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

Metropolitan Melbourne Stage 4 Restrictions

From 6pm on Sunday 2 August, restrictions were changing for metropolitan Melbourne. Metropolitan Melbourne is now in Stage 4 Restrictions. The definition of metropolitan Melbourne is based on the Planning and Environment Act 1987 which sets out the local government areas that form metropolitan Melbourne, and will not include Mitchell Shire for the purposes of the Stage 4 curfew or travel restrictions.

These changes are being introduced to reduce the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.  

From 2 August, a curfew was put in place in metropolitan Melbourne. Curfews will be in operation from 8pm to 5am every evening, with people only allowed to leave their house for work, and essential health, care or safety reasons.

There are only 4 reasons to leave home

  • Necessary Goods and Services (with conditions)
  • Exercise (with conditions)
  • Care and Health (with conditions)
  • Work (with conditions

More information on the conditions associated to each point above can be found here

Business Restrictions

On Monday 4th of August, new restrictions affecting Businesses in Victoria were announced. 

Businesses to Remain Open

  • Supermarkets; grocery shops such as butchers, bakers, green grocers; bottleshops; convenience stores and newsagents; petrol stations; pharmacies and post offices.
  • Cafes and restaurants can serve takeaway and delivery only
  • Support services such as food banks will remain open

Businesses that are Closing

  • Hairdressing; professional, administrative, financial and office services; call centres; wholesale trade and manufacturing, unless supporting open industries
  • Retail open for click and collect and delivery only.
  • Hardware, building and garden stores open to tradespeople, otherwise it's click and collect and delivery only.
  • Property and real estate, with online inspections and auctions permitted.

Businesses will need to shut by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to do so safely.

Businesses with Restricted Operations


  • Food production and meat processing.
  • Warehousing, distribution centres and cold storage.
  • Construction

These industries will have limits on the number of workers onsite at any time and have additional obligations on outbreak prevention and response.

This includes staggered shifts and break times and extra PPE.

All open businesses and services will have until 11.59pm Friday 7 August to enact their COVIDSafe plan.

For more information click here 

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

Continued support for Small Businesses in Victoria

To support businesses impacted by these new Stage 4 restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program:

  • $10,000 for employing businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire in recognition of spending longer under restrictions
  • $5,000 for employing businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire)

Businesses which have already received a BSFe grant, or have applied for one, will not need to re-apply. Successful applicants will automatically receive this additional allocation.

Applications for the program will be extended until 14 September 2020.

Updated guidelines and information will be provided in the coming days.

This program is in addition to the first round of the Business Support Fund, which closed on 1 June 2020.

Apply Now

Energy Efficient Communities Program: Small Business Grants

The Australian Governments is awarding small businesses grants of up to $20,000 for improving their energy efficiency. Grants can be used for equipment and component improvements, energy audits, feasibility studies and/or energy use and emission monitoring.

Closing 26th August 2020

Apply Now

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  

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 NILLUMBIK2020 to secure your fully subsidised session. 

More information and register here 

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

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


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