COVID-19 business support information

Important information and resources

The impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and community have been significant.  Here are some resources that can support your business though this challenging time.

Current COVID19 restrictions in Victoria

Statewide Restrictions From 11:59PM Friday 17 September 2021

The Victorian Government has announced an easing of restrictions which take place from 11:59PM Friday 17 September 2021..

The current exceptions for leaving the house between the hours of 5:00AM and 9:00PM are as follows:

  • getting the food and the supplies you need
  • exercising and social interaction for up to four hours
  • care or caregiving
  • authorised work or education if you can’t do it from home
  • getting vaccinated at the nearest possible location.

Work permits continue to be required to leave the house for authorised work. 

Face masks remain mandatory indoors (not at home) and outdoors, including all workplaces, unless an exception applies.

See the full table of restrictions here. 2109166-Table-of-Restrictions.pdf(PDF, 100KB)

For more information go to www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

Funding and support for businesses

Victorian Business Support Package

A new jointly funded package from the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments will give Victorian small and medium businesses the extra support and confidence they need to recover from the recent lockdown.

The package will deliver an additional $400 million in support to thousands of businesses and includes a $156 million Business Continuity Fund, a new $85 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund as well as support for commercial tenants and landlords.

It will also build on Victorian Government support for licensed hospitality and alpine venues, with $70 million for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 and $9.8 million for Alpine Business Support.

Read the Victorian Government’s media release and the Prime Minister’s media release.

Business Continuity Fund

A $156 million Business Continuity Fund will be established to deliver $5,000 grants to up to around 30,000 businesses that remain impacted by capacity limits placed on businesses by necessary public health restrictions.

Twenty-four eligible sectors are covered by the fund for businesses including gyms, cafes, restaurants, catering services and hairdressers.

Recognising businesses located in the CBD will continue to be impacted due to restrictions on the number of staff allowed in office buildings, they will be eligible to receive an additional $2,000.

To receive this funding, businesses must have received or be eligible for the Business Cost Assistance Program Round Two.

Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund

The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will receive a $70 million boost, with grants of up to $20,000 to support licensed venues as their operations continue to be impacted by current restrictions.

These grants recognise that larger venues depend more on dine-in and have higher operating costs, so need more support than smaller operations. An additional $2,000 will also be made available to the business if it is located within the CBD.

To receive this funding, venues will need to have received or been eligible for the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021.

Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme

The reintroduced Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will ease pressure by providing rent relief for eligible tenants, while separate support will be provided to landlords who do the right thing by their tenants.

The Scheme, fully funded by the Victorian Government, will be available to businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million and have suffered a decline in turnover of at least 30 per cent due to coronavirus.

Landlords will be required to provide proportional rent relief in line with a business’s reduction in turnover. A mediation service for tenants and landlords will further support fair tenancy negotiations.

Tenants and landlords will be encouraged to enter negotiations directly, with the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) available to provide mediation if parties cannot reach satisfactory agreement. Landlords will not be able to lock out or evict tenants without a determination from the VSBC.

Legislation will shortly be introduced to enact the Scheme, which will be applied from today to ensure rent relief can start immediately.

An $80 million hardship fund for landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants will be created, with further details to be confirmed in due course.

Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for further information on 13 87 22 or visit vsbc.vic.gov.au

Small Business COVID Hardship Fund

A new $85 million fund will be established to support small businesses who have not been eligible under existing business support funds.

Small businesses with a payroll of up to $10 million who have experienced a 70 per cent or greater reduction in revenue will be eligible for grants of up to $5,000.

Alpine Business Support Program

Alpine Business Support will receive a further $9.8 million to deliver grants of between $5,000 and $20,000 to 430 Alpine based businesses in recognition of restricted inter and intra-state travel during the peak winter season.

The funding also includes an additional $5 million support to alpine resort operators and management boards.

Commonwealth Government COVID-19 Disaster Payment

Individuals may also be eligible for financial support through the Commonwealth Government’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment.

Most microbusinesses not registered for GST are eligible for the COVID-19 Disaster Payment of $600 or $375 per week.

The Victorian Government is establishing a concierge service to help these businesses access this support.

 

Further information on these programs will be available soon at business.vic.gov.au


Cash Support for Victorian businesses

The Victorian Government will provide new cash grants for businesses affected by the short lockdown necessary to get ahead of the Delta strain, so they can have a strong recovery on the other side of the public health restrictions.

