Business Resources and Support

Overview

On this page you will find useful information and resources to help support business through the COVID-19 pandemic. 

COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS AND OBLIGATIONS

COVID-19 Restrictions – Statewide Settings from 6.00 pm on Friday 18 February 2022 – Click here.

Key changes include

  • density quotients will be removed in hospitality and entertainment venues

  • indoor dancefloors at hospitality and entertainment venues can re-open

  • QR code check-in requirements will no longer be in place at retail venues, schools, childcare and early childhood and for employees at many workplaces.

  • QR code check-in and vaccination check requirements will remain in hospitality and entertainment venues.

  • mandatory surveillance testing for key industries, including meat processing, will become recommended only.

 Face Masks

  • Wearing a mask is required for everyone aged 8 and above in all indoor settings in Victoria (unless an exception applies, such as when in a home, when consuming food or drink, or when receiving beauty services).. Click here for more information.

Get Tested

BUSINESS INFORMATION
My Business Checklist

  1. COVID Safe Plan

  2. Recording Staff Vaccination

  3. COVID Safe Signage Displayed

  4. Vic QR Code Check In

  5. Vaccination Customer Check In 

Wondering what the current COVID-19 restrictions and requirements are for your business?
Have a look at the list below, or click here for more information. 

Do you want to know more about the COVID-19 vaccination and how this relates to workers?
Visit Information for industry and workers required to be vaccinated

Are you a home based business or visit homes in your daily work?
Check out the Home-based businesses and visiting homes for work FAQs to understand your obligations.

Do you know about the QR code requirements and how to support customers to check in?
There have been recent changes to customer and employee check in – click here.

Relevant businesses including hospitality must use the free Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in customers, workers and visitors, with some limited exceptions. Within these business settings, every visitor must check-in, regardless of how long they are at the premises. 

Do you need help understanding what COVID-19 restrictions and obligations relate to your business?
Check out the Industry COVIDSafe Settings information and FAQs that are listed under each industry sector – click here to view all sector list.

Are you up to date with the recent changes to testing and contact management?
The Victorian Government has announced new isolation and testing requirements for COVID-19 cases and contacts as recommended by National Cabinet, with new pandemic orders taking effect from 11.59 pm on Thursday 30 December 2021.

The orders are an extension of Victoria’s current settings with a close contact defined as

  • someone who lives with a confirmed COVID-19 case 

  • someone who has spent four or more hours with them in a house, care facility or accommodation

Under the new orders Victorians who test positive to COVID-19 must isolate for seven days from the date of their test. This is reduced from ten days.  

PCR tests in Victoria will now be available for anyone who has symptoms and anyone who has tested positive to a Rapid Antigen Test.

Please refer to the Checklist for COVID contacts for more information.  

Not sure where to start or need further assistance?
To view all funding options, visit the financial support tab above. You can also go to the Business Victoria Grants and Programs website.

If you prefer to speak with someone, please contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or Council on 5772 0333 and ask to speak with someone in our Business Partnerships team.

If you are wanting to connect with business owners locally, reach out to your local business and tourism association or other business colleagues. You can also sign up to Council's Business Update emails here. We're all here to support each other! 
 

Financial Support 

To view the current financial support available, please visit the 'financial support' tab above. You can also go to the Business Victoria Grants and Programs website.

COVID-19 Financial Support

To view current financial support available for businesses, please visit  Business Victoria Grants and Programs website. Here you will find a number grants and programs to support business and business related activities,

Are you a small business with less than 2 employees and your turnover is less than $75,000 per year? You might like to visit the Business Victoria Concierge Service. You can speak to one of their experts and get advice by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 and selecting the 'microbusiness concierge service'. You can get advice about your eligibility for Victorian Government business grant programs, referrals to Victorian Government business support programs and assistance to help you understand the application process for the Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment. For more information, click here.

Business Stimulus Package: The Victorian Government has announced a $200 million stimulus package to support businesses and entice Victorians back to enjoy their favourite food and hospitality experiences across Victoria. The package will be rolled out from March 2022.

The package is made up of voucher schemes and programs and each will be launched individually throughout March 2022. Please see the below details to date.

