Weathering the storm: AORA

Weathering the storm: AORA

While it’s a trying time for many, AORA Members have indicated that the organics industry is standing strong, writes National Executive Peter Olah.

It has been a challenging few months for each of us personally and often professionally. Feedback from many of our AORA Members has indicated that, while there have been some struggles, our industry seems to be weathering the COVID-19 crisis better than many others.

Despite this, I know that some of our members have needed to utilise the available government assistance to “tide them over” and keep their people employed.

Others who have not yet used the government assistance may need to do so in the near future. That’s why I’d like to give this quick update on the future of these programs.

Recently, the Federal Government confirmed the extension of the JobKeeper payment by six months to March 2021, providing businesses with some certainty during this challenging time.

From 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021, full time employees will receive $1200 per fortnight, while part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $750 per fortnight.

From 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, full time employees will receive $1000 per fortnight, while part-time and casual employees working less than 20 hours per week will receive $650 per fortnight.

Businesses will still need to show a reduced turnover of 30 per cent (or 50 per cent if the businesses turnover is more than $1 billion), but reporting requirements have changed.

Businesses will now need to show that they have met the relevant decline in turnover test in both the June and September 2020 quarters to be eligible for the JobKeeper subsidy in the December quarter.

Businesses will then need to demonstrate that they have met the decline in turnover test again in the December 2020 quarter to be eligible to receive the payment in 2021.

The Taxation Commissioner will have discretion to set out alternative tests that would establish eligibility in specific circumstances, where it is not appropriate to compare actual turnover in a quarter in 2020 with actual turnover in a quarter in 2019.

We are thinking of all of our members in Victoria and hope that your staff and their families are all safe and well.

I would also like to note that following the recent spikes in COVID-19 cases in Victoria and NSW, the AORA Board and Conference Committee have made the decision to move the rescheduled November Conference to 15-17 June 2021.

The health and safety of our members and attendees is our top priority, and after speaking to many of our partners, exhibitors, speakers and attendees, the overwhelming consensus is that postponing the event is the preferred outcome.

The Adelaide Conference that was scheduled to be held in June 2021 will now take place in 2022.

If you have booked a ticket to the November Conference this will be rolled over to the 2021 conference. If you are unable to attend, please let us know by August 31 and we can arrange a refund.

We will be contacting speakers and exhibitors in the coming weeks to confirm availability, opportunities and attendance for 2021.

Thank you for your understanding. We can’t wait to see you in 2022.

For more information click here

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