Automatic payments will be made to eligible businesses and sole traders across the state to minimise delays and swiftly get money into the pockets of businesses who need it most.

Up to 90,000 businesses that have and will receive payments through the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Business Costs Assistance Program relating to the May-June lockdown will receive the Victorian Government’s new support payments of $3,000 and $2,000 respectively.

Payments are due to commence over the course of next week – with total funding of $201.8 million. Eligible businesses will include restaurants, cafes bars, event suppliers, tourism and accommodation providers and non-essential retailers.

The Victorian Government has also reached agreement with the Commonwealth Government to fund income support payments from day one of the lockdown.

Workers affected by the public health restrictions are now eligible for the same payments afforded by the Commonwealth to New South Wales workers:

  • Payments of $600 will be made to Victorians that lose 20 hours or more of work during the period of the lockdown
  • Payments of $375 will be made to individuals that lose between 8-20 hours of work during the period of the lockdown
  • There is no liquid assets test applied to receive these payments

The Federal Government will fund payments for those Victorians who work or live in a COVID-19 Hotspot declared by the Commonwealth – that includes Greater Melbourne, Moorabool Shire, the City of Greater Geelong, Borough of Queenscliffe and the Surf Coast Shire.

The Victorian Government will fund payments for Victorians who live outside of these areas but are still subject to the lockdown.

All applications can be made through the Services Australia website

View the full media release here

Temporary outdoor dining permits

Supporting businesses with outdoor dining

COVIDSafe outdoor dining and entertainment initiatives have proved popular and have given businesses further scope to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to the recent impacts of lockdowns Councils to will extend outdoor dining permits until 1 July 2022 and support local hospitality businesses to operate in a COVIDSafe way.  

Footpath trading permit fees will continue to be waived until this time.

Any businesses wishing to explore outdoor dining options can call 9433 3111 or email business@nillumbik.vic.gov.au


Apply for a footpath trading permit

Apply for a footpath trading permit here

These permits apply to moveable outdoor dining items, moveable business signs, and display of goods on the footpath.

Please ensure you read the Amenity Local Law Guidelines prior to submitting your application.

Please do not purchase or construct items until your application is approved, to avoid additional cost due to non-compliance.

Mandatory electronic record keeping

QR codes for businesses 

All venues and businesses are required to undertake electronic record-keeping, and must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service through the Service Victoria app.

Sign your business up for Victorian Government QR Code Service here

Wellbeing and mental health services for small business

 Partners in Wellbeing

As part of the Victorian Government’s $26 million Wellbeing and Mental Health Support program for small businesses, the Partners in Wellbeing helpline is there to support you and your employees.

The Partners in Wellbeing helpline offers free and confidential one-on-one access to experienced wellbeing coaches who understand exactly what you’re going through. They have the skills and insights to improve your sense of wellbeing, help you develop coping strategies, and provide the advice and support you need to get through this difficult time.

The telephone helpline has also been expanded to provide business owners under stress with free access to financial counsellors and business advisors.

If you are distressed or anxious about your business, please call Partners in Wellbeing at 1300 375 330 from Monday to Friday 9am–10pm, Saturday to Sunday 9am–5pm.

 More information is available here


Other mental health support resources

If you know of anyone that you are concerned about in relation to their mental wellbeing, some of the supporting groups are:

FREE contactless thermometers for businesses

Contactless thermometers

While thermometers are not mandatory for businesses, temperature checking is a further preventative measure you can take when operating on-site to protect your employees and customers.

Thermometers will be made available free of charge to businesses who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Business has a registered Australian Business Number (ABN) Business and has a registered Victorian premise located in Nillumbik
  • Business is operating with staff physically onsite or a business is operating within an enclosed environment

There is a strict limit of one thermometer per business site/premise, per 20 employees. An additional thermometer is permitted for each additional 20 employees i.e., if your business employs more than 20 people, you are eligible to receive an additional thermometer to a maximum of five per site.

To receive your free thermometer, please email business@nillumbik.vic.gov.au

Outdoor Dining Directory Listing

Outdoor dining

We encourage Nillumbik residents to support local businesses by visiting our local cafes and restaurants as we begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic. We have created a directory of local businesses that have outdoor dining options which allow for social distancing and safe access.

To include your business in the free outdoor dining directory, please complete this online form.

COVIDSafe Plan for Business

COVIDSafe plan

It is mandatory for every Victorian business with on-site operations to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

To ensure compliance, random spot checks are occurring throughout Victoria.

