Many businesses are having to deal with significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is impacting the large majority of businesses in our Shire who are facing a downturn in trade, restrictions on how they can operate, as well as managing employee safety and entitlements.
There is a wide range of information and resources available to help support business through this crisis, which we will keep up to date with the most recent information available.
If you would like to speak to someone regarding the difficulties you are facing please call Council on 5772 0333, reach out to your local business and tourism association(PDF, 175KB) or chat to other business colleagues. We're all here to support each other.
Stay up to date with the latest health information about COVID-19, how it applies to your business and steps you should be taking.
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Resources
Victorian Chamber of Commerce Resources
Industry peak bodies COVID-19 Information
The Australian Government has announced an economic response totalling $189 billion designed to support business through a variety of measures. You can find a broad overview of these measure on the dedicated Coronavirus business support page on the Business Victoria website.
Key aspects of this support include:
Victorian State Government
Payroll Tax Waiver
- Businesses with annual Victorian taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
- The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
- Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
- These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
Business Support Fund
- The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to help small businesses survive the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and keep people in work.
- Funding of $10,000 per business is available and will be allocated through a grant process.
- Small businesses are eligible if they; employ staff,have been subject to closure or are highly impacted by Victoria’s Non-Essential Activity Directions issued by the Deputy Chief Health Officer to-date, have a turnover of more than $75,000 and have payroll of less than $650,000.
You can apply now to this fund via the Business Victoria website.
Liquor License Fee Waiver
- Renewable liquor licence fees for 2020 will be waived. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed.
- Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees.
- Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.
You can register you interest in applying for these payments via the ATO website.
Supporting apprentices and trainees
Full information about this incentive, eligibility and some easy to follow examples can be found in this fact sheet.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Measures to create a safety net to lessen the threat of actions that could unnecessarily push them into insolvency and force the winding up of the business during the COVID-19 crisis.
Full details of these measures and how they can support your business, read the fact sheet.
Delivering support for business investment
- Increasing the instant asset write-of levels - fact sheet
- 15 month investment incentive - fact sheet
More information and case study examples available via the above links.
Australian Taxation Office
The ATO has introduced a range of support initiatives:
Australian Banking Association (ABA)
Small Business Relief
- Measures for Australian banks to defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months - contact your bank directly for more information.
- Several other assistance measures are available; Deferral of loan repayments, waiving fees and charges, interest free periods/no interest rate increases, debt consolidation to assist with manageable repayments.
Full details of the measure can be found at the ABA website. Financial hardship contacts for each bank can be found here.
Support is available for employees who have been impacted during the crisis:
Victorian State Government
Working for Victoria Fund
- The $500 million Working for Victoria Fund aim to support eligible displaced workers to apply for different types of work.
- This presents opportunities for paid work and an opportunity to contribute to Victoria’s ability to manage this event and support the community.
For further details and to register your interest visit the dedicated Working for Victoria webpage.
- The Government is providing two separate $750 payments to social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders. Find more details in this fact sheet.
- Temporary expansion of eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. Full details available in the fact sheet.
- Early access to superannuation to eligible individuals. Further details are available the Businees.gov.au website.
- Support and advice from Centrelink, including benefits available as a casual employee can be found on their website.
A range of measures are available to support sole traders, including:
- Businesses without employees, such as the self-employed, can register their interest in applying for JobKeeper Payment via the ATO website.
- Income support for sole traders
- Early access to superannuation funds
- Support for the immediate cash flow needs of sole traders
These measures are summarised in this Business.gov.au fact sheet.
For businesses requiring some financial counselling at this time, there are two organisations that provide free, independent and confidential advice:
Business.gov.au – Business Advisor Service can provide business support and advice.
Victorian Small Business Commission provides advice and support regarding business rental arrangements and mediation services.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce is offering free membership (worth $700) which provides access to a range of services.
The Small Business Mentoring Service offers a range of industry specialist mentors which can be booked online.
Business continuity and recovery planning resources are available from the Business Victoria website.
The Victorian State Government Small Business Bus visits locations across Victoria to support small business. Currently they are not undertaking any visits however businesses are welcome to book in for a telephone session for any location listed on their site. It's a great opportunity to chat to an experienced business advisor in a dedicated 45 minute session. Book a session via this link.