COVID19 Response - Resources for Businesses

1. Overview

Moyne Shire Council is working to support Moyne businesses during COVID -19 and into recovery. Our Recovery approach aims to protect, support and rebuild business capacity that will strengthen and foster innovation,streamline processes to access all level of government, emergency funding and adapt and collaborate to grow and support a strong local economy.

2. Latest Updates

Regional Victoria returns to Stage 3 Lockdown

From 11:59 pm Wednesday 5th August, Regional Victoria will move to a stage three (3) lockdown. For a summary of the Stage 3 restrictions, please read this document on the Council website.To stay updated on council services visit - http://www.moyne.vic.gov.au/Emergencies/Coronavirus-COVID-19  

Employers must notify WorkSafe of COVID -19 Cases

Under the new regulations, employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis. Failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate. To notify WorkSafe of a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis, employers or self-employed persons should call the WorkSafe advisory service on 13 23 60 or complete the Covid – 19 reporting form  on the WorkSafe website.
For more information on the latest updates on COVID response and support for business, please visit the Council website.

Business Adaptation Service

Council is seeking to engage suitably qualified and experienced professional consultants for a range of services to provide mentoring and assistance to Moyne businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim of the Business Adaptation Service is to:

  1. Protect – Make the best possible informed business decisions to minimise immediate risk to their business.
  2. Support – Streamline and simplify the process of them accessing all the immediate relief entitlements available through all three levels of government emergency funding.
  3. Rebuild – Preparing their business to utilise the ‘displacement or shutdown period’ to review and strengthen their business model for what is likely to be a different future 

These consultancy services would include, but would not be limited to Financial Advice;Business planning;Designing and Creating Websites;Marketing;Digital Business strategies and advice;Business Collaboration;Emergency Management – specifically preparing and reviewing COVID-19 plans if a business is impacted;Mental Health Advice including stress management;Succession planning and Information Technology.

The appointed consultants need to be able to provide the consultancy service over a six month period commencing 1st September 2020.  For tender documents and further information, please contact Michelle Grainger (03) 55587860  or visit the Council website here - http://www.moyne.vic.gov.au/Your-Council/Tenders. Applications will close by 2 PM on Friday, 14th , August 2020.

Safe Hygiene Practices

We all know by now that best hygiene practices help to minimise the spread of the COVID-19. Follow the DHHS guidlines on how to stay safe and well here as well as some of the key principles for routine environmental cleaning.

3. Federal Government Support

Small Business Tax Cuts

From July 1 2020, small and family businesses will be paying less tax as a result of legislated tax cuts. Incorporated small and family businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will see their company tax rate reduced from 27.5% to 26% and unincorporated businesses will also benefit as the rate of the small business income tax offset increases from 8% to 13%. Read more here.

JobKeeper Payment Extension

On 21 July the Government announced it is extending the JobKeeper Payment until 28 March 2021 and is targeting support to those businesses and not-for-profits who continue to be significantly impacted by the Coronavirus. Read more here.

Energy Efficient Communities Program

Applications for the Energy Efficient Communities Program are now open and will close on the 26 Aug 2020 05:00 PM AEST. Grants of up to $20,000 will be provided to small businesses to improve their energy efficiency. Grants may be used for equipment and component improvements, energy audits, feasibility studies and/or energy use and emission monitoring. 
To be eligible you must:

  • have an Australian business number (ABN)
  • have an annual turnover of less than $10 million based on Business Activity Statements from the previous 12 months
  • Be a company incorporated in Australia; a co-operative;a partnership or a sole trader.

Further information and how to apply on the website - here

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit

This specialist unit has been set up within the Commonwealth’s Treasury Department to engage with peak business and industry groups on systemic issues and provide regular updates to government on crucial issues. 

If you need to pass on information to this unit, it is important to be in contact with your relevant industry peak body who will then be able to directly provide feedback to the liaison unit. To contact the Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit, email CoronavirusBusinessLiaison@treasury.gov.au.

For more Federal government initiatives and assitance to businesses, please visit the Depatment of Treasury website.

4. State Government Support

 Business Support Fund - Expansion

To support businesses impacted by the new COVID -19 restrictions, the Victorian government is offering a one-off grant  of $5000 to eligible businesses in regional local government areas (except Mitchell Shire) under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program:

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. For more information and to apply please visit the Business Victoria website.

Working for Victoria Fund

$500 million has been allocated to establish the Working for Victoria Fund. The Victorian Government will work in consultation with the Victorian Council of Social Services and Victorian Trades Hall Council to assist workers who have lost their jobs to find new opportunities. 

