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EMDG Update: COVID-19 19 Mar 2020

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The impact of COVID-19 is being felt in all aspects of life. Small and medium sized businesses who are Australian exporters have been especially hard hit with the fall in international trade.

Naturally, our clients are concerned regarding the impact this will have on their business, their export activities and therefore their EMDG applications.

There has not yet been a statement made by Austrade regarding what, if any, impact this crisis will have on the future of the EMDG program. So, for now we proceed as usual until an official statement is made.

There is information on the Austrade website with updates for exporters. We would advise our clients, and all Australian exporters, to reference this material for more general export information. 

In terms of EMDG applications awaiting assessment, Austrade business continues as normal, except where your business has been selected for an in-person audit. Austrade have currently suspended all in-person audits for the time being and will reassess at the end of April. In-person audits may or may not go ahead at that time, depending on the landscape of the COVID-19 virus.

EMDG Program Forecast

The team at Glasshouse expect to see the program to continue to be available for Australian businesses; we anticipate the Government will recognise it is needed now more than ever. The program remained available throughout the recession of the 1980s and the 2008 global financial crisis, and we expect the same regardless of what will transpire throughout 2020 and onwards.

In light of the likely impacts of this pandemic, there is the possibility of changes to the EMDG program. The program fundamentally exists to support Australian exporters and it is possible that the program will be altered to provide additional support by way of this existing program.

Potentially, future eligible cost categories may look a little different - for instance, we are hopeful that clients will be able to claim the out of pocket costs of any cancelled international travel, conferences and trade shows. Ultimately what the EMDG program will look like moving forward will be decided by the recommendations of Austrade and the Federal Government. We anticipate any major changes to the program to be released prior to July 1, 2020 when the program reopens for applications.

Our advice to EMDG applicants

  • Be prepared and get a claim in early.

It is times like this, cash will be king and businesses will be looking to grant and incentive programs to assist. The earlier in the program your claim is submitted, the sooner it will be audited, finalised by Austrade and then paid out.

Therefore, we recommend getting in contact early to confirm your eligibility. We can then work with you between now and July 1 to get your application ready to lodge as soon as possible in the grant year.

  • Reconsider international travel

Australia has recently issued a Level 4 do not travel order. We therefore suggest to our clients to follow this protocol and reduce all international travel at this time.

For trips already booked, we are anticipating that ‘out of pocket’ costs for cancelled airfares will be claimable where you have not decided to travel or have been unable to travel. It is likely that other costs lost as a result of cancelled travel, such as accommodation etc, will not be included as these costs are already not directly claimable through the program. We are waiting for Austrade to confirm these changes to the program.

  • Stay informed

The Federal and State Governments have worked quickly to provide support to Australian businesses. To disseminate this information the Australian Government has created a page specifically outlining the support available for business here. This is being updated as new information becomes available and further support packages are announced. We would advise anyone who is wanting to know what is available for their business to use this as a reference point.

This is unchartered territory for many businesses, especially those who didn’t experience the ups and downs as a result previous recessions, downturns and financial crises. If there is anything to take away from these experiences it is that Australia has always rebuilt, and we can again.

Get in contact with us today to discuss your business, eligibility, and how we can assist you in recouping up to 50% of your international marketing costs.

 

 

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