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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Business Support

PAGE LAST UPDATED: Tuesday 27 October at 3:00pm

Mitchell Shire businesses are subject to Third Step Restrictions.

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.

COVIDSafe workplaces

The Victorian Government is working to ensure that every business that is open in Victoria knows that it must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place to help prevent future outbreaks of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of its plans to support industry to safely reopen, the Victorian Government has developed a COVIDSafe Plan template to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace.

New guidance, which includes Industry Restart Guidelines and Industry Restriction Levels, have been developed for some sectors, including local government services. These Industry Restart Guidelines will be valuable for many local businesses, including hospitality, hair and beauty businesses and community sport organisations. Relevant Industry Restriction Levels for local government services are detailed on the Local Government Victoria website.

For your information, the following fact sheets are available:

FACT SHEET How to create a COVIDSAFE workplace

FACT SHEET What to do if a worker is unwell

FACT SHEET What to do if a worker test positive

In addition to this, businesses can also access a collection of signage, posters and questionnaires to assist in communicating key messages to workers and customers. Printing of the campaign materials can be purchased through Officeworks.

To learn more about these new requirements and how to make your workplace COVIDSafe, please visit the coronavirus website.

Business Support Links
  • The Victorian Government has created a Business Support Package . This includes 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.

  • 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.
Financial support
  • The Victorian Government has announced a Third Round of the Business Support Fund to provide direct financial support to businesses impacted by restrictions in Victoria. Cash grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll. This will support small and medium sized businesses that are most affected by restrictions and is an addition to the first two rounds of Business Support Fund grants.
  • 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 set fortnightly payment per eligible employee until 28 March 2021.
  • Small Business Tax Cuts - Small and family businesses will now be paying less tax as a result of legislated tax cuts. Incorporated small and family businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will see their company tax rate reduced from 27.5% to 26% and unincorporated businesses will also benefit as the rate of the small business income tax offset increases from 8% to 13%.
  • 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 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.
Mitchell Shire Business Hardship Recovery Fund

Mitchell Shire Council, through the support of the Victorian Government, has secured $1 million under the Mitchell Shire Business Hardship Recovery Fund to assist businesses affected by trading restrictions imposed between July and August 2020.

The Mitchell Shire Business Hardship Recovery Fund is aimed at assisting small to medium businesses operating a ‘shop front’ within the shire that have suffered reduced revenue and/or temporary closure between 8 July and 5 August, 2020. The Victorian Government imposed COVID-19 stage 3 restrictions during this period for all of metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire – the only regional-based Local Government Area to be impacted at this time.

A grant of $5000 will be available to those businesses deemed most in need. This fund is limited.

Businesses which have fallen into hardship and could not access one or more of the COVID-19 based business support packages presented by either State or Federal governments are highly encouraged to consider the grant criteria.

For more information, including detailed eligibility criteria and FAQs, go to Mitchell Shire Business Hardship Recovery Fund .

Business Advice Service

Mitchell Shire Council has worked to create a FREE Business Advice Service to support small and medium size enterprise (SME) businesses in Mitchell Shire to respond during the remainder of the crisis and to recover thereafter.

The Business Advice Service sessions are private and confidential and held with a specialist in areas of expertise , such as Accountancy and Tax , Business Strategy and Human Relations and will be available until January 2021.

For more information and to register your interest, visit our Business Advice Service web page or contact Mitchell Shire Council's Economic Development team or email ecodev@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au

Grant application assistance

Until February 2021, Mitchell Shire Council is ready to assist and support businesses with preparing and submitting grant applications to relevant State and Federal Government bodies. Council can assist by providing advice or review submissions for grants as well as identifying relevant grants to your business. To access this service please email your details to ecodev@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au.

