Download the guide or see the helpful information below. 

Has your business been forced to shut down or seen a significant decrease in revenue?

Here’s what you can do.

Loan repayment deferrals:

We automatically enrolled business and community customers for a three month repayment deferral on all eligible BetterBusiness loans and Equipment Loans from April 2020. We then extended this deferral for all eligible customers for an additional three months through to September 2020.

In July 2020, the Government announced a further repayment deferral of up to four months on eligible business loans, for customers impacted by coronavirus. This further support has been offered on a case by case basis, dependent on individual circumstances.  

We have since written to customers before their payments were due to recommence in October 2020. We have also been in touch with customers who we consider may be in need of further financial support over the next few months to discuss the options available to them. This may have included an additional deferral period or other measures.  Customers who are able to resume repayments should do so.

For customers that require further financial support, please call your Relationship Manager or the Business Financial Assistance team on 13 2607. 

You can take measures to look after your employees

As you know, your employees are among your most valuable assets, and being prepared to hit the ground running once the crisis passes is critical. This means taking steps to keep them safe and to maintain essential services. It also means continuing to pay them if you can afford to. There are two alternatives by which employers may provide financial support to their employees:

JobKeeper Measures:

On 21 July, the Federal Government announced an extension to the JobKeeper Payment from 27 September 2020 to 28 March 2021, for eligible businesses. 

If your business revenue has declined by 30% or more due to coronavirus, you may be eligible to apply for the JobKeeper Payment. The eligibility rules for employees remain unchanged. From 28 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits seeking to claim the JobKeeper Payment will be required to demonstrate they have suffered an ongoing significant decline in turnover using actual rather than projected GST turnover.

The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020, and then to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021.

From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that work fewer than 20 hours per week.

The JobKeeper Payment will continue to remain open to new recipients, provided they meet the eligibility requirements.

Full details are available online: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/Fact_sheet-JobKeeper_Payment_extension.pdf

Stand Down Measures:

Under certain conditions you may be able to stand employees down, allowing them to stay on the books and accrue annual leave without you having to pay a wage. This will assist in allowing you to quickly restart your business when the coronavirus passes.  If you are eligible, you can still apply for the JobKeeper Payment.. Otherwise, once employees have exhausted their leave entitlements, they be eligible to receive a JobSeeker Payment or other Government income support.  This may be preferable to redundancy, because it can help keep your employees connected to your business so that you can start up quickly in the future.

You can access our dedicated JobKeeper helpline:

To help make sense of the support available for your business, we have introduced a dedicated CommBank JobKeeper helpline. Our Australian-based helpline is available to you 24/7 on 13 26 07.

You could boost cash flow

From 28 April 2020, the Australian Taxation Office will begin automatically crediting your business activity statement (for businesses and NFPs with <$50m revenue), with a payment equal to 100% of tax withheld on your salary and wages, between $10,000 and $50,000 with a further payment available in the July-October period. 

You could reduce rates and fees

For CommBank small business customers, we’re providing additional flexibility by reducing interest rates by 1.00% p.a. on small business loans where the interest rate is calculated based on the RBA cash rate plus a margin, which came into effect on 3 April 2020.

If you’re facing financial difficulty, you can ask us to refund your Merchant terminal rental fees, minimum monthly Merchant Service Fee, Monthly Access Fee, and Simple Merchant Plan fee (as applicable) for up to 90 days. If you have a Relationship Manager they will be able to assist you with this, or you can complete your request using our online form. If you would like any further support, you can speak with our dedicated Business Financial Assistance team on 13 26 07, who are available 24/7.

You could seek rent and utility relief

Many utility providers have also launched relief measures. Speak to your specific provider about temporary relief. The Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies was released on 7 April 2020 and aims to provide a range of rent relief measures for small and medium businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and eligible for the JobKeeper Payment (30% or greater loss in revenue). You can find out more here: https://www.business.gov.au/Risk-management/Emergency-management/Coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/Relief-for-commercial-tenancies

Your personal liability may not be impacted

Legislation has temporarily been relaxed so Directors will not be personally liable for insolvent trading where debts are incurred in the ordinary course of business. Debts will still need to be paid, but steps can be taken to protect businesses through this period. You can find out more at business.gov.au.

Support for Victorian businesses

Businesses in Victoria: you could apply for a grant

If your business suffers significant losses or needs to close as a result of the current restrictions in Victoria, you may be able to access a one-off grant through the Victorian government’s expanded Business Support Fund. Businesses in regional Victoria can apply for a $5,000 grant. Businesses in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire can apply for up to $10,000. To be eligible, your business must employ people and have an annual payroll of less than $3 million and be participating in the Commonwealth Government’s Jobkeeper payment scheme. Applications are open until 14 September, 2020.

