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COVID-19 Support
Support information and resources during the current Pandemic
COVID-19 Support

COVID-19 Business Support

Last updated 28/10/2020

In light of the State Government's announcement on additional changes for regional Victoria, we are pleased to see further easing to restrictions for the business sector from 11:59pm Tuesday, 27 October 2020. Indoor gyms, indoor pools and food courts are now able to open, as well as outdoor live music for the hospitality sector. Please familiarise yourself with the Summary of further easing in the Third Step to keep up to date with the changes.

Visit Third Step Restrictions for Regional Victoria for further details. For information specific to industry, visit Industry restriction levels: Regional Victoria.

To find out what funding programs and packages are available for your business, call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15, or visit Coronavirus Business Support.

The AusIndustry Contact Centre have staff available to help you determine which packages you are eligible for, and how to apply. You can contact them on 132 846 (7.00am-9.00pm, 7 days) .

The Australian Federal Government also have a great web page explaining what Business Support is available.

Relief Package: Reimbursement and waivers for permits

Reimbursement of six months of 2019/20 street trading permit fees.

Council will begin the process of reimbursements using payment details on file, and businesses will be notified once their refund is complete. We anticipate that this may take some time and thank everyone for their patience. For more information please contact the Business Support Team.

Waiving of Footpath Trading Fees until June 2021.

We are committed to supporting businesses to create interesting and dynamic spaces. Making use of the footpath is just one option. We are currently waiving fees associated with Footpath Trading Permits and we encourage you to apply online at http://www.basscoast.vic.gov.au/businesspermits

Waiving business signage and liquor licensing permit fees

Any fees relating to business signage permits or liquor licensing permits will be waived for the period 15 April through to 30 June, 2020. This will be automatically processed by Council. For more information please contact the Business Support Team.

Rent relief for caravan park and business operators in Council owned facilities

Council will begin contacting tenants to discuss rent relief and establish a modified rental agreement for the remainder of the 2019/20 financial year. For more information please contact the Property Team.

Financial Business support available now

Victorian Business Support Fund - Third Round

The Victorian Government recently announced a third round of the Business Support Fund – ensuring businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions continue to receive the support they need to make it through restricted trading. Through this third round of the Business Support Fund, eligible businesses will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000, depending on the business’ annual payroll.

Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 23 November 2020, whichever is earlier.

Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage: business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-resilience-package/business-support-fund-3


Federal JobKeeper Wage Subsidy - Extension

If you currently receive JobKeeper Payment it remains unchanged and available until 27 September 2020. The scheme will support employees who were on the books dating back to 1 March 2020, with the first payments effective from 1 May 2020.

From 28 September 2020, the JobKeeper Payment will be extended for businesses and not-for-profits that have been most significantly impacted, the payment rates will be stepped-down and two tiers of payment will be introduced.

The ATO is administering the JobKeeper Payment and detailed information and guidance on JobKeeper is available on the ATO website.

Assisting staff and employees

There is a Support Package for Victorian Workers impacted by COVID-19 and there are welfare packages in place for those who are eligible. For more information on welfare eligibility visit the Australian Department of Social Services Website – to access any of these services, visit Services Australia.

Support for local Businesses

To find out what local support is available through Council, call the Business Support Team on 035671 2211, or email business.support@basscoast.vic.gov.au

We are keen to hear from local business. Please email or call us and let us know how this period has affected your business and how we might be able to assist you.

Sign up to our Business in Bass Coast newsletter to keep up to date with local business news, information on the latest grants and assistance opportunities.

State Government Support for Businesses

$822 million Business Support Fund - Round Three: 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. The amount of grants available from this program range from $10,000 to $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll. To be eligible for a grant from this program, check out: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-survival-and-adaptation-package/business-support-fund-3

$100 million Sole Trader Support Fund: This fund provides grants of $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders in sectors such as retail, accommodation and food services, creative and media, hairdressing, gyms, events, education and training who operate from a commercial premises or location as a tenant. For more details or to apply, please visit: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-resilience-package/sole-trader-support-fund

$58 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package: Business grants to help businesses adapt their operations to outdoor dining. Grants are available to licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs/taverns, bars, clubs and takeaway food venues. Eligible businesses can apply for a grant of $5,000. Funds can be used to pay for practical things like umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment. This will help move the indoor dining and café experiences Victorians love, outdoors. For more details or to apply, please visit: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/grants-and-assistance/business-resilience-package/outdoor-eating-and-entertainment-package

$500 million Working for Victoria Fund: The fund will help workers who have lost their jobs find new opportunities – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording those Victorians security when its needed most. To receive more information please register at: https://www.vic.gov.au/workingforvictoria

