Northern Territory Budget 2020-2021

Chief Minister and Treasurer Michael Gunner delivered the NT Budget yesterday, stating that his 2020 budget covers 3 objectives – controlling the virus, protecting jobs and kick-starting the economy. In his speech, the Treasurer said “While the Australian economy is forecast to shrink by a further one-and-a-half per cent in this financial year, as the worst effects of the crisis are felt, in the Territory we are expected to hold about steady, contracting by just 0.1 per cent.”
 

JOB FIRST PLAN

At the centre of the Budget 2020 is the Treasury’s Job First Plan, comprising seven measures to assist Territory businesses with annual turnovers of less than $10 million.
 

1.  Territory Small Business JobMaker Booster

With a cost of $7.8 million, this scheme will provide additional funding for those businesses with new eligible employees, $100 per week for eligible employees between 30 – 35 years of age and $200 a week for employees over 35 years of age.  This essentially means that employers will receive $200 per week for all new eligible employees, regardless of their age.
 

2.  Territory Small Business Saver Grant

With the end of the Business Hardship Register next year, this Grant will provide $5 million of relief to those businesses still significantly impacted by COVID-19.  Grant applications should demonstrate how the funding would help to reduce overall ongoing costs and will be assessed on a competitive basis.  Maximum funding it $10,000 per applicant with a 50:50 co-contribution required.
 

3.  Territory Small Business CX Grant

This Grant, providing maximum funding of $20,000 per applicant on a 50:50 co-contribution basis, is designed to enhance a business’s customer experience for locals and visitors. The application includes submission of a business case and applications will be assessed on a competitive basis.
 

4.  Territory Small Business Pivot Grant

Costing $4 million, this Grant is designed to assist small businesses to adapt to their new economic environment and to reach new markets through a greater focus on their digital capabilities, including e-commerce solutions and the use of technology to improve visibility and profitability. Maximum Grant available is $10,000 per applicant, with a 50:50 co-contribution.
 

5.  Territory Small Business Financial Fitness Fund

With a cost of $2 million, this program will assist businesses to build a greater understanding of their financial position and develop strategies to improve sustainability. Half of the program is for peak industry bodies to develop a training program specific to their sector, with the other half of the funding can be accessed by small businesses through a grant of up to $10,000 to attend training to improve their financial and business sustainability.
 

6.  Territory Small Business Supply Chain Solver

This program, costing $2 million, will provide small businesses with an opportunity to work with a Small Business Champion to explore options to solve supply chain issues. The maximum funding available is $10,000 per applicant on a 50:50 co-contribution basis.
 

7.  Territory Small Business Roadhouse to Recovery Grant

Costing $4 million, this Grant will provide wayside inns and roadhouses funds to improve their visitor experience with grants of up to $150,000 to support infrastructure improvements. This may include providing kids play spaces, improving amenities or providing additional accommodation spaces. The NT Government will provide $3 for every $1 spent by the business, up to a maximum of $150,000.
 

TERRITORY ECONOMIC RECONSTRUCTION COMMISSION

The Commission is currently finalising their recommendations, however the NT Government are already investing into various projects including $1.2m in a feasibility study into an “electric superhighway” between Darwin and Alice Springs and $6.6m in the Renewable Remote Power Program.
 

INFRASTRUCTURE

The 2020 Budget will invest $1.75 billion in Territory infrastructure, with 60% of the investment being allocated to remote and regional areas.  This includes road improvements, new and refurbished housing across the territory, police station construction and improvements, and upgrades to Kakadu and the township of Jabiru.