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

What are the current restrictions for regional Victoria?

COVID-19 restrictions were eased in regional Victoria from 11.59 pm on Tuesday 28 September 2021. This means that there are no stay-at-home requirements and travel is allowed across regional Victoria (excluding lockdown areas). However, we still need to wear a mask and follow health directives.

Premier Announcement 17 October 2021 - Victorians’ Hard Work Means Hitting Target Ahead Of Time
Click here to read more about the easing of restrictions for regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne from 11.59 pm on Thursday 21 October. 

What restrictions are in place across the state?

1. Movement between metropolitan Melbourne (and other lockdown areas) and regional Victoria is restricted to five specified purposes

• shopping for necessary goods and services (provided it's the closed facility to your place of residence)
• care or compassionate reasons (including bubble buddy and intimate partners)
• authorised work or education
• other specified reasons, e.g. moving home
• to get a COVID-19 vaccination, if the appointment is at an adjacent local government area. 

Are you an Authorised Worker? Read more about mandatory vaccination requirements:

On the advice of our public health team, all workers – in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria – on the Authorised Worker list will require their first COVID-19 vaccine dose by Friday 15 October 2021 in order to continue working onsite. They will need to be fully vaccinated by 26 November 2021. The 15 October deadline will not apply to workers who already have existing requirements under Chief Health Officer directions – groups like construction, freight, healthcare, aged care and education will still have to comply with previous advice. Full media release available here.

Do I have to wear a face mask?
Yes – wearing a mask will protect you and others! Anyone 12 years and over must wear a fitted face mask whenever they leave their home, indoors or outdoors, unless lawful exception applies. Click here for more information.

Travelling to an Alpine resort?
Alpine resorts are excited to welcome visitors from regional Victoria once again. There is a requirement for anyone visiting the ski fields to undertake a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to arrival (excluding children under 12 years).Please ensure you can provide evidence of a negative COVID test result to gain entry.

To see the full table of restrictions, click here.

BUSINESS INFORMATION

Regional businesses can open again!

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

Retail:
Open. Density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm applies. Check-in required for staff and customers. Masks mandatory at all times and cannot be removed for eating/drinking in retail settings.
Hairdressing and Beauty:  Open with a cap of 10 - masks may be removed by the client if the service requires it.
Accommodation:
Open to people who live in regional area. Bookings permitted for single households, intimate partners or single bubbles.
Food and drink facility:
Open for seated service only with maximum of 30 outdoors and 10 indoors subject to density limits.
Real Estate: Inspections:
Open for private inspections only with a maximum of 10 people plus real estate agent
Auctions:
Open with maximum of 10 people.
Tourism spaces:
Open with up to 20 people for outdoor tours. Indoor tours are closed.

All businesses MUST have the Victorian QR Code Check-in service available and a COVIDSafe Plan in place. Need support to meet this requirement? Click here to find out more. 

Businesses MUST also have a COVIDSafe Plan in place and staff need to have access to it.A COVIDSafe Plan assists your staff in operating a COVIDSafe environment. If you need help developing a COVIDSafe Plan, you can find more information including some handy templates here

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 one of our Business Partnerships Officers.

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!

 

Further Assistance

You can also contact Council's Business Support Hotline on (03) 5772 0333, or reach out to your local business and tourism association(PDF, 167KB) 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 all current funding, please visit the financial support tab above. You can also go to the Business Victoria Grants and Programs website.

Extended Support For Victorian Businesses 
A jointly-funded support package from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will provide a critical four-week boost to small and medium-sized Victorian businesses most impacted by the current public health lockdown. The funding period extends from 4 September – 30 September 2021 and the vast majority of payments will be automatic for previous recipients of

• Business Costs Assistance Program payments will be made at rates of $2800, $5600 and $8400 a week over September, depending on payroll size.
• Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5000 and $20,000 per week.
• Small Business COVID Hardship Fund will increase the grant amount to $20,000 and the deadline for applications will be extended.
• Alpine Support Package with a payment of between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on business location and whether they employ staff.

Small-Scale and Craft Program Stream Three – This grant focuses on creating unique visitor or ongoing tourism experiences that involve and are directly linked to multiple small-scale and craft agribusinesses. Grants of $25,000 to $100,000 are available to eligible small-scale and craft agribusinesses for projects that create cohesive visitor experiences that showcase Victoria’s premium small-scale and craft products and has the potential to become an ongoing tourist attraction, develop new agri-visitor experiences across Victoria, ensure Victoria continues to be a leader in artisanal produce, showcasing the sectors excellence, resilience, sustainability and local job creation, create opportunities for communities and visitors to engage with the unique small-scale and craft sector and increase understanding of and customer connection with Victoria’s small-scale agribusinesses. Click here for more information.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 – Top-Up payments and CBD Payment
Successful recipients of the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 and Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 July Extension are eligible for automatic top-up payments. This payment was extended to regional Victorian premises on 22 August 2021. Patron capacity will be as reflected on the liquor licence for the premises in July 2021. The payments will be processed automatically by Business Victoria. For more information, click here.

Live Performance Support Program Round Two - The program provides additional support to Victorian event presenters and suppliers affected by COVID-19 lockdowns and health restrictions between 11.59 pm on 27 May 2021 and 11.59 pm on 2 September 2021. For more information, click here.

Business Continuity Fund - The Business Continuity Fund provides a $5000 payment to businesses in 24 sectors that were affected by additional capacity limits when reopening in late July 2021 under COVID-19 restrictions. This payment is in addition to the Business Costs Assistance Program July Top-Up payments announced on 16 and 21 July 2021, and the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Three payment announced on 6 August 2021. For more information, click here.

Business Victoria Concierge Service - The concierge service can support you if you work for yourself, or have 1 to 2 employees and an annual turnover of less than $75,000, and are not eligible for Victorian Government COVID-19 business support grants. You can speak to one of the experts for advice by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15 and selecting the microbusiness concierge service. The service can provide 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.

Small Business Digital Adaptation Program - The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program provides $1200 rebates so small businesses can access a range of digital business tools. The Victorian Government has partnered with 14 suppliers to help you build or upgrade your website, improve your cash flow, start online marketing, manage your jobs and projects, and keep better track of stock. For more information, click here.

COVID-19 Disaster Payments - Eligible workers who have lost hours due to the latest lockdown, as well as businesses that did not qualify for the other business support programs as a result of not being registered for GST, will be able to apply for the COVID-19 Disaster payment.

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.

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 2021. 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.

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

New insolvency reforms are commencing in January to support small business.

Simplified debt restructuring process for eligible small businesses from 1 January 2021.

‘The process allows financially distressed small businesses to access a single, streamlined process to restructure their debts, while allowing the owners to remain in control of their business.’ For more information click here.

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.
  • Ride High Country Fund Round Two is open. Regional Development Victoria is funding $2.5 million in grants for local businesses to help attract more cyclists to the region. Projects/activities that will be considered for grants are accommodation, bike hubs and services, food and beverage operator and tour operators. For more information and to apply, click here.

 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

Hygiene

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Manufacturer Response Register

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Resources

Safe Work Australia and WorkSafe Victoria 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

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.

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.