Payroll Tax: Full payroll tax refunds for the 2019-20 financial year to small and medium-sized businesses with payroll of less than $3 million; and deferral of any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020/21 financial year until 1 January 2021. For more details, please visit: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/payroll-tax/covid-19-payroll-tax-relief-claim-reimbursement

Land Tax: Commercial tenants in government buildings can apply for rent relief – and 2020 land tax payments will be deferred for eligible small businesses. For more details, please visit: https://www.sro.vic.gov.au/land-tax/claim-coronavirus-land-tax-relief

Liquor Licensing: Waiver of liquor licensing fees for 2020 for affected venues and small businesses. Please refer to contact information at: https://www.vcglr.vic.gov.au/news/coronavirus-covid-19-information-licensees

Other important COVID 19 information in relation to healthy workplaces is available at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/business-sector-coronavirus-disease-covid-19

Jobs Victoria – Workers in Transition: This support provides information, tools and resources to help both business and workers through retrenchment processes and into new opportunities. For more information see link: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/hiring-and-managing-staff/ending-employment/jobs-victoria-workers-in-transition

Federal Government Support for Businesses

JobKeeper Payments - Boosting cash flow for employers: providing up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not for-profits (NFPs) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. This will benefit around 690,000 businesses employing around 7.8 million people, and around 30,000 NFPs (including charities).

Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses: The Government is temporarily increasing the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company. The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of business that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus

Financial assistance – flow of credit - SME Guarantee Scheme: SMEs with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders to support new short-term unsecured loans to SMEs. The Scheme will guarantee up to $40 billion of new lending.

  • Maximum total size of loans of $250,000 per borrower.
  • The loans will be up to 3 years, with an initial 6-month repayment holiday.
  • The loans will be in the form of unsecured finance, meaning that borrowers will have to provide an asset as security for the loan.

Increasing the instant asset write-off: From 12 March 2020 until 31 December 2020 the instant asset write-off threshold amount for each asset is $150,000 (up from $30,000). Eligibility has been expanded to cover businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million).

From 1 January 2021 the instant asset write-off will only be available for small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million and the threshold will be $1,000.

For more detail, please go to: www.ato.gov.au/Business/Depreciation-and-capital-expenses-and-allowances/Simpler-depreciation-for-small-business/Instant-asset-write-off/

Backing Business Investment (BBI): The Government is introducing a time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.

For more detail, please go to: www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/backing-business-investment

Supporting apprentices and trainees: Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer that employs that apprentice. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). This measure will support small and medium sized businesses.

Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries: $1 billion to support regions most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. These funds will be available to assist during the outbreak and the recovery. In addition, the Government is assisting our airline industry by providing relief from a number of taxes and Government charges estimated to total up to $715 million.

For more detail please go to: https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit: A Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit has been established within The Treasury to engage with business on a regular basis and provide updates to government on crucial issues. https://treasury.gov.au/policy-topics/business-and-industry/coronavirus-business-liaison-unit

Mental Health & Wellbeing Services

The Victorian Small Business Commission has developed a Mental Health Plan guide in consultation with Beyond Blue, drawing insights shared by Victoria small business owners with lived experiences of overcoming mental health challenges.

Adapting to COVID-19 as a Business

For support in adapting to the COVID-19 situation, call the Business Support Team on 03 5671 2211.

Business Resource library

We are currently preparing a online library, where you can watch short videos such as, “How to support your staff to work from home” “How to sell your products online” “How to lead and stay connected when working remotely”.

Here are some resources currently available:

- Australian Government Resources on Continuing your Business, including handling cancellations, setting yourself up for remote working, finding online business events and webinars to help with COVID-19 situation, finding grants and assistance, tax support and employer obligations, and more.

- Victorian Chamber of Commerce, COVID-19 Managing through a Crisis Webinar

- Digital Ready Tasmania have a free E-Commerce for COVID-19 talk on their Facebook Page.

Shop Local Campaign

There are many great online platforms sharing people’s businesses and encouraging customers to shop local and support local businesses. Remember to 'tag' @BusinessinBassCoast on Facebook, and tell us what you are doing to adapt.

Business Impact Survey

The Australian Business Economic Impact Survey (ABEIS) is aimed at gathering data from local businesses in response to the rapid changes experienced as a result of COVID-19. Local input from businesses is needed to support recovery and demonstrate the impact for our region.

While completing a survey may be a low priority for businesses at this time, we encourage all Bass Coast businesses who have been impacted by the current crisis to participate. Insights from the survey and subsequent REMPLAN analysis will be provided to Federal, State and Local Governments to inform a targeted response that addresses the impact to local businesses and local employment.

The survey is brief and will take less than 10 minutes to complete. You can access the survey on the REMPLAN website.