On this page you will find useful information and resources to help support business through the COVID-19 crisis.
Stay up to date with the latest health information about COVID-19, how it applies to your business and steps you should be taking.
Click here for more information on COVID Normal. If you are unable to find the information you need online, please call the Business Advisory Line on 13 22 15.
Council has developed a COVID-19 Business Recovery Plan that outlines the impact of COVID-19 on the local economy and includes a three phase approach to support businesses during the pandemic, through the recovery and into the future.
Click here(PDF, 713KB) to view a copy of the Business Recovery Plan.
Industry Sector Guidance
You can also contact Council's Business Support Hotline on (03) 5772 0333, or reach out to your local business and tourism association(PDF, 175KB) or other business colleagues. You can also sign up to Council's Business Update emails here. We're all here to support each other.
Changes for Regional Victoria
Regional Victoria remains in Third Step restrictions. From 11.59 pm 18 October 2020 however some restrictions are easing.
The following changes to restrictions impacting businesses include:
• The limits of people in restaurants and cafes increases. You can have up to 70 people outdoors and up to 10 people per indoor space with a maximum of 40 people per venue indoors. The two and four square metre rules apply. Indoor spaces must be separated by permanent structures (should reach floor to ceiling or be at least 2.1 metres high) or be a discrete area of the premises. Businesses must continue to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne do not eat-in.
• Indoor swimming pools can open exclusively for those aged 18 and under. There is a limit of 20 customers in the pool or the one person per four square metre rule (whichever is the smaller number of people).One parent/guardian/carer per child is permitted for supervision purposes and not included in the limit. Swimming classes can resume.
• Indoor pools can open for one-on-one hydrotherapy sessions with a limit of 10 people in the pool at one time.
• Licensed tourism services that use open-air vehicles only are permitted to operate. A vehicle, inclusive of roofed vehicles, is considered an open-air vehicle if at least two sides are open to airflow at all times.
Business obligations relating to Metro Melbourne visitation
New stronger requirements have been introduced to ensure hospitality businesses in regional Victoria refuse seated service or bookings from residents from Metropolitan Melbourne. If a business refuses service and bookings from people living in metropolitan Melbourne, they have met their obligations for this requirement. For more information click here.
How to report a suspected breach of COVID 19 restrictions
- Assistance Line 131 444
- Click here to report online
- Call local police station
Businesses that are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can access information about the financial support available to them through the following links.
The Victorian Government has announced the Business Resilience Package to support Small Businesses in Victoria. The key initiatives within this package are:
The Victorian Music Industry Recovery Program offers grants to Victorian-based contemporary music industry artists, workers, businesses and organisations who have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).
The national JobKeeper and JobSeeker Programs have been extended. Click here to find out more information about JobKeeper for employers, employees, sole traders and other entities. Here are some resources to provide advice and support to your business
If your business is facing financial hardship and you would like to access additional help in meeting your financial obligations please see the below website
For free, independent and confidential financial counselling advice
There are a number of opportunities for businesses to access support in managing the impacts of COVID-19, implementing changes, planning for the future and sharing of experiences and ideas.
Council encourages businesses to seek advice and support for their existing networks. This may include accountants, bookkeepers, business advisors and local business and tourism associations.
- Click for Vic is Visit Victoria’s new $2 million marketing campaign encouraging Victorians to get behind the tourism industry by buying local products online. View the Click for Vic Toolkit here.
- Quality Tourism Framework is waiving accreditation fees until December 2020. The Quality Tourism Framework modules include COVID Clean and COVID Business Recovery. Find out more here.
- Business.gov.au offers Business Advisor Services providing business support and advice. In addition, the Continuing Your Business Guide is an interactive step-by-step guide that can help you understand what to do to keep your business operating at this time and planning for recovery
- Small Business Bus - The Victorian State Government Small Business Bus continues to operate as a virtual service. Book in for a telephone session for any location listed on their website. It's a great opportunity to chat to an experienced business advisor in a dedicated 45 minute session
- The Business Resilience Program is specifically designed to assist small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Support includes free access to virtual mentoring, online workshops and resources
- The Small Business Mentoring Service offers a range of industry specialist mentors which can be booked online
- Victorian Small Business Commission provides advice and support regarding business rental arrangements and mediation services
- The Australia Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) is offering free listings for 12 months. If you're a tourism business, get listed now! ATDW is the place where all key regional and state tourism websites get their information
- ATO support for businesses and employers
- Business Continuity and Recovery Planning resources are available from the Business Victoria website
- Local business and tourism associations
Business Tips and Tricks to help with stress
Here are some webinars about mental health during COVID-19 that you may also find helpful
There are also business advisory services available to provide business advice and support
Don't forget, you can also contact Council's Business Support Hotline on (03) 5772 0333, or reach out to your local business and tourism association or other business colleagues. We're all here to support each other.