Your COVIDSafe Plan must demonstrate:

  • your actions to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 to your workplace
  • the type of face mask or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
  • how you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your workplace
  • how you will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government. Some industries or workplaces are subject to additional industry obligations and have additional requirements of employers and employees.

Businesses must review and update their COVIDSafe Plans regularly, especially when restrictions or public health advice changes. Organisations with multiple worksites must complete a COVIDSafe Plan for each worksite

The COVIDSafe plan template is available here

More information is available here

Fact sheets

Do you need help creating a COVIDSafe Plan Translator(PDF, 48KB)

What to do if a worker is unwell(PDF, 55KB)

What to do if a worker test positive(PDF, 55KB)

Victorian Budget 2020/21 - Support for Business

Victorian Budget 2020/21

For more information on what the Victorian Budget means for business click here


The Victorian Startup Capital Fund

A further $60.5 million has been allocated by the Victorian Government for a Fund of Funds – the Victorian Startup Capital Fund, leveraging up to $180 million in private sector investment. This will inject much needed early-stage funding into the start-up ecosystem supporting start-ups to become the scales and unicorns of the future.  More information is available here


Women's Angel Sidecar Fund

To increase the number of women founders, $10 million has been allocated to a Women’s founders Angel Sidecar Fund while unlocking a further $30 million in private sector equity.

Established by LaunchVic, the Fund will assist women founders to raise capital to grow their early-stage start-ups. More information is available here


The Venture Growth Fund

A major coup for start-ups and investors, is the $25.7 million Venture Debt Scheme – the Venture Growth Fund run by Invest Victoria that will inject late stage capital into the ecosystem. More information is available here


R&D Cash Flow Loans

The R&D Cash Flow Loans initiative that will provide up to $50 million in low-interest loans to innovative businesses including start-ups that undertake research in Victoria.  More information is available here

COVID-19 posters and signage for your business

COVID19 posters and signage

You are encouraged to download and print the following signs and posters to put up around your workplace. They cover hygiene and changes to business operations due to COVID-19.


Victorian government COVID19 posters and signage

 Signs, posters and templates for your workplace | Coronavirus Victoria


Nillumbik Council COVID-19 posters and signage

Nillumbik COVID19 Posters for Business(PDF, 155KB)

Business and Tourism Associations

Business and Tourism Associations

The following business and tourism associations are independent groups of businesses who work together to represent and achieve the needs of local traders and the wider business community.

Council works in partnership with three traders association within the Shire which are run by trader committees.

These committees organise marketing campaigns, events and activities which benefit the interests of local traders, and are accountable to its members. 


Nillumbik Tourism and Business

Nillumbik Tourism and Business is a regional organisation for local business providing networking, professional development and advocacy.

President Richard Dovile
0419 178 275

dickiecalender@gmail.com 

www.ntb.org.au


Hurstbridge Traders Association

President Ian Mason
0418 597 176

ian@mwmrealestate.com.au 

www.hurstbridgevillage.com.au


Diamond Creek Traders Association

President Claire Nolle
Vice President Paige O'Connor

Marketing Coordinator Anna Henderson & Yvette Standfield
0417 580 009

secretary@diamondcreekshopping.com.au

www.diamondcreekshopping.com.au


Eltham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

President Michael Williams
(03) 9439 7568

thompsonsmc@gmail.com

www.elthamtown.com


Economic Development Advisory Committee

The Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) provides a formal mechanism for Council to consult with key stakeholders to seek specialist advice on economic development issues, initiatives, policies and strategies. More information is available here.

Resources and useful links

State and Federal Government initiatives

Information on assistance packages that your business may be eligible for can be found here


Reduce your Risk of Coronavirus

Click here to learn simple steps to reducing your risk of Coronavirus 


More links 

Coronovarius-and-the-meat-industry-Covid-19(PDF, 182KB)

Covid-19-Fact-Sheet-Abattoir-and-Poultry-Processing-Facilities(PDF, 154KB)

Covid-19-Fact-Sheet-Abattoir-and-Poultry-Processing-Facilities_1(PDF, 154KB)

How-to-clean-and-disinfect-after-Covid-19-case-in-the-workplace-2(PDF, 176KB)

How-to-clean-and-disinfect-after-Covid-19-case-in-the-workplace(PDF, 161KB)

 How-to-dispose-of-PPE-from-householes(PDF, 316KB)

Looking-after-your-mental-health-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic(PDF, 93KB)