Support for business (COVID-19)

person with a laptop and smart phone

We understand the concerns in the business community at the moment, about the ability to continue trading, paying staff wages and long-term viability.

Below is a collection of information from Federal and State Governments, industry and Council. We will update this page as new information comes to hand.

Please keep in mind that this page may not always be immediately up-to-date. Check dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus for the latest information.

Stage 3 restrictions on non-essential activities and businesses

Restrictions have been placed on all non-essential activities and businesses by the State and Federal Governments.

These will be reviewed monthly, but community members should expect these measures to be in place over the next six months.

Public gatherings

Public gatherings of people have been restricted to two people (outside of housemates and immediate family). Public boot camps are restricted to two people, including the trainer running the session.

Stage 3 restrictions as of 12.01am, Tuesday, 31 March, will include an on-the-spot fine from Victoria Police for anyone breaching the restriction on public gatherings of more than two people (aside from those in your household).

The Stage 3 restrictions will not apply to workplaces or schools.

Businesses

Businesses, including pubs, gyms and indoor sporting venues, cinemas, tattoo parlours, massage parlours (except health-related), entertainment venues, casinos and night clubs, beauty therapy outlets, yoga studios, health clubs, wellness centres, places of worship are now restricted from opening.

Cafes and restaurants are permitted to operate, providing takeaway and/or home delivery only.

Essential services, including health services, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, petrol stations, convenience stores, freight, logistics and home delivery may remain open.

Hairdressers may continue to operate, with one person per four square metre inside the premises.

Events such as weddings and funerals can go ahead, but only if they meet very strict limits on persons attending (five people maximum for weddings – including the couple, celebrant and witnesses, 10 people maximum for funerals).

Read the Prime Minister's statement for more information about Stage 2 restrictions and a full list of businesses affected.

 

Council support for businesses

We know that many local businesses are trying to quickly adapt to the Stage 1 and 2 restrictions on non-essential businesses announced by the Federal and State Governments.

Take away food businesses

These restrictions mean that all restaurants and cafes can only continue operating as takeaway premises.

We’ve advised our business community that any registered restaurant or café can commence serving takeaway and/or home delivery, as long as they meet the relevant Health Handling Approvals and conditions set out on our website.

Read more

Once the State Government restrictions are lifted, businesses will need to transition back to not offering takeaway or home delivery unless they have a permit.

Supermarkets and deliveries 

In normal circumstances, supermarkets may have planning permit conditions that restrict hours of operation and loading/unloading of goods.

However, we know that supermarkets are dealing with an unprecedented level of demand for essential items and are working with supermarkets to allow operation and deliveries at hours that suit the business and the needs of the community.

To date Council have received no complaints from community members where deliveries have fallen outside of the usual hours.

During this time, providing the community with access to groceries, essential items and services is paramount and we’d encourage all community members to be mindful of this need. Any disruptions from deliveries and supermarket operations will be temporary as we navigate this crisis.

Once the COVID-19 situation has finished, Council will share messaging with its business community about returning to standard operating hours and practices for businesses. 

We’ll post more information about this as it comes to hand, and work with our business community to support them however possible in the coming months.

In the meantime, we encourage businesses to call our Economic Development team on 1300 368 333 if they have questions about what the changes mean for them.

Food business FAQs

We've put together a list of Frequently Asked Questions and answers on our website for Food Businesses continuing to operate through the COVID-19 situation.

Read more

Advice for animal owners and agriculture businesses

Agriculture Victoria has set up a webpage with advice for animal owners and people in agricultural businesses, including those working with livestock.

There is currently no evidence that animals play a role in the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus or that animals become sick. However, there are still things animal owners can do to care for themselves and their animals.

Read more

JobKeeper payment & ecconomic support from Federal Government

Support is available to help business manage cash flow challenges and retain employees during the Coronavirus situation.

Assistance includes:

  • JobKeeper payment
  • Boosting cash flow for employers
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off
  • Backing business investment
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees

More Information can be found on the business.gov.au website: 

Federal Government support for community members

The Federal Government has expanded eligibility for income support payments during the COVID-19 situation and added an extra payment for benefit recipients.

This payment will apply to recipients of the Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payments, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit recipients.

A new, time-limited coronavirus supplement of $550 will be paid to recipients from 27 April, 2020, for a six month period. This extra payment will not be income tested.   

Access to these payments has also been expanded, to support people who are stood down or lose their employment.

Read more about income support

 

Australian Tax Office support

The Australian Tax Office has set up a page with information about assistance that can be provided through the COVID-19 situation.

Read more

The Australian Tax Office also offers webinars aimed to support businesses with tax related issues during the COVID-19 situation. Find out more and sign up for a webinar.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce support

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will waive membership fees for one year for all Victorian businesses up to a value of $700. Existing members will receive an additional $500 credit.

VCCI members can access support and expert advice about running a business.

Read more

Business Victoria support

Business Victoria has set up a page with information about what support is available through the COVID-19 situation, with some Frequently Asked Questions and answered.

Read more

Business webinars & online resources

Some webinars will be occurring in coming days, giving businesses skills and tools to communicate, re-evaluate and restructure businesses during the COVID-19 situation.

Please note that these events are not run by Council, that they require an internet connection and there may be a cost to take part.

Crisis Management in the times of COVID-19

 

ASBAS Digital Solutions - Eastern Region workshops

Eastern Regional Library provides access to free resources to boost your business in the digital age via the online platform BizLibrary. Membership requirements for these resources have been lifted so accessing BizLibrary is quick and easy!

Access BizLibrary

Let us know how this affects you

Melbourne East Regional Economic Development Group (MEREDG) is a group of economic development professionals from the six council’s in Melbourne’s East, including Yarra Ranges.

MEREDG works to strengthen the region’s economy of over 200,000 businesses, employs around 365,000 people and has a GRP of over $54b. 

We would like to gain an understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting your business.   

The survey is mainly multiple choice and will take only a few minutes to complete. 

Your input will be used to inform local action and advocacy for assistance from other levels of government. 

Take the survey

Take care of your mental health

If you're concerned about COVID-19, are distressed or worried about being in isolation or sick, please visit the Head to Health website for mental health support links and phone numbers to find support, or information if you're supporting someone else. 

Lifeline also has resources on its website, and by calling 13 11 14. 

Beyond Blue has tips available for people worried about Coronavirus and can be contacted on 1300 224 636

Young people in the community (under 25) can contact:

  • Youth Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636
  • Eheadspace on 1800 650 890

Sign up for updates

To receive our regular email newsletters, which include updates about coronavirus and its impacts, sign up below: 

Yarra Ranges Local

Our monthly digital newsletter covers community-wide updates on projects and, currently, general messaging about coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Yarra Ranges Business

Our business newsletter has industry-related messaging, advice and updates about COVID-19 and running a business in the region.

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