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More funding from the Federal Government will be available to help local businesses in Gippsland and support local jobs.

Local MP Darren Chester said changes to the eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper program would help those impacted by the re-introduction of stage three coronavirus restrictions.

“The Federal Government is committed to supporting local businesses and saving livelihoods as we face the economic challenges triggered by the coronavirus pandemic,” Mr Chester said.

“Ensuring local businesses can keep their staff while they are closed or running at a reduced capacity is an important component of this.

“These changes to eligibility criteria will make it easier to qualify for JobKeeper.”

Key adjustments to JobKeeper include:

  • A change to the employee reference date – the relevant date of employment for an eligible employee will move from March 1 to July 1 2020, expanding employee eligibility.
  • A change to the turnover reference period – to be eligible for JobKeeper post September 28 2020, organisations will only have to demonstrate their actual turnovers have significantly declined in the previous quarter.

As a result, enterprises able to demonstrate a significant decline in turnover in the September 2020 quarter will be able to access the JobKeeper extension in the December quarter. Those able to demonstrate the required decline in turnover in the December 2020 quarter will be able to access the JobKeeper extension in the March 2021 quarter.

“All Gippsland businesses should check their eligibility under this new criteria,” Mr Chester said. “Support is available for those that need it and these changes will provide additional support businesses throughout our region.

“All of us can play a part in supporting our local businesses. Remember, shopping locally and choosing local service providers supports local jobs.”

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