Hospitality COVIDSafe reopening

The Victoria Government announced that hospitality businesses can re-open in line with the following conditions from 11:59pm 27 October 2020:

  • Restaurants/cafes can have up to 70 people outdoors and up to 10 people per indoor space with a maximum of 40 people per venue indoors.
  • Indoor seating: a maximum of two people per table, venue limited to the lesser of 25 per cent of a venue’s fixed seating capacity or a density quotient of one person per eight square metres. This would be subject to regular cleaning and taking of names.
  • Indoor spaces must be separated by permanent structures (should reach floor to ceiling or be at least 2.1 metres high) or be a discrete area of the premises.
  • Outdoor space: Outdoor areas with a maximum of 50 diners per area, group limit of 10, each area separated by 10 metres from the next. Maximum of 4 areas (200 people)
  • The two and four square metre rules apply.
  • Businesses must continue to ensure people from metropolitan Melbourne do not eat-in. This can be done by checking ID such as driver licences. In general, postcodes in Melbourne range from 3000 to 3207. However, there are outlying areas that are considered to be part of metro Melbourne whose postcodes do not fit into this range. These are the following:
  • Hume – 3429
  • Whittlesea – 3750, 3751, 3752, 3754, 3755, 3757
  • Yarra Ranges – 3723, 3765, 3766, 3767, 3770, 3775, 3777, 3782, 3785, 3786, 3787, 3788, 3789, 3791 3792 3793 3795 3796 3797 3799 3804
  • Melton – 3335, 3336, 3337, 3338, 3340, 3427
  • Mornington Peninsular – 3911, 3912, 3913, 3915, 3916, 3918, 3919 3920, 3926, 3927, 3928, 3929, 3930, 3931, 3933, 3934, 3936, 3937, 3938, 3939, 3940, 3941, 3942, 3943, 3944
  • Cardinia – 3781, 3782, 3783, 3807, 3808, 3809, 3810, 3812 3813 3813 3814 3815 3816 3978 3980 3981 3984 3987
  • Casey – 3802, 3803, 3804, 3805, 3806, 3807,3912, 3975, 3976, 3977, 3978, 3980

In addition, businesses must ensure that:

  • They have a COVIDSafe Plan;
  • Workers must wear face coverings (exemptions apply)
  • Must ensure that shared spaces and spaces open to members of the public at any Work Premises are cleaned on a regular basis. Tables to be cleaned after every service.
  • Venues must keep records of worker and customer details for contact tracing
  • Display signage at entrance to each enclosed space of venue indicating maximum capacity

The Industry Restart Guidelines – Hospitality is intended to assist businesses to prepare to safely operate in accordance with public health directions, while also ensuring that workers and members of the public feel confident that their health and safety is being protected.

Outdoor dining and signage permits

Mitchell Shire Council has waived the cost of permit fees associated with outdoor dining and signage for this financial year.

Council is encouraging all businesses that currently do not have an existing permit for the use of outdoor furniture on footpaths and other outdoor spaces to apply as soon as possible.

Approvals will be granted with expediency to help businesses capitalise upon extra dining space. To apply complete this form and submit to mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au.

Please note, any business requiring outdoor liquor consumption beyond their 'redline', will be required to apply through Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and granted approval after Council's permission for this activity.

Council’s Environmental Health Team continues to be available to make site visits or be contacted by phone 5734 6200 or via mitchell@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au
to help with advice.

Contactless thermometers

The Victorian Government has provided Council with a limited number of contactless thermometers for local businesses. These thermometers are a further preventative measure you can use in your COVID safe working plan. They are available free of charge to eligible Mitchell Shire businesses with at least five staff members who work concurrently at the same premise and have not been able to procure a contactless thermometer from suppliers.

Limits apply, including one thermometer per business site per 20 employees; so get in while stocks last.

Please contact ecodev@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au confirming eligibility and Council will contact you to arrange collection.

Tourism support
  • The State Government has announced the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program. This program supports eligible accommodation providers, via grant payment to cover cancelled bookings made by residents who are subject to stay at home restrictions and are unable to travel due to coronavirus restrictions. The program funds up to $225 per booking, per night to a maximum of $1125 (ex GST).
  • Visit Victoria and the Victorian State Government are pleased to provide free listing for all tourism business in Victoria on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW). The function of the ATDW is to support tourism businesses and events with their digital marketing, by connecting them with the audiences of multiple tourism channels, through a single self-managed listing. Additionally, all existing ATDW subscribers will have their current listing extended by 12 months free of charge.
  • 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.
Public Health Regulations

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

Council’s Environmental Health Team is 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.

Visit the DHHS Preventing Infection webpage for further information.

Rates and hardship support

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.

To find out more on hardship options including to request an extension please visit our rates hardship page or call us on 03 5734 6200 during business hours.

Managing stress

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

Opportunities 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.

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This page was last updated on 27 October 2020.