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.


COVID-19 small business support video - transcript available here


Current guidelines for business owners and proprietors

State of Emergency Government Update

The Victorian Government has announced changes to restrictions, in line with advice from the State's Chief Health Officer.

The State of Emergency in Victoria was extended for another four weeks to continue to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep Victorians safe.

There are important updates about which of the current restrictions remain in place and which have been deferred to 12 July. Here's what your business needs to know.
From Monday, 22 June:

  • Restaurants, pubs and auction halls will stay at a maximum of 20 people in any one space until 12 July.

  • Businesses that were set to open on Monday like gyms, cinemas and theatres can do so – but again, only with a maximum of 20 people.

  • Ski season and accommodation facilities with communal spaces will also open, but with increased screening and safeguards in place.

  • Those who can work from home must continue to do so until at least 31 July. If you do have people on the job, take a zero-tolerance approach to sickness. If someone has symptoms, send them home and ask them to get tested.

  • Guidelines for the hospitality, beauty and tourism industries are available on our website, with further updates to restrictions available in due course.

Hospitality Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Beauty and Personal Care Facility Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19)
Tourism Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19)




More information

For more information on these restrictions, click here 

Please refer to Business Victoria website

For all businesses not subject to restricted trading, it is recommended that the DHHS recommends adhering to measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). More information can be found here 


Tax Support for Small Business

Business grants, information, advice and support

The increased instant asset write-off

Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.  Read more here 

Backing Business Investment (BBI)

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% of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset's cost. Learn more about it here  

Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Guarantee Scheme

This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders' willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. Learn more about the scheme here  

Tax support

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. More information can be found here  

Victorian Government's NEW Business Support Fund

Firms are eligible for $10,000 if they:

  • employ staff
  • are highly impacted by COVID-19 business restrictions
  • have a turnover of more than $75,000
  • have payroll of less than $650,000

More details about eligibility and guidelines on how to apply can be found here   

COVID19 Manufacturer Response Register Portal

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)'s portal for Australian manufacturing, component suppliers and skilled design, engineering and manufacturing experts enables manufacturers to register their interest and core competencies in support of the national response to COVID-19.  Click here for further information or to register.

Boosting Female Founders Initiative

Boosting Female Founders (BBF) aims to help female founders to access early stage capital to grow their start-ups in national and international markers. The program will provide grants between $25,000 and $400,000 on a co-contribution basis to successful applicants and run over 3 years. The start-up must be at least 50% women owned (equity or shares) and at least 50% of the founding team or senior managers must be women.
See the program guidelines for eligibility criteria, more information and how to submit your EOI here.

JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Announcement

Businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees through the JobKeeper payment. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over.
More information can be found here 

Assistance to help pay wages of Apprentices or Trainees

Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of  50 per cent of the apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Where a small business is not able to retain an apprentice, the subsidy will be available to a new employer. Employers will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $21,000 per eligible apprentice or trainee ($7,000 per quarter). For more information and to apply click here 

FREE Business Resilience program

Australian Small Business Advisory Services Digital Solutions (ASBAS) have launched a program designed to assist Victorian small businesses affected by COVID-19. Support includes free access to virtual mentoring, online workshops, and resources.

Businesses will need to fit the following criteria to partake in this program:

  • Victorian For-Profit Business
  • Active ABN
  • Under 20 Employees

You can visit their mentor page and workshop page for more information, or email for enquiries regarding the Business Resilience program. 

This Federal Government funded program is aimed at increasing the digital capabilities of Small Businesses in Australia. It accomplishes this by offering low cost, easy to understand workshops (including face to face when able), webinars, and advisory services directly to small business owners. 

Register here 

FREE Digital Solutions Mentoring

Access 2 hours of one-on-one mentoring to help digitise your business. Digital Solutions Mentoring is a program for Small Businesses in Victoria and Nillumbik Shire Council are pleased to offer this fully subsidised program for small businesses in Nillumbik. 

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Active Victorian ABN
  • 19 or less employees
  • For profit business

Use promotional code NILLUMBIK20 to secure your fully subsidised session. 

More information and register here 

A full suite of free educational opportunities to assist businesses are available here

Commercial tennancies relief scheme

The Victorian Government announced recently a commercial tenancy relief scheme to alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19).

For commercial tenants and landlords, the scheme will provide:

  • A six-month moratorium on commercial tenancy evictions from 29 March 2020 for the non-payment of rent for small to medium enterprise with an annual turnover under $50 million that have experienced a minimum 30 per cent reduction in turnover due to COVID-19
  • Freeze on rent increases during the moratorium for commercial tenants
  • A rental payment waiver or deferral proportionate to commercial tenants' income reduction due to COVID-19, to be negotiated between tenant and landlord
  • A mediation service for commercial tenants and landlords to support fair tenancy negotiations

The Victorian Government will also provide land tax relief to commercial landlords that provide rent relief to their tenants, provided:

  • The tenant's annual turnover doesn't exceed $50 million
  • Is an eligible business in the Commonwealth's JobKeeper program
  • Is suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the pandemic

The Victorian Government will also provide land tax relief to residential landlords who provide rent relief to eligible tenants. 

 More Information can be found here 

COVID-19 posters and signage for your business

Council support for food businesses

Council has implemented some strategies to assist food businesses during this time.

Food businesses that are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19 can apply in writing to to receive a 30 per cent refund of this year’s registration (including Streatrader fees).

Food businesses currently registered as a Class 3 business can upgrade to Class 2 activity for no additional cost, however you will still need to apply to Council’s Environmental Health team.

Fees for A-frames and footpath furniture will be waived.

For enquiries regarding these local law exemptions please email our Community Safety team at or phone 9433 3231.

Enquiries regarding the activity and registration of food businesses can be made to the Environmental Health team at or call 9433 3340.

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

Hurstbridge Traders Association

President Ian Mason

0418 597 176

Diamond Creek Traders Association

President Claire Nolle
Vice President Paige O'Connor

Marketing Coordinator Anna Henderson & Yvette Standfield
0417 580 009

Eltham Chamber of Commerce and Industry

President Michael Williams
(03) 9439 7568

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 here.

Other resources and useful links

Support and relief from service providers

Momentum EnergyOrigin EnergyAGL and Vodaphone are just a few examples of service providers who are offering relief to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact your service providers directly to find out if they are offering any form of relief or support for business at this time. 

Mental Health Support

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

  • Salvation Army (Disasters and emergnecy support) - phone 1300 662 217
  • Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 13 11 14
  • Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1300 224 636
  • Headspace (Youth mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1800 650 890
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