Small Business Survival Fund

The Jobs Rescue and Recovery plan’s Small Business Survival Fund is a $50 million initiative to help Territory small businesses survive the physical distancing requirements in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The fund has three goals:

  1. Help local businesses survive through the partial or full shut-down period. For example, support in meeting unavoidable fixed costs.
  2. Help local businesses adjust and adapt to take advantage of the new consumer environment. For example, expanding online services, takeaway and delivery.
  3. Prepare local businesses to take advantage of the rebounding economy when the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is over. For example, upgrading premises or upskilling staff.

The fund will be administered by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade. It is targeted at businesses that have a significant reduction in trade due to the shutdown and physical distancing provisions.

The fund was developed by an industry-led advisory board, chaired by respected Territory business leader Dick Guit.

The Small Business Survival Fund is available to eligible businesses in addition to other support, including the Jobs Rescue and Recovery Package and the Tourism Resilience Package.

Important notice

As we work toward economic recovery, the survival elements of the Small Business Survival Fund are drawing to a close as we take steps to the new normal business restart.

The fund was designed to offer immediate support to businesses to survive the shutdown period and adapt to the new operating environment.

From Monday 25 May 2020 the fund will be closed to new applications.

Support will now be available to help eligible businesses transition to the new consumer environment and prepare to rebound when the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is over.

Eligible businesses will be contacted from Monday 25 May 2020 with an access form for the rebound support grant.

Full details of the fund and payments are provided in the terms and conditions.

Please direct any questions regarding your application to


Businesses will have to provide a certified financial / payroll statement identifying the number of employees pre-shutdown.

The eligibility criteria includes:

  • a demonstrated reduction in turnover
  • impact of fixed costs, such as rent and power
  • an employment reduction.

Eligible businesses will have access to all five payments as part of the one application.

Businesses that have been approved for the fund will not need to re-apply to access different payment types.

The original application form will be used to determine eligibility for the operational and rebound support grants.

Immediate survival payment - now closed

The immediate survival payment provides an initial lump sum directed to businesses to help offset immediate cost pressures and provide time to plan.

Payment amounts are:

  • $2,000 for businesses with only one full-time equivalent (FTE) employee (including sole traders)
  • $5,000 for businesses with 2 to 4 employees (FTEs)
  • $20,000 for businesses with 5 to 19 employees (FTEs)
  • $50,000 for businesses with more than 20 employees (FTEs).

Rapid adaption payment - now closed

The rapid adaption payment provides:

  • up to $1,000 for businesses with one employee (FTE) and
  • up to $5,000 for other eligible businesses to offset costs incurred in adapting their current business model to suit restrictions.

This payment is application-based and paid direct to the business.

It will be paid on the provision of an appropriate invoice.

Expenditure must occur after the announcement and applications close on 1 May 2020.

Operational boost payment - now closed

Payment provides immediate cash boost to affected businesses to offset the costs of continuing to maintain the business. Payment amounts are:

  • $2,800 for businesses with only one employee (FTE), including sole traders
  • $8,400 for businesses with 2 to 4 employees (FTE)
  • $16,800 for businesses with 5 to 9 employees (FTE)
  • $28,000 for businesses with 10 to 14 employees (FTE)
  • $42,000 for businesses with more than 15 employees (FTE).

Operational support payment - now closed

Businesses with annual turnover greater than $75,000 and who have received previous payments will be able to supply additional information on a fortnightly basis to enable these payments.

Businesses must provide the number of FTE employees actively engaged in operating the business during the relevant two-week period prior.

Employees who are stood-down or not undertaking any paid hours of work during that period will not be included as FTE.

Covering three fortnightly payments over a six week period, the number of FTE employees will be used as evidence of business activity and a nominal value of $1,000 per FTE will be paid per fortnight, up to a maximum of $15,000 per payment.

Rebound support grant - now closed

A grant for new activities that adapt or rebound the business to operate effectively in the new economic environment.

Businesses approved for the Small Business Survival Fund and / or the Business Hardship Register, with annual turnover between $75,000 and $10 million will be able to access the grant once, providing quotes for up to five different activities.

Grants include an unmatched portion worth up to $5,000 depending on business size and an additional matched contribution of up to $10,000. The maximum grant available ranges between $10,000 and $15,000 in total.

Affected business sectors

The following list includes those businesses specifically identified in the Australian Government physical distance restrictions and how they are proposed to be treated under this program.

Food, drink and retail

This includes:

  • restaurants and cafes
  • pubs, registered and licensed clubs (excluding bottle shops), hotels (excluding accommodation)
  • auction houses
  • retail (other).

Beauty and personal care services

This includes:

  • beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours
  • spas and massage parlours.

Entertainment venues

This includes:

  • cinemas, nightclubs and entertainment venues
  • casinos, gaming or gambling venues
  • strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues
  • concert venues, theatres, arenas, auditoriums and stadiums
  • amusement parks and arcades
  • play centres (indoor and outdoor).

Leisure and recreation

This includes:

  • community and recreation centres (private enterprise only)
  • gyms, indoor sporting venues, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres
  • bootcamps, personal training operating outside and inside
  • galleries, museums, national institutions and historic sites (private enterprise only)
  • libraries, community centres and youth centres (private enterprise only)
  • tourism (other).

If your business is not listed

If your business is not listed, email and someone will contact you to discuss your specific case within two business days.


For more information, contact the Business Recovery team.