NEW State Support Grants, Big 4 Bank Lockdown Support & Much More

Find out everything you need to know in this week's Australian business news. From state grants to the Big 4 Bank's lockdown support, social media updates and new tools and so much more.

The lockdowns affecting the nation this week has sent shockwaves through Australian businesses. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know, including state grants, the Big 4 Banks lockdown support and as always, new features and updates on all social media platforms. 

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This Week’s Australian Business News: 28 June 2021 – 2 July 2021

Monday, 28 June 2021: Lockdown Payments Available For Small Businesses in the Northern Territory

In light of the snap 48 hour lockdown announced in the Northern Territory yesterday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner will be providing eligible small businesses with a lockdown payment.

The grant includes a one-off payment of $1,000 to small businesses, not for profits or incorporated associations. To be eligible, your business needs to have 20 or less employees, make less than $10 million and have had to cease all operations or incurred a loss of revenue of 50% or higher during the lockdown.

Applications for the grant open today from midday. Visit https://businessrecovery.nt.gov.au/ for more information.

Monday, 28 June 2021: Google Implements New Warnings To Users For Poor Search Results

Google has started sending warnings to users when a search result is likely to have a poor result.

These warnings have been implemented to overcome data voids, which occur when there is a large volume of information for a topic but little credible data to match. The update will help make users aware of potential misinformation or manipulated search engine results.

Businesses are reminded to ensure they are utilising Google’s Expertise, Authority and Trust (EAT) best practices to help their online content be shown without warning.

Monday, 28 June 2021: Instagram Tests New Desktop Posting Feature

Instagram are currently testing a new desktop feature where users can create posts on the platform using a web browser.

While the feature is in a testing phase, those with early access will see a “You can now create and share posts directly from your computer” message in the top-right corner.

Those with the feature will also be able to use built-in filters, basic editing parameters and choose aspect ratios in the browser. It’s a nod in the right direction for those who work more from a desktop than out and about.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021: Warning: Phishing Scam Imitating LinkedIn to Gain Information

Email spam and virus filter software company, MailGuard, has reported a phishing email scam disguised as a message alert from LinkedIn is being received by millions of LinkedIn users.

The email comes through as a LinkedIn alert notifying the recipient another member is trying to make contact. It uses LinkedIn’s logo, numerous branding components and support links to replicate a legitimate email from LinkedIn. However, the domain it is sent from does not match a LinkedIn URL.

It’s a reminder to be vigilant with who you give information to online.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021: Google to Test Seller Ratings Feature in Organic Search

Google have set out to merge ‘seller ratings’ into organic search, which has previously only been used in paid search results.

This feature allows users to see the business’s seller ratings in a normal, organic search summary.

As the seller rating tests were showing for web pages without review schema markup, it’s an indicator the tool will pull the information from Google Merchant Center, merging Google Ads and SEO.

For those utilising a full-suite digital marketing service (like Localsearch) it will help utilising the feature, if it rolls out, easier than single-service providers.

Tuesday, 29 June 2021: Google Issues Reminder for Website Owners to Not Be Precious About Their Website

John Mueller, Googles Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst, has reiterated the importance of how a website looks in its success.

During his Search Central SEO Hangout, Mueller said he understood how when you’ve spent so much time on something it can be easy to take feedback personally, but it could be what’s making your website unsuccessful.

He said website owners need to remember to take into consideration the colours and layout used on a website, ensuring there are no spelling, grammar or usability issues and similar.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021: NEW NSW Grants to Support Businesses During Lockdown

Yesterday, NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced eligible small businesses in NSW will be able to access $5,000 to $10,000 worth of grants amidst COVID-19 lockdowns.

The support grants have been split into two:

  • The Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant available to NSW businesses and sole traders with an active ABN, who make under $1,200,000 and over $75,000, as of the 1st July 2021.
  • The Hospitality and Tourism COVID-19 Support Grant for NSW businesses with an active ABN with a turnover of more than $75,000 and below $10 million, as of the 1st July 2021.
  • Payments will be available from July 19 2021.

This is for general information only. Please consult a professional for personalised information.

Wednesday, 30 June 2021: Lockdown Support From The Big 4 Banks

Today, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, Westpac and ANZ have announced relief support initiatives that patrons affected by the recent nation-wide lockdowns can receive.

These support measures across all four banks can include:

  • Access to loans provided through the Federal Government-backed SME Loan Recovery Scheme
  • Business customers can receive a refund on merchant terminal fees and other fees can be waived
  • Reduced or deferred repayments on asset and equipment finance and eligible business loans
  • Credit card and personal loan relief

Visit your bank’s website for more information.

Thursday, 1 July 2021: Tips for Your Business During a Lockdown

  1. Ensure you update any trading hour changes across your website, social media, business profiles (like localsearch.com.au and Google My Business), shop front, etc.
  2. Keep posting organically on social media, whether you are operating or not. If you’re open, this step is even more crucial to let people know you are operating.
  3. Also keep your website content schedule going as this will help ensure your SEO doesn’t struggle when you’re ready again.
  4. If you don’t have a website, now is the time to get one. You can make sales or take bookings for in the future and keep your business operating no matter what comes your way.
  5. Ensure you’re responding to messages and answering all calls possible, whether you’re open or not. You may need to redirect calls to come through to your mobile, if needed.
  6. Access grants and support available through the government.

Thursday, 1 July 2021: Instagram to Release Fans Only Stories Feature

Instagram has started to develop ‘Exclusive Stories’, a feature similar to Twitter’s Super Follows.

Reverse engineer, Alessandro Paluzzi, released screenshots of the tool, highlighting its ability to enable creators to generate content only to followers who pay for a subscription.

Instagram has commented the prototype is only in the development process and has not yet been tested on the public platform.

Thursday, 1 July 2021: Mark Zuckerberg Releases New Newsletter Platform: Bulletin

Mark Zuckerberg has announced a new product separate from Facebook called Bulletin.

Similar to Substack, Bulletin helps writers to produce free and paid articles and podcasts for their email subscribers.

Facebook will allow creators to choose their own subscription prices and will not take a portion of revenue at launch.

Creators will be able to use Bulletin to build their audience organically without needing to rely solely on Facebook.

Friday, 2 July 2021: WA’s Enterprise Support Program Applications Now Open

The Western Australian Government has invested $3.8million into the Enterprise Support Program for agri-businesses, enterprises and entrepreneurs to continue development and innovation.

Access to the grant allows businesses to continue product development, commercialisation of new agricultural technology, purchasing speciality equipment and much more.

Applications are open now. Please visit murray.wa.gov.au/ for more information.

Friday, 2 July 2021: Instagram Starts Testing Public Access to Link Sharing in Stories

Instagram has started testing the ability for all public users to be able to share a link in their stories.

Users will be able to do this with a linking sticker, allowing followers to tap the link and be directed to the website.

This new tool will allow small businesses to easily announce business updates, new products, promotions and more.

Friday, 2 July 2021: TikTok Lengthens Video Times

TikTok has started to roll out the new extended video times from 1 minute to 3 minutes, allowing everyone to be able to access this feature.

Longer videos provides creators with more flexibility in the content they create and share. It will also reduce the amount of multi-part posts as well.

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