Further information on the program including eligibility criteria here: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-package/business-support-fund

Apply here: https://businessvic.secure.force.com/PublicForm?id=hbsp2020#no-back-button

If you are a Victorian regional accommodation provider

If you are an accommodation business in regional Victoria and have been impacted by cancellations due to the Victorian Government Stay at Home restrictions announced on 8 July 2020, you may be eligible for direct financial support. Accommodation providers across regional Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) will be able to make a claim for a payment of up to $225 per night up to a maximum of $1125 per bookable accommodation offering for the period of the Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restriction period. You must have refunded in full the booking to a person who can no longer travel as a result of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, or from state border restrictions. Applications are open until the end of the lockdown period or until funds are exhausted.

More information available here: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-package/regional-tourism-accommodation-support-program

If you operate a small business in Melbourne CBD

You may be able to get financial support from the Victorian Government’s CBD Business Support Fund, to help small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD faced with significant shock to their trading environments. You can register your interest for the scheme here: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-support-package/cbd-business-support-fund

See what benefits you can claim

For businesses

You may be eligible for benefits, rebates and concessions that could help you save money and help your business with cash flow.

Check if you’re eligible

Personal

If you've lost income due to coronavirus and are claiming income support you may also be eligible for other benefits and rebates.

Check if you’re eligible

Have you been stood down by your employer or had your income significantly reduced?

Here’s what you can do. 

You can seek clarity

Being stood down is a temporary measure that means you remain employed but unpaid for the period of time that you do not perform your duties, but are not paid your usual wage. You will continue to accrue annual leave. You can learn more at fwc.gov.au

You can seek JobKeeper or JobSeeker support

If you have been a full-time, part-time, or long-term casual employee (over 12 months from March), contact your employer to check whether they are going to or have registered for the JobKeeper Payment. If they register, then they should be able to continue paying you a wage (see payment rates above in the JobKeeper measures section). Otherwise, if your income has fallen below a certain level you may be eligible for the JobSeeker Payment or other Government income support. 

If you have already made a JobSeeker application and may now be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment, do not withdraw your application. The relevant Government agencies will contact you if your JobSeeker claim needs to be stopped in favour of the new JobKeeper allowance from your employer.

Full details are available online: https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-07/Fact_sheet-JobKeeper_Payment_extension.pdf

You can continue to seek employment

Many businesses have increased demands at this time. If you have been stood down or had your hours reduced and you find other work you can take that job. As long as you are not employed as a full-time permanent employee this will not require you to resign from your original job. Your Government support will be adjusted based on the income you receive. 

You can talk to us about your loan and credit card repayments

If you’re concerned about making repayments on your credit card, personal loan or home loan, we have options to help you manage. Call us on 13 30 95 to speak to our Financial Assistance Solutions team to find out more about the options that suit your individual situation. They’re open 8am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9am – 2pm on Saturday (Sydney/Melbourne time). 

You could seek rent and utility relief

You may be eligible for rental assistance from the Government. Talk to your landlord about what else may be possible for further rental relief. The States and Territories have agreed to a 6 month moratorium on the eviction of commercial and residential tenants if they can’t pay their rent due to the ongoing crisis. Please continue to speak with your landlord and try to work on measures to help you both during this time. You may also be eligible for an energy subsidy. Many utility providers have also launched relief measures. Speak to your specific provider about temporary relief.

You can consider accessing superannuation

The Government has announced that if you’re eligible, you can withdraw up to $10,000 of your super, from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020. The first step is to check eligibility requirements on the ATO website. If you’re eligible, you can submit your application directly to the ATO via your My Gov account. You will not need to pay tax on these amounts and they will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments. Before you apply, consider how withdrawing your super might affect your retirement savings. You can find out more by using the super withdrawal estimator on the Moneysmart website. 

You may benefit from discussing your situation and possible financial planning needs with one of our qualified financial planners. Your first meeting is obligation-free and may be over the phone or at your local branch (subject to social distancing measures). You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

You can access additional benefits

Through Benefits finder in the CommBank app, you may be able to find government or other benefits that you may be eligible for. We also have some special term deposit rates, providing several options to earn a return well above the cash rate. CommBank is also taking steps to help free up household cash flow for our personal customers. 

You can seek additional support for your overall wellbeing

This period of uncertainty may cause stress for many individuals, families, community groups and businesses. It is critically important that you look after your mental wellbeing, as well as your overall financial wellbeing. If you are suffering from heightened stress or any other mental health condition, consult your regular doctor about the appropriate course of care, as you may be eligible for Medicare rebates on psychological services, with additional telehealth services being put in place to ensure they are available for all people requiring them.