Support For Businesses

Ventilation Voucher Program - $500 to support businesses buying air purifiers, ventilators and other COVIDSafe maintenance, giving them confidence their business is COVIDSafe.

Additionally, $60 million will be invested to offer up to $5000 for matched grants to eligible small businesses to improve ventilation to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

This could include investing in equipment, building works or maintenance services.

  • The $500 vouchers program will open in mid-March 2022

  • The $5000 matched grants will open late March 2022

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program - A $1200 rebate to access a range of digital business tools to help modernise business operations. These could include online menus and ordering systems, invoicing, stock and business management tools, website and e-commerce platforms. This program will open on 28 March 2022.

Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program - Access to mentoring of up to four, two-hour sessions to help navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and support owners and staff. Delivered with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this program is open click here to apply.

Jobs Victoria Fund - Connecting 1500 Victorians looking for work with businesses looking for workers across hospitality, warehousing and logistics, tourism and food processing – helping cover workforce shortages and giving unemployed Victorians secure job opportunities. All jobseekers taking up these placements will have access to Jobs Victoria employment services, including mentor and careers counselling services. This program will open from April 2022.

Voucher Schemes

Melbourne Dining Vouchers – ‘Melbourne Money’ - These vouchers can be used to reimburse 25 per cent of dining costs for meals from Monday to Thursday within the CBD when spending between $40 to $500. This program will open on 7 March 2022.

State-wide Dining Vouchers - These vouchers will reimburse 25 per cent of dining costs for meals in regional Victoria and metropolitan Local Government Areas outside the Melbourne CBD from Monday to Thursday when spending between $40 to $500. This program is expected to open on 29 March 2022.

Entertainment Voucher Scheme – A new Entertainment Voucher Scheme will reimburse part of eligible entertainment costs. Discounts will be for tickets to the cinema, theatrical productions, live music, exhibitions, conferences and other events. This program is expected to open on 29 March 2022.

Regional and Metropolitan Travel Voucher Scheme - Access a $200 voucher when you spend at least $400 on eligible tourism and travel related services. $30 million has been set aside to expand the successful Regional and Metropolitan Travel Voucher Scheme, this program will open on 23 March 2022 for travel between 8 April and 27 May.

An extra 10,000 vouchers will be set aside for Victorian Seniors that will be released through a ballot. The ballot for Victorian Seniors travel vouchers will open on 15 March for travel between 8 April and 27 May.

COVID-19 Funding – Quick List – The Murrindindi Shire Funding Finder has a COVID Quick List that provides details on current COVID-19 funding available to business and individuals.

Commercial Tenancy Scheme - The Victorian Government has locked in further relief for commercial tenants struggling with rent payments, with new regulations finalised as part of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme. For more information please call 13 87 22 or visit the Victorian Small Business Commission website.

Financial incentives and programs to support employment of staff

Wage Subsidies

Wage subsidies are a financial incentive to encourage employers to hire eligible participants in ongoing jobs by contributing to the initial costs of hiring a new employee. Wage subsidies can help to build a business and give employers greater flexibility in their hiring options. Click here for full details.

JobMaker Hiring Credit

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years. Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2022. Find out about the eligibility criteria and how to register here.

The Jobs Victoria Fund

Jobs Victoria wage subsidies of up to $20,000 are available for eligible employees who hire eligible job seekers. Wage subsidies can be used to meet the costs of taking on new employees for the first 12 months of employment. To qualify for the subsidy you must employ someone from at least one of the priority groups recognized as being most affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

You can apply for a wage subsidy for up to 20 full time equivalent employees depending on the size of your business. For full details, eligibility requirements and program guidelines click here.

The National Work Experience Programme

 Under the National Work Experience Programme, businesses host job seekers in unpaid work experience placements of up to 25 hours a week over a maximum 4 week period. Being a National Work Experience Programme host provides an opportunity to give a job seeker the chance to show they could be the right fit for your business. An incentive payment of $300 (GST inclusive) may be available to businesses for hosting a National Work Experience candidate. Businesses who offer job seekers ongoing employment after the placement may also be eligible for a wage subsidy. Click here for more information.

