2018/2019 Budget Benefits for Small Medium Businesses


The Federal Government recently handed down its Budget for the 2018/2019 financial year, with many key points for those in the café, restaurant and catering sectors.

Over 92 percent of businesses in the café, restaurant and catering sector are small businesses, with 19 employees or less, which means many of the small business benefits will assist the industry.

Here is the key information from the Federal Budget that your business needs to know.

Buy New Equipment

One of the biggest announcements in the Federal Budget was the extension of the popular instant asset write off programme until June 20, 2019. This means small businesses in the café, restaurant and catering sector with an annual turnover of up to $10 million can immediately deduct eligible assets each costing less than $20,000.

So if you are looking for a new coffee machine, fryer or tables and chairs for your venue, you have $20,000 to spend this year that can be claimed back on tax immediately.

Consider Craft Beer

If you are a licenced venue, you can tap into a new customer base by serving Australian craft beer alongside — or instead of — the big brands.

Craft brewers and distillers previously paid additional tax to the big players, but that has been softened in the Federal Budget.

Previously, beer sold in smaller kegs (like craft beer) attracted higher taxes than the bigger kegs produced by the major commercial players.

The government has now extended the concessional draught beer excise rates to kegs of eight litres, which means restaurants can purchase craft beer at reduced rates. This allows vendors to cater to a larger client base with more beer options on tap.

New Rate for Minimum Wage

The weekly minimum wage in Australia will rise by 3.5 percent to $719.20 in the 2018/19 financial year with the new hourly rate of $18.93. This equates to a rise of $24.30 a week, down from the $50 a week the Australian Council of Trade Unions had been pushing for.

Changes to Penalty Rates

Sunday penalty rates in the Fast Food, Hospitality, Pharmacy and Retail awards will change from July 1, following the Fair
Work Commission decision last year.

Public holiday rates will drop from 250 percent to 225 percent for full-time and part-time employees. Casual employees in the restaurant sector will have their public holiday rate remain stable at 250 percent.

For those in the fast food sector, the changes only apply to level one workers.

Restaurant workers will still receive a 15 percent after midnight penalty, but this will only extend to 6am now instead of the previous 7am.

Sunday penalty rates will change in various ways across different industries in the café, restaurant and catering sector. You can access a calculator to see how you will be impacted at the Fair Work Australia website.