COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Business Support
PAGE LAST UPDATED: Friday 10 July at 12:30pm
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, we ask all businesses to continue to monitor State and Federal Government announcements.
Please continue to follow the health advice from the Department of Health and Human Services.
As of Friday 10 July the Victorian Government has announced a $534 million Business Support Package – the latest support measures on top of the $6 billion in economic relief already invested since the pandemic began. The latest measures include cash grants for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, relief for tourism operators who can no longer welcome Melbourne-based visitors for holidays, and tailored and targeted advice for businesses to adapt, stay afloat and then bounce back on the other side. The expanded Business Support Fund will provide more than 80,000 eligible businesses with a new $5,000 grant to support them through the renewed restrictions. To read more and check your eligibility visit Victorian Government Business Support.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Federal Government is offering support for businesses affected by the current COVID-19 situation, including a economic stimulus package . For more information, please go the the Federal Treasury's Support for Businesses page.
- JobKeeper Subsidy: 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.
- The Australian Tax Office is providing several financial relief options for businesses including tax relief and payment deferrals. The ATO are also offering online webinars, see the ATO's webinars here.
- The Victorian State Government has announced a business support fund.
- 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.
- Contact the Victorian Small Business Commission if you are struggling to pay rent for your business.
- 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.
From Monday 1 June 2020:
- restaurants and cafes will be able to re-open to provide seated food service to diners under strict conditions
- tourist accommodation, including caravan parks and camping grounds can re-open
- beauty therapy, spray-tanning, waxing and nail salons, as well as tattoo and piercing premises will soon be able to re-open
Restaurants and Cafes
To keep you and your customers safe make sure you visit this specific page on the DHHS website. The website provides information about your responsibilities.
There are two areas that you will need to focus on when re-opening for seated service.
1. COVID-19 physical distancing and sanitising
Business Victoria have released Hospitality Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) that detail the requirements that you need to implement within your business should you decide to serve meals to diners at your premises.
2. Food Safety
If your business has been temporarily closed, you will need to make sure you continue to effectively manage the safety of the food served to customers. Here are some of the critical steps you should address prior to reopening:
- Clean and sanitise all surfaces and equipment in your food storage, food handling and service areas;
- Check use by and best before dates of any stored food and discard any out of date food;
- Ensure your refrigeration and freezers are maintaining the correct temperatures prior to storing food in them;
- Ensure your hand wash basin is operational including warm water, liquid soap and paper towel; and
- Conduct a visual check for signs of pests, and
- Ensure your food safety program is being followed at all times
Visitors and guests will be able to stay at your premises, where there are no shared communal facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms. To keep you and your guests safe make sure you visit travel restrictions.
To keep you and your customers safe make sure you visit this page on the DHHS website. The website provides information about your responsibilities, these include:
- keeping records of staff, patrons, maintenance and delivery workers attending your premises and,
- implementing key actions to meet hygiene and physical distancing requirements when re-opening.
After reading the guidance material it is a good idea to develop a plan or checklist and speak to your staff about their role before re-opening.
Further advice is being developed by DHHS and will be made available ahead of restrictions easing. Keep following the DHHS Coronavirus website or call 1 800 675 358
Council’s Environmental Health Team continues to be available to make site visits or be contacted by phone 5734 6200 or via email@example.com to help with advice on effective hygiene measures.
We are aware that the ability for some businesses and people to pay rates has been significantly diminished because of the impacts of COVID-19. For ratepayers facing financial difficulties, assistance may be available under Council’s Financial Hardship policy.
If you are experiencing increased worry and stress during this time, there are a number of support services available
- Stress savvy in business
- Lifeline can be called on 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue can be called via 1300 224 636
- The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has a My Business Help web portal. This portal now has an additional section for businesses struggling with COVID-19. Check out their finance and mental health information for business.
Local businesses and tradespeople are being encouraged to register for possible contract roles across the Puckapunyal Military Area.
The government is seeking manufacturers to help supply protective wear, medical supplies and more. View Tender opportunities and supply applications below.
This page was last updated on 10 July 2020.