Energy Saving Incentives and Programs

Solar for Business Program
From May 2021, Solar for Business rebates will cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system with small businesses eligible for a rebate of us to $3500.  Find out more here.

Small Business Energy Saver Program
The Small Business Energy Saver Program discounts the cost for small businesses to upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment. Energy-efficient equipment includes hot water systems, reverse cycle air-conditioners, fridges and freezers and can save your business on running costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information and to make an appointment, click here.

Financial Assistance

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

Grant Seeking - Funding opportunities to grow my business

Council's Grants and Contributions Program offers a range of funding assistance and grant streams. Find out more here, or click on the links below.

Businesses Advice and Support

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.

 General: 

  • Free help from the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline – business advice, financial counselling and wellbeing coaching. Partners in wellbeing helpline can support small business owners with free and confidential wellbeing coaching, financial counselling and business advice for you and your employees. Call the Partners in Wellbeing Helpline on 1300 375 330 for assistance between 9.00 am to 10.00 pm on weekdays and 9.00 am to 5.00 pm on weekends. For more information, click here.
  • Business Victoria has launched a new website. The website highlights the programs currently on offer though Business Victoria and also includes a vast array of practical tools and templates for those in business, or anyone wishing to start.
  • The Victorian Government is partnering with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to deliver a business mentoring program to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges posed by restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Through this program, eligible business owners can receive up to four two-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business. The program will run until December 2021. You can find out more and apply 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.
  • The Small Business Mentoring Service offers a range of industry specialist mentors which can be booked online.
  • New industry-specific business resources are now available on the business.gov.au website, where you can find handy resources to help you learn about your industry's legal, operational and business requirements.
  • Victorian Small Business Commission provides advice and support regarding business rental arrangements and mediation services
  • Victorian Chamber of Commerce 
  • ATO support for businesses and employers
  • Local business and tourism associations
  • New online tax services for business

Tourism and Accommodation:

  • 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.
  • 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.

 Agriculture:

  • Seasonal Workforce Industry Support Program
    The Victorian Government is providing funding for peak industry bodies and organisations in priority harvest regions to help farm businesses recruit and retain workers.
    Peak industry bodies and organisations in priority harvest regions and sectors will be invited to apply for grants for additional staff and resources to help Victorian farmers meet this year’s seasonal workforce challenges brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  For further information, contact a Seasonal Workforce Coordinator. Further supportand a comprehensive list of Victorian Government programs available to agricultural businesses can be found here.

  • Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus
    Job seekers who take up a seasonal harvest job on a Victorian farm on or after 17 February 2021 can apply for a Seasonal Harvest Sign-on Bonus of $2430. More information can be found here.

  • Agriculture Energy Investment Plan (AEIP)The AEIP provides free on-farm energy assessments and on-farm energy grants for eligible participants. AEIP supports on-farm businesses to improve energy efficiency, manage energy costs, improve energy reliability and support own-generation capacity. Read the guidelines before applying here.

Workplace Operations

There are a range of resources available to help support your business operations during COVID-19.

Victorian Government QR Code Service

While record-keeping is mandatory for many Victorian businesses and venues, this service is optional, and is designed to simplify record-keeping processes for businesses and speed up contact-tracing efforts in the event of an outbreak.

For information on how to access the QR Code Service, visit the Victorian Coronavirus website.

COVIDSafe Workplaces

  • All business in Victoria require a COVIDSafe Plan
  • Find out more about Workplace Obligations here
  • Information for employers, small businesses and workers on the COVID-19 vaccines and how to manage risks from COVID-19 in the workplace can be found here.

COVIDSafe Signage

Council has a signage available to help businesses inform customers about capacity limits, the need for record-keeping and ID checking.