You can also find a comprehensive list of mental health options on Council's Mental Health Support web page.
There are a host of free webinars taking place each week designed to support businesses at this time. Each week we'll update the below list to highlight upcoming webinars that could be useful to your business.
Please register in advance for all webinars.
Webinar: Navigating COVID-19 support: Keeping your small business on track
Murrindindi Shire Council
There’s no doubt that 2020 has been a challenging year for many small businesses in Victoria. If you are having difficulties in making ends meet, or you are unclear about the steps to take in seeking financial support, this free 2-hour workshop is specifically designed to help sole traders and small business owners in metro and regional Victoria. The workshop provides the guidance you need to tackle the burning issues concerning people working in home-based, retail, hospitality and other affected small businesses.
Please Note: This workshop is specifically tailored for Victorian businesses.
Date: Tuesday 27 October 2020, 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Webinar: Marketing your business: How to get it right first time
An effective marketing strategy should boost your brand, capture customers, keep them coming back, and ultimately save you time and money. Find out why just a website and a Facebook page is not going to cut it at this back-to-basics workshop that will show you how to develop a marketing action plan to keep your effort and resources focused in the right areas.
Please Note: This workshop is only available for Victorian small businesses and residents.
Date: Thursday 29 October 2020
Time: 10.00 am - 12.00 noon
Webinar: Building resilience: How to prepare for business challenges
Every business faces exposure to risk – be it natural, such as bushfires or floods, or man-made or illness.
With the unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, the fallout has impacted Victorian small businesses in many ways. If you are finding it a challenge to shield your business from the COVID-19 fallout, this workshop will take you through practical steps to get you through the current situation threatening your livelihood.
Date: Thursday 5 November 2020
Time: 7.00 pm - 9.30 pm
AVAILABLE ON DEMAND
Webinar: Is it time to go digital? Pondering the pivot
With so many Australian businesses in a Covid-19 holding pattern, is now the right time for digital transformation? Listen to the ponderings of two facilitators from the Entrepreneurs’ Program, Tony Shannon and Rob Olver, who believe even a small change can create a huge impact for your customers.
Webinar: Supporting positive mental health at work during COVID-19
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
In these challenging and uncertain times, maintaining a mentally healthy workplace becomes more important than ever.
COVID-19 is affecting the mental health of employees, managers and senior leaders, and will continue to do so into the foreseeable future. How does a workplace stay mentally healthy during such unprecedented disruption? How can managers best support their teams and individual employees?
Podcast: AgVic Talk
AgVic Talk is a new podcast series from the Victorian Government that will look at problems and solutions for managing bushfire recovery, drought and dry seasonal conditions, weather and climate, as well inspiring stories from young farmers.
Date: Available on demand
Course: Managing Customer Expectations, a guide to the Hospitality Industry
In collaboration with Business Victoria, Restaurant & Catering Association are proud to offer Managing Customer Expectations, a guide to the hospitality industry training. This training is offered free to small business owners in Victoria to equip them with the tools, templates and resources for the business to plan, start and thrive. It covers the following areas:
COVID-19 Hospitality Best Practice understanding
- Managing customer understanding and expectations
- Managing difficult situations and behaviours
- Maintaining currency with health department directives
The Managing Customer Expectations, a guide to the hospitality industry training is offered specifically for small business owners in Victoria and is offered free. At the completion of the course and competency given, you are awarded a digital badge (within 24 hours) which can be added to your LinkedIn profile, website, digital streams and CV and/or resume.
Other weekly webinar series you may be interested in
- The ACCC provides 13 online modules focused on what you need to know if you are advertising, selling and purchasing goods and services
- The Fair Work Ombudsman provides courses for employers through the online learning centre on a range of topics including - hiring employees, managing performance and difficult conversations in the workplace
Tourism Australia Coronavirus Webinar Series
Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) Insight Series
Melbourne Innovation Centre is holding free online workshops to support businesses (for ASBAS members). There are 2 online workshops delivered each week and topics include
- Social Media Marketing 101 for Small Business
- Sell Products on Social Media
- Content That Keeps You Connected
- Boost Business through Facebook Advertising
- Simple Steps to Build a Website
Business Victoria offers practical help with free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources to help you prepare for a strong recovery through Business Victoria. Click here to find out more.
It's Business as Unusual in Murrindindi Shire.
Council has created an online business directory to help local businesses promote their offering during COVID-19. Find out how you can list your business here.
Click here to find out more about Dindi Directory and Dindi Store.