COVID-19 Business Support
Last updated 21/09/2020
The Victorian Government has released it's Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening. As of 17 September, Regional Victoria is now at the Third Step and some restrictions have been eased across Victoria.
Regional Victoria and Melbourne Metro each have their own roadmaps, relating to how many active cases are currently in the community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To find out what local support is available through Council, call the Business Support Team on 035671 2211, or email email@example.com
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.
The Australian Commonwealth Government
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.
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.
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
The Victorian State Government
$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
$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
Payments to business: The Government will pay all outstanding supplier invoices within five business days. Further information to be provided.
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
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.
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.