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 guidelines for business owners and proprietors

Updated COVID-19 Restrictions

On Wednesday the 17th of February, The Victorian Premier Dan Andrews announced that the Victorian lockdown will end as scheduled and from 11:59pm Wednesday the 17th of February when Victoria will largely return to the previous rules.
Restaurants and retail can reopen along with community facilities, entertainment venues and all other public places – although some additional limits on crowd sizes will be in place.
For offices – both public and private – that means a return to 50 per cent on site.
Masks will continue to be required everywhere indoors except at home. Masks will also be required outside if you can’t physically distance from others
The full table of restrictions which includes definitions relating to essential workers and services can be downloaded here.

Test isolation and worker support payments

For people going through testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) there may be financial support available. If you have had a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and are isolating until you receive results, meaning you can’t go to work and won’t get paid, you may qualify for the test isolation payment.  More information including eligibility and how to apply can be found here

Government financial support for business

Victorian Government financial support for business

CIRCUIT-Breaker Action Grants 

This package provides financial support to eligible businesses impacted by the circuit breaker action to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Victoria’s business community has been greatly impacted by the global pandemic. 

To help businesses manage this impact, the Victorian Government has announced a further $143 million package to support eligible businesses impacted by the circuit breaker action to limit the spread of COVID-19.  

There are four initiatives available for eligible businesses as part of this support package.

  • Business Costs Assistance Program
  • Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 
  • Victorian Accommodation Support Program
  • Travel Voucher Scheme

More information including eligibility can be found here 

COVID-19 Business Recovery Survey

It's not too late to respond to our Survey!

The COVID-19 Business Recovery survey will help Council measure the impact of COVID-19 on the Nillumbik business community, during the re-opening and recovery phases of the pandemic.

The survey aims to identify key impacts and opportunities for supporting recovery and resilience of local businesses. Your feedback is of value as we continue to work through and adapt our programs and initiatives to assist our businesses navigate the new normal.

All information provided will be used for internal purposes only and will be kept confidential.

If you have any further queries please contact or call 9433 3128.

Complete the survey here 

Victorian Government QR Code Service

The Victorian Government launched a new check-in system for businesses across Victoria.
Victorian business owners across the state can now access a free QR Code Service which will help them to keep records of visitors. Business owners will only need to register their business, download and print a poster containing a Victorian Government QR Code, and display it prominently.

Visitors simply need to scan the QR code using their smartphone, and their data will be held securely for 28 days unless it is requested by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS - to become the Department of Health on 1 February 2021).

Use of the Victorian Government’s QR Code Service is not mandatory, and businesses or venues that are currently using an existing market-led QR code solution may continue to do so. The Government is working on a system which will allow these systems to link directly into DHHS Contact Tracing systems as needed. By using QR code software, businesses will make it possible for contact tracers to obtain their required details within minutes of a positive case.

Businesses may also continue to keep records using a non-QR-code method if preferred, except for smaller hospitality venues wishing to increase their density quotient to 1 person per 2 square metres – which are mandated to use QR codes.

 Click here to register your business

Outdoor Dining


The Third Step in Victoria's roadmap for reopening for Metropolitan Melbourne permits hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cafes and bars to reopen using limited indoor and outdoor dining spaces.  We encourage Nillumbik residents to support local businesses by visiting our local cafes and restaurants.
To include your business in the free outdoor dining directory, please complete this online form.


We are making it as easy as possible for traders to either start or expand their outdoor dining space, to support local hospitality businesses in the recovery from COVID-19.

This means that cafes and restaurants may be able to temporarily expand their dine-in options outside on public or private land.

To further support our local traders, there is no cost for this as we have waived all applicable fees and we will fast-track the application process.

Consent from Council is required for temporary outdoor dining for any of the following:

  • To introduce or expand your dining area onto the footpath
  • To take over an on-street car parking space immediately outside your business
  • To join with adjacent businesses to take over sections of footpaths, on-street car parking, or any Council space.
  • To conduct outdoor dining on private land outside the normal business operation.