You can seek help as a vulnerable community member if you are at risk of domestic violence

If you or your family are impacted by family or domestic violence, support is available to you. 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) is a free national counselling and referral service.  All of these calls are confidential and can help provide guidance during a difficult time,. If you're unable to call you can also visit www.1800respect.org.au for more information. If you’re a CommBank customer experiencing a domestic or family violence situation, you can speak to our specialist Community Wellbeing team about your financial needs. For more information visit commbank.com.au/dv-assistance.

See more information about ‘Next Chapter’: independence for survivors of domestic and financial abuse (PDF).

Are you a retiree who has seen their income or superannuation fall?

Here’s what you can do.

You can reduce your drawdown rate

To provide retirees with more flexibility in managing their retirement incomes, the Government has reduced the minimum drawdown rates for account based pensions and similar products by 50% from 1 July 2020. You should consider whether this is right for you given your circumstances. To get an idea of how long your account-based pension will last, please visit the Moneysmart website.

You can make changes to your asset allocations

With changes in market and economic conditions, you could consider seeking financial advice prior to making any decisions to alter your overall asset allocation. You may benefit from discussing your situation with one of our qualified financial planners. You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

Make an appointment to speak with a financial planner

You may benefit from discussing your situation and possible financial planning needs with one of our qualified financial planners. Your first meeting is obligation-free and may be over the phone or at your local branch (subject to social distancing measures). You can get in touch by visiting the Commonwealth Financial Planning webpage or calling us on 1800 138 713 from 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday-Friday (Sydney/Melbourne time).

You can take measures to remain safe and secure during this time

The risk of serious illness from coronavirus increases with age. It is important that you do everything you can to reduce your chances of catching the virus which includes maintaining safe social distance and limiting your exposure to any non-essential environments or groups of people. We understand that some of our customers prefer to come into the branch to do their banking. In light of the Government’s announcement around essential services, we are committed to keeping as many of our branches open as possible and also ensuring that our customers and staff are kept healthy and safe. Some of our branches may need to close from time to time and we will keep you updated via our branch locator tool. Social distancing will be observed in branch and added measures have been put in place to ensure the branch is kept clean and safe for all. If you have questions about using your Passbook during this time visit commbank.com.au/passbook.

Alternatively, you can also access accounts 24 hours a day through NetBank or the CommBank App, and general banking enquiries through our locally-based contact centres on 13 22 21, every day between 6am and 10pm.

You can increase your online safety and awareness of scams

We want you to remain safe and secure online. Unfortunately, there are some online scammers that will be seeking to take advantage of the current situation and access your personal information. Please do not share your personal bank details with anyone that contacts you directly. 

Learn more about how to protect yourself online

You can access support through the National COVID Older Persons Information Line

Council on the Ageing, National Seniors Australia, Older Persons Advocacy Network, and Dementia Australia have banded together, supported by the Commonwealth Government to launch a new support service. You can call 1800 171 866 to get the critical information you need to stay healthy and safe during coronavirus. 

There is much that we can do together.

For further information and links to applications, please go to commbank.com.au/coronavirus

You can empower yourself and take charge of your financial wellbeing: Review your financial position. Understand and be realistic about what your income will be during this time. Adjust your expenditure if required so that you can sustain your financial position. Think about what parts of your expenditure are essential expenses that you need, versus discretionary expenses that you want. It can be important to set a budget that helps you manage this over the next 6-12 months if required.

 

Things you should know

As this information has been prepared without having regard for your individual and/or business objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this information, consider its appropriateness to your circumstances. This information is current as at 4 August 2020 and is prepared without taking into account your individual and/or business needs and objectives. CommBank has the right to change or cancel this offer at any time without notice. The statements and content of this fact sheet have been sourced from various government publications and summarised. CommBank disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all warranties, representations or endorsements, express or implied, with regard to the material and does not accept any liability in relation to the quality, operability or accuracy of the material.

These products are only available to approved business customers and for business purposes only. This offer cannot be used to refinance existing debt or purchase an asset. Applications for finance are subject to the Bank's eligibility and suitability criteria and normal credit approval processes. View our current Terms and Conditions for Business Finance and consider them before making any decision about these products. Offer ends 30 September and are subject to change.

2 There are implications associated with repayment deferrals including that interest and any fees will be added to the outstanding balance in accordance with the contract and capitalised over the remaining term of the facility. This may mean that the total amount of interest payable will be more than it would have been under the original contract term if payments are deferred.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL and Australian credit licence 234945.