Opportunities will include cleaning public infrastructure or delivering food, providing vital contributions to the State’s response to the pandemic. Further opportunities will be made available in a number of different fields and capacities. 

The Government will also facilitate job matching to help Victorians find short-term or casual roles. 

If you have had to make the decision to reduce jobs at your operation, you’re encouraged to provide your displaced workers with this information to support their job prospects. To register interests, click HERE

Regional Tourism Accomodation Support Program

The Victorian Government is backing regional accommodation businesses affected by the lockdown on some metropolitan suburbs with a fund to assist operators who will lose income due to cancelled bookings. Accommodation providers across regional Victoria with an Australian Business Number (ABN) will be able to make a claim for a payment of up to $225 per night up to a maximum of $1125 per bookable accommodation offering for the period of the Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restriction period, provided they have refunded in full the booking to a person/s who can no longer travel as a result of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, or from state border restrictions. Applications open until the end of the current lockdown or when funds are exhausted. For more information and to submit an online application, please visit the Business Victoria website.

Upskill My Business-A Victorian Government Initiative

The Victorian Government has partnered with key industry groups and top education providers to present virtual professional-learning opportunities to small business owners impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Upskill My Business gives small business owners and their teams access to free online training from leading learning institutions. Get practical help with free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources to help you prepare for a strong recovery. 

Prepare your business for a strong recovery with the range of free online programs, short courses and events  available at https://upskill.business.vic.gov.au/  or through the Business Victoria hotline (13 22 15).

Advice for Food and Hospitality Businesses

Lastest information on further restrictions and enforcements from the DHHS can be found here. In particular the following:

I'm a café owner in regional Victoria. Can I be fined if I unintentionally serve someone who is from Melbourne?

Cafe owners must use reasonable endeavours to satisfy themselves that their customers do not live in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire. This can be confirmed using a driver’s license or other relevant forms of ID.

These business owners will continue to be required to record the name and phone number of customers and staff who stay longer than 15 minutes. Further to the above here is a sign that is available from DHHS for restaurants and dining in patrons:

How will you enforce this? Who will enforce it?

Directions will continue to be enforced through spot checks by Victoria Police and use of emergency powers by Authorised Officers to ensure compliance with the directions of the Deputy Chief Health Officer.

Industry bodies, Victoria Police, WorkSafe, and Authorised Officers will work together under both the Directions and existing legislative and regulatory frameworks to boost education and remediation, in addition to driving enforcement and compliance with the Directions.

Community members can raise concerns about compliance with directions through the Police Assistance Line (PAL) on 131 444. Workers can raise concerns via Worksafe on 03 9641 1555. And employers can talk to their industry regulator or Peak body for specific industry related support.

For more state government support and initiatives to businesses, please visit the Business Victoria website.

5. Regional Support Opportunities

Rural Financial Counselling Service

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is an independent service operating in Western Victoria offering FREE and confidential financial counselling and assistance to small businesses experiencing challenges as a result of lower income or increasing costs.

  • RFC can provide support and information in the following areas: 
  • Help prepare budgets and cash flows. Assist with loan or refinance applications. 
  • Provide support and negotiate with suppliers and financial institutions. 
  • Assist with benchmarking your business' financial performance. 
  • One on one ongoing support.
  • Help you look at business opportunities.
  • Assist you to meet any application requirements.

For regional business impacted by the Covid-19 that need help in accessing Government support, please phone: 1300 735 578 or Visit www.wswrcs.com.au  to make your appointment.

Free Business Register, sign up now

Great South Coast Localised is free for local businesses and will help you

  • Advertise your goods and services to the local business community 
  • Use the notice board to advise of changes to business hours and online service options
  • Engage with other businesses to get local quotes 
  • Discover networking and professional development events across our region

To register and promote your business click here.

If you need help with setting up your business profile up or adding content to the site, please give us a call on 0355680573.

Tourism Update for the Great Ocean Road Region

Latest news on what’s happening locally for the Great South Coast Region can be found here https://www.greatoceanroadtourism.org.au/coronavirus/

Information for Dairy Farmers

The Australian Dairy Farmers have developed a webpage to provide a comprehensive directory of all updates and relevant technical advice that will help farmers navigate the uncertainty around dairy business operations and the net impact on the industry. Visit the webpage here.

 

6. Sign up to the our monthly Newsletter

For regular update on the latest business support initiatives news,events and more, sign update today at http://www.moyne.vic.gov.au/Our-Services/Economic-Development/Business-and-Economic-Development-Newsletter#newsletter