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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Business Support

PAGE LAST UPDATED: Thursday 2 April at 12pm

The outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is causing economic disruption in many sectors across Mitchell Shire. We recognise the affect that the current COVID-19 situation is having on businesses and we are committed to supporting our business community in any way we can.

Below is some useful information for businesses, including the different forms of support, tools and resources available during this time. As the situation and advice continues to change rapidly, we ask all businesses to continue to monitor State and Federal Government announcements.

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Hardship support for our community

We understand our community wants to know about rates and payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are advocating to State and Federal governments for support in recognition of our community’s ability to pay and the essential services Local Government provides during a crisis like this.

We need our State and Federal counterparts to consider the impact of rates on communities and to provide the community and Council with relief support. We know there is a lot for them to consider as they respond to this unfolding situation.

Our fourth installment rates notices will be sent out in the next few weeks. We encourage those people who can pay to continue to do so, so that we can continue to support our services across the community.

We are aware that the ability for some people and businesses to pay has been significantly diminished because of the impacts of COVID-19. Be assured we will work closely with our community and businesses to assist with support and options during the rating period. This means we will look at hardship provisions including deferment of fourth installment rates payments from May 31 to June 30 in the first instance and further arrangements can be discussed based on individual circumstances if needed. To request an extension on property rates please complete the application on our Having difficulty paying your rates page.

Make the switch to electronic rates notices

We also have options around payment plans. We will cease interest charges for overdue accounts until 30 June 2020. We are here to assist. It is important people request an extension or call us if they are unable to pay rates due to this crisis and we will work with them to get through this difficult period.

We understand that people are also mindful of receiving letters via mail at this time and that there are delays in mail delivery. We are encouraging people to register to receive electronic rates notices (we can always change this back later if community members prefer hard copy mail).

Making the switch is easy. Sign up on line at mitchellshire@enotices.com.au and use the reference number that was shown on your most recent rates notice. If you require a copy of your notice, need assistance in registering or to discuss your current circumstances please call us on 03 5734 6200 during business hours or email Council via mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au.

The Centrelink terminal that operates at the Kilmore Customer and library Service Centre is still available for public use, although the centre has closed. The hours of availability are Money to Friday 9am to 5pm.

The terminal at the Wallan Neighbourhood has temporarily closed.

For further information, please contact Customer Service on 03 5734 6200.

Stage 3 Restrictions

Stage 3 restrictions are now in place. Please see the Victorian State Government website for further information. These will be in place for 4 weeks and reviewed as required.

Businesses caught breaking the rules can be fined up to $9,913, individuals fined up to $1,652.

There are only 4 reasons to be out:

  • shopping for what you need - food and essential supplies
  • medical, care or compassionate needs
  • exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements
  • work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely

JobKeeper

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.
See the Business.gov.au website for further information

Latest Government Information

If your business is eligible, you may be able to access $10,000 if you employ staff. There are specific eligibility requirements - read more on the Business Support Fund page.

Federal support for business

The Federal Government is offering support for businesses affected by the current COVID-19 situation. For more information, please go the the Federal Treasury's Support for Businesses page.

Visit Business.gov.au for information about available support for businesses.

Read the Economic Survival Package to Support Businesses and Jobs on the Victorian Premier's website.

Business Victoria has a hotline to help businesses with COVID-19 questions: call them on 13 22 15 or visit the Business Victoria Coronavirus business support page.

Download the 'Identifying the Symptoms' flyer here.

Opportunities

The government is seeking manufacturers to help supply protective wear, medical supplies and more. View Tender opportunities and supply applications below.

Business resources

Business Victoria is a great resource for up-to-date information and updates on the current restrictions. It is also providing a range of advice and information for business owners on things like economic stimulus, business continuity, and recovery. Business Victoria also has a hotline to help businesses with COVID-19 questions. You can call them on 13 22 15.

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce provides a comprehensive list of resources and advice.

Business Gov is the Federal Government information hub for business support. It contains information on government support including financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support.

Financial support

The Federal Government has announced an economic stimulus package that is supporting businesses to manage cash flow in a bid to retain employees and provide temporary financial relief for businesses.

The Australian Tax Office is providing several financial relief options for businesses including tax relief and payment deferrals.

The Victorian State Government has announced an economic survival and jobs package.

The Australian Banking Association is urging small businesses financially impacted to contact their bank to access assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving of fees and restricting loans.

Tourism support

The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) is the peak industry body for the tourism and events sector. They are waiving membership fees for 'In the Loop' and' Essentials' membership packages. They will also be providing additional services including training credit to courses provided by the Victorian Chamber.

Additional resources

Contact the Victorian Small Business Commission if you are struggling to pay rent for your business.

Jobs Victoria have support for businesses facing retrenchment and workers facing retrenchment.

To create a Business Continuity Plan or your business the Business Gov website provides a range of resource and information.

Please continue to follow the health advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.

You may want to consider subscribing the the SmartCompany's emails, either the daily or weekend option. SmartCompany provides practical business articles and assistance aimed at small and medium businesses. Their articles often simplify complex stimulus plans and other government initiatives. If interested you can visit the SmartCompany website here.

Contact the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) if you are struggling to pay your rent for your business.

The Australian Banking Association is urging small businesses financially impacted by the spread of COVID-19 to contact their bank to access assistance on offer which can include deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans.

Environmental Health

The list of premises and activities that are required to cease are contained on the Department of Health and Human Services website.

The Mitchell Shire Council’s Environmental Health Team continues to be available to make site visits or be contacted by phone 03 5734 6200 or via mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au to help with advice on implementing, good hygiene and safe food handling.

The latest relevant information on COVID-19 can be found at:

Managing stress

If you are experiencing increased worry and stress during this time, there are a number of support services available

Further information

If you have any queries, please contact the Economic Development Team on 03 5734 6200 or email ecodev@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au.

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Mitchell Shire Council respects your privacy. The Council collects personal information in order to carry out its functions and powers as well as for statutory purposes pursuant to the Local Government Act 1989 or any other Act.

Council will only use personal information to carry out its functions and powers and not for any other purpose.

Information held by the Council may be given to others where there is a law specifically authorising that the information be provided. You have the right to access your personal information and you may correct any information held by the Council by notifying of the correction in writing.

This page was last updated on 3 April 2020.