placed on the business hardship register, you can provide the Territory Revenue Office with the hardship certificate issued by the DITT. The Territory Revenue Office will then make contact to confirm your assessment for payroll tax relief.

Payroll tax relief will be assessed as per the following criteria:

  • payroll tax waiver for Territory employers with Australian wages for 2019-20 below $7.5 million where turnover has been reduced by at least 30%, or
  • payroll tax deferral for Territory employers with Australian wages for 2019-20 above $7.5 million where turnover has been reduced by at least 50%.

For further information on payroll tax relief, and the assessment process, go to the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

Council rates concessions

Once hardship has been confirmed and your business has been placed on the business hardship register, you can provide your local government council with the hardship certificate issued by DITT. This will confirm your entry on the business hardship register.

If you use your premises for your business and you pay rates, you may be able to access the following rate concessions from your local council:

  • a three-month rate waiver, and
  • a further three-month deferral on paying rates.

If you are a landlord who pays rates, and are not an eligible business, you may be able to access rate concessions if you negotiate in good faith to provide rent relief to your tenant who is an eligible business.

The availability of rate concessions is subject to individual council policy and may differ in different local council areas.

For further information contact your relevant local council.

Utilities concessions

Once hardship has been confirmed and your business has been placed on the business hardship register, you can provide your utilities provider with the hardship certificate issued by DITT. This will confirm your entry on the business hardship register and the date from which your hardship entitlements commence.

If you are a prescribed customer under section 13A(d) of the Electricity Reform (Administration) Regulations 2000, you may be entitled to an electricity tariff that is no more than 50% of the usual commercial rate.

Similarly, your business will be entitled to a water supply and sewerage services tariff that is no more than 50% of the usual commercial rate.

Rent concessions

When a commercial tenant demonstrates economic hardship and requests rent relief, you, as a commercial landlord, will be expected to negotiate relief in good faith.

If you do this you will also be eligible to receive payroll tax and utility bills relief.

In addition, the NT Government expects commercial tenants to benefit from rates relief provided by local councils.

The government will also waive the property activation levy for relevant landlords whose property becomes vacant due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. However, if you do not negotiate in good faith with your tenants, you will not be eligible for this relief.

For further information on the rental changes due to coronavirus (COVID-19), go to the Consumer Affairs website.

Contact

For more information, contact the Business Recovery team.