Please see below the forms to complete for businesses to either apply for a footpath trading permit (for public land), or complete an Outdoor Trading Expression of Interest (for private land) a follow up will then take place with the business:

Apply for a footpath trading permit (for public land) here 

Complete an expression of interest for outdoor trading (for private land) here

If you have any further queries please contact or call 9433 3128

More information including current guidelines for Cafes and Restaurants can be found at the Victorian Government's website here

Mobile Trading Permit Pilot Program - Applications now open

To support further opportunities for outdoor dining, we have launched a Mobile Trading Permit Pilot Program. 

Applications are now open for Nillumbik-based traders to operate mobile food businesses such as food trucks and coffee carts on Council land. Permits are limited, and conditions apply.

The pilot program will operate until 31 March. Applications are now open.

Apply here 

COVID-19 Outdoor Dining - New Planning Exemptions

On 14 September 2020, the Premier announced the Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package to support expanded outdoor eating as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
To help facilitate the initiative, the Minister for Planning introduced new planning exemptions (in clause 52.18) that enable existing pubs, restaurants, cafes, wineries and other food and drink venues to:

  • use existing outdoor spaces, as well as nearby parks and public land, to accommodate and serve patrons without the need for a planning permit
  • better plan and use their own land to accommodate patrons while still adhering to distancing guidelines by overriding some conditions of existing planning permits.

The exemptions also cover the construction of temporary buildings, the provision of car parking, and the sale and consumption of liquor subject to meeting some conditions the address potential off-site amenity impacts and other safety matters. The exemptions will apply while Victoria remains under a State of Emergency, and for 12 months after the State of Emergency has been lifted.
If your business wishes to place furniture on Council controlled land, you will still require a permit from Council, however the process has been streamlined and permits are currently free of charge.
If you have any queries regarding this please contact

Eltham Circulatory Road Parking Permits

Council is extending the validity of Circulatory Road parking permits until 30 June 2021.  This initiative is part of Council’s commitment to ongoing support to traders in response to the significant impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A replacement permits with the revised expiry date will be posted to your registered business address in the coming weeks.

Please note that obtaining a permit will not guarantee a parking space as the number of permits issued may exceed the number of parking bays available.

If you would like any further information on Circulatory Road car park permits please contact the Community Safety Team on 9433 3231.


COVIDSafe Plan for Business

The Victorian Government has released roadmaps for reopening for how we live and work in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, providing a long-term plan for our path out of restrictions and into COVID Normal.

As part of the plans to support businesses to safely reopen and get Victorians back to work, the Victorian Government has developed a COVIDSafe Plan template to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace. Every Victorian business that is open for on-site operations must download, complete and sign a COVIDSafe Plan

To ensure compliance, random spot checks are underway in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. If you own a business in a high-risk industry, you must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

High-risk industries include poultry processing facilities, abattoirs and meat processing facilities, seafood processing facilities, supermarkets, medical supply, pharmaceutical supply and personal protective equipment supply facilities, warehousing and distribution centres, construction sites, manufacturing facilities, and wholesale facilities.

FACT-SHEET_-Do-you-need-help-creating-a-COVIDSafe-Plan_Translator.pdf(PDF, 48KB)

FACT-SHEET_-What-to-do-if-a-worker-is-unwell.pdf(PDF, 55KB)

FACT-SHEET_-What-to-do-if-a-worker-test-positive.pdf(PDF, 55KB)


Victorian Budget 2020/21 - Support for Business

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 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 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 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 here

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

COVID-19 posters and signage for your business

Nillumbik Council branded COVID-19 posters are available for you to download and print to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posters-for-Business-19Feb21.pdf(PDF, 155KB)

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 

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

 (PDF, 182KB)Covid-19-Fact-Sheet-Abattoir-and-Poultry-Processing-Facilities.pdf(PDF, 154KB)

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Quick Response Grants for Local Business (Now Closed)

Due to an overwhelming response, we will not be accepting any more submissions at this time. Successful applicants were notified on the 01st of August.
Please connect with our newsletter and join our Business in Nillumbik Facebook group to stay informed of any further grant opportunities