To view or download a copy of the signage, click the links below:

You can also collect your free copy from one of Council’s Customer Service Centres in Alexandra, Kinglake or Yea. To request an alternative location, please contact our Environmental Health Team by calling (03) 5772 0333 or email customer@murrindindi.vic.gov.au

Helpful COVID-19 Guidelines

Cleaning

 Physical Distancing

Manufacturer Response Register

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Resources

 Fair Work Australia

Australian Disaster Resilience Handbook Collection

Industry peak bodies COVID-19 Information

 Victorian Chamber of Commerce Resources

Managing Stress 

Partners in Wellbeing Helpline - 1300 375 330 

The Partners in Wellbeing Hotline is here to help small business owners and their employees manage feeling stressed and overwhelmed. The Helpline offers free and confidential one-on-one access to wellbeing and mental health coaches who understand exactly what you're going through. Since much of the stress you are experiencing may involve financial issues, the Helpline can also connect you to specialist financial counsellors. To find out more, click here.     

Mental Health Support for Small Business Owners

NewAccess for Small Business Owners is a free and confidential mental health program, developed by Beyond Blue to give small business owners the support they need. Run over six sessions, coaches with a small business background will work with you to overcome difficult issues, providing you with practical skills to manage stress and get you back to feeling like yourself. Find out more here

 Business Tips and Tricks to help with stress

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.

Continuity and Planning

Business Continuity 

Business continuity refers to a business’s resilience and ability to respond quickly to an interruption. Below are resources to support business continuity planning.

Business Planning 

Business planning refers to the activities undertaken to create a roadmap for your business and develop it into a formal plan.

Digital Information

Information to support your business with digital technologies and managing cyber security. 

Financial Information: 

Information and services that can assist you to effectively manage your business finances. 

  1. If you need financial advice, you could speak with

2. Helpful Resources

Business Skills and Training


Free courses for hospitality businesses
Restaurant and Catering Association, in collaboration with Upskill My Business are now offering free micro-credentials through new course offerings. Courses include Communication and Administration Techniques, COVID-19 Hospitality Best Practice and Getting your rosters right and more. Explore free training courses here.

AVAILABLE ON DEMAND

Webinar: COVID-19 Business Webinar on Digital Engagement
Victorian Chamber of Commerce

With the COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we operate our businesses, now has never been a better time to re-evaluate your digital engagement strategy as more people move online.

The Victorian Chamber is delighted to present a COVID-19 Business Webinar on Digital Engagement, hosted by VCCI Chief Executive Paul Guerra alongside a dynamic panel with expertise and experience in succeeding in a digital environment.

Our guests, Ben Hall (Managing Director, Frankly), Carmel O’Keeffe (General Manager Digital Life, Museums Victoria) and Caroline Ralphsmith (Executive General Manager Customer Engagement, Victoria Racing Club) will explain practical steps towards building a strong digital strategy and presence, and discuss how they’ve modified their business operations to capitalise on some of the disruptions as a result of coronavirus.

Webinar: Is it time to go digital? Pondering the pivot
Business.gov.au

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. 

Podcast: AgVic Talk
Agriculture.vic.gov.au

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


COURSES

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

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.

Tourism and Events

We are excited to welcome regional visitors back to Murrindindi Shire. Please follow all physical distancing guidelines and respect measures put in place by our local businesses.

If you would like to speak with a someone in relation to tourism and events in Murrindindi Shire, please contact Council's Tourism and Events team by phoning (03) 5772 0333 or emailing events@murrindindi.vic.gov.au 

Visitor Information Servicing

Murrindindi Shire’s Visitor Information Centre in Yea (Y Water Discovery Centre) is open. The Centre will be open 7 days a week, from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily. The Yea Wetlands Kiosk will be open on weekends from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.

For any visitor enquiries, please contact the Y Water Discovery Centre on 5797 2663 or email visitorinfo@murrindindi.vic.gov.au

For information on the many great things to see and do in Murrindindi please visit discoverdindi.com.au or follow @discoverdindi on Facebook and Instagram. You can view the Discover Dindi Event Page here.

Event Information 

You can view the Discover Dindi Event Page here

For up-to-date information about a specific event, please contact the event organiser directly.

Please contact Council to discuss options for running an event and we'll work to ensure that the event adheres to restrictions in place at the time.  

For more information on event restrictions, please visit the DHHS website

Dindi Directory

Support local businesses in Murrindindi Shire.  

Council has created an online business directory to help local businesses promote their offering during COVID-19. 

Click here to find out more about Dindi Directory and to register your business.