We understand the concern in the business community as Coronavirus (COVID-19) affects the ability of many businesses to continue trading, pay staff wages and ensure long-term viability. 

The Victorian Government has announced a four step COVID-19 reopening roadmap for metropolitan Melbourne.  Moving between the steps depends on 'trigger points' such as COVID-19 case numbers as well as public health advice. The government has also set out specific industry restrictions for each step.  Check out your industry here.

STAGE 4 BUSINESS RESTRICTIONS

Under Stage 4 Restrictions workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

  • the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
  • all employees are working from home.

This means only permitted workplaces are allowed to operate on-site and they must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.  

Businesses in high risk industries must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.  These industries include construction, warehousing and distribution, supermarket distribution, medical supplies, pharmaceutical sectors and abattoirs/meat processing (includes seafood and poultry).

Worker Permits

Employers that require staff to attend a permitted workplace must issue an individual worker permit to their employees.  Refer to the Permitted Worker Scheme and Worker Permits webpage for more information. 

Face Coverings at Work

All Victorians must wear a face covering when they leave home unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so. This means either a face mask or face shield. A face covering needs to be worn covering both your nose and mouth.

For information about face coverings at work refer to the Department of Health and Human Services website.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS

A range of assistance is available from the government and other organisations to support businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

The COVID-19 Business Support and Financial Assistance Finder helps you find out what support is available for your business.

In addition, a summary of support from different levels of government is outlined below.

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT

On 13 September the Victorian Government announced a $3 billion package to help businesses survive and keep Victorians in jobs.  The package includes cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support for businesses that have been most affected by COVID-19 restrictions.  For details visit www.business.vic.gov.au.

Key components include:

Business Support Fund Grants – Third Round
Cash grants of $10,000, $15,000 and $20,000 depending on the business’ annual payroll.
Businesses may be eligible for this grant if they are participating in JobKeeper and employ people.  Other eligibility criteria also applies.  Applications open 18 September 2020.

Sole Trader Support Fund 
Grants of up to $3,000 to over 30,000 eligible sole traders who operate from a commercial premises or location to which the sole operator is the tenant or licensee.  Further details are expected soon.

Licensed Hospitality Business Grants
Grants of up to $30,000 for licensed pubs, clubs, hotels, bars, restaurants and reception centres, based on their venue capacity and location.

Business Chambers & Trader Group Grants
A competitive grants program to support metropolitan and regional business chambers and trader groups.

The Victorian Government’s package also provides additional funding, tools and resources to help businesses adapt and prepare for reopening under COVID normal settings.

Voucher program to build digital capability
Details are expected soon about a voucher program to assist sole traders and small businesses build their digital capability.

Assistance to help Victorian exporters
Details are expected soon about support for Victorian exporters to get their products to market and establish new trade channels.

Click for Vic Campaign
The Click for Vic campaign recently launched by Visit Victoria will also be expanded to encourage more Victorians to support local businesses.

Outdoor Eating & Entertainment Package: $87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support hospitality businesses prepare for COVID Normal reopening across Victoria.

Waivers and Deferrals
the Victorian Government continues to provide payroll tax deferrals, liquor license fee waivers and a number of other waivers and deferrals of charges.

 OTHER SUPPORT

Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund offers grants of up to $3,000 per tenancy to eligible small private individual and joint-owner landlords who may be experiencing hardship as a result of providing rent reductions to their tenants through the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

Free Business Mentoring
The Victorian Government is partnering with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to deliver a free business mentoring program to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges posed by the restrictions.  Eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.

Working for Victoria – matches employers & job seekers
The Working for Victoria Fund helps Victorians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 find new employment opportunities. 

Financial Assistance for self-isolation or quarantine
The Victorian Government is providing financial assistance to Victorian workers who are self-isolating or quarantining.  You may be eligible for a one-off $300 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Test Isolation Payment while you wait for the results of your COVID-19 test.  On the other hand, if you’ve been instructed by the Department of Health and Human Services to self-isolate or quarantine at home because you are either diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are a close contact of a confirmed case you may be eligible for a one-off $1500 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Worker Support Payment

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT

The Australian Government is providing financial support to businesses impacted by COVID-19.  Subject to eligibility, this includes support such as the JobKeeper Payment which has been extended to March 2021, cash flow assistance, apprentice wage subsidies, loan guarantees and early access to superannuation.

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by COVID-19 are able to access a wage subsidy of $1,500 per fortnight before tax to continue paying their employees.  The payment rate of $1,500 per fortnight for eligible employees and business participants will be reduced to $1,200 per fortnight from 28 September 2020 and to $1,000 per fortnight from 4 January 2021. From 28 September 2020, lower payment rates will apply for employees and business participants that worked fewer than 20 hours per week.

In order to be eligible for the JobKeeper Payment after 27 September 2020, businesses and not-for-profits will have to meet a further decline in turnover test for each of the two periods of extension, as well as meeting the other existing eligibility requirements for the JobKeeper Payment.   

The Australian Government’s Coronavirus COVID-19 website is regularly updated to give you the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia. 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT – WYNDHAM CITY COUNCIL

Wyndham City Council’s $5m WYNLocal Economic Support Package is made up of four main elements: (1) a free and confidential consultation with a local specialist in either business planning, human resources, finance or digital marketing (see the WYNLocal Small Business Professional Services Advice Program) (2) a business grants program - this element of the program has now closed (3) the opportunity to defer business rates and (4) fees relief for businesses.  If you have any questions please complete this enquiry form or phone 9742 8170.

 

FURTHER INFORMATION AND SUPPORT

Wyndham City Council
Economic Growth Unit
Phone 9742 8170
business@wyndham.vic.gov.au
or complete an enquiry form

 

For questions about support for businesses in Wyndham

Victorian Government
Business Victoria Hotline 132215
www.business.vic.gov.au

 

Information about government support for business

Victorian Government
Department of Health & Human Services
Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398
www.dhhs.vic.gov.au
 

If you suspect you have Coronavirus phone the hotline. 

The website includes information about business restrictions.

Victorian Small Business Commission
Phone 13 87 22
enquiries@vsbc.vic.gov.au
www.vsbc.vic.gov.au
 

Help with small business disputes including payment of rent.

Fair Work Ombudsman
Phone 13 13 94
www.coronavirus.fairwork.gov.au

 

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.  Help you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Phone 8662 5333
www.victorianchamber.com.au

 

Information to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19.  Currently offering free membership to Victorian businesses which includes access to workplace relations advice and other support.  They are also offering free business mentoring (see below) as part of a Victorian Government support initiative.
 

Free Business Mentoring
 

Under the Business Recovery and Resilience Program eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.

Free Business Webinars & Events
 

The Upskill My Business government site connects you to short courses, online events and resources from the state’s top education providers and industry experts.

In addition, organisations such as the Australian Taxation Office and the Melbourne Innovation Centre  provide free webinars on a range of business topics. 

 

Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Small Businesses in Victoria

Through this government initiative, Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business can get the mental health support they need to help them navigate the impacts of COVID-19.
 

To keep up to date:

ANY QUESTIONS?

Email the Economic Growth team at Wyndham City business@wyndham.vic.gov.au or phone 9742 8170.

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