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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Business Support

PAGE LAST UPDATED: Tuesday 12 December at 11:00am

Mitchell Shire businesses are subject to Last 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.

Free QR Code Service. Victorian business owners and venues across the state can now access a free QR Code Service which will help them to keep records of visitors. Business owners will only need to register their business, download and print a poster containing a Victorian Government QR Code, and display it prominently.

Use of the Victorian Government’s QR Code Service is not mandatory, and businesses or venues that are currently using an existing market-led QR code solution may continue to do so.

Victorian businesses and venues can now go to Victorian QR Code Service to register and be sent their unique QR code to display for visitors to scan and check-in.

To learn more about making 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.
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.

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.

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 2 December 2020.