Information and support for businesses during COVID-19
This page features business support packages and information from the Australian and Victorian governments.
- The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses. See what's available to you as a sole trader, employer or company.
- The Victorian Government has established an economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the pandemic.
- The Australian Government's Economic Stimulus Package will provide a boost to small and medium businesses of all sizes in all sectors. The package has been welcomed by the National Farmers Federation
- Please contact us via the Business Concierge Service on 1300 787 624 - please let us know how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected your business, and how we might be able to assist you.
- The Casey Cardinia Region is offering a range of business support services including webinars, mentoring, masterclasses
- We also have some tips for businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Stage 4 business restrictions
- the workplace is part of a permitted activity, or
- all employees are working from home.
Services and industries that are able to remain operational will be required to have a COVID Safe Plan.
- Unless an exception applies, only Permitted Work Premises may operate with on-site operations during the restricted activity period in the Restricted Area, and only to the extent permitted.
- Employers for Permitted Work Premises are only permitted to have employees on-site if it is not reasonably practicable for the employee to work from home and the employer and employee comply with the Directions currently in force, including the Workplace Directions and the Permitted Worker Permit Scheme Directions.
- Where a Permitted Work Premises is able to operate on-site, additional restrictions may apply.
The link above takes you to information including:
- permitted workplaces by industry
- directions issued by Victoria’s Chief Health Officer
- permitted worker scheme
- information about permitted workplaces by industry.
COVID Safe workplace
The link will take you to information on what's included in the COVID Safe Workplace, including:
- Employer obligations
- Your COVID Safe Plan
- Permitted worker permit
- Fact sheets
From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5 August, employers that require their staff to attend a work site must issue a worker permit to their employees – this is the employer’s responsibility.
The Guide for business – stage 4 restrictions (Word) outlines examples of workplaces that are closed for on-site work, open for on-site work with a COVID Safe Plan, and where there are restricted operations or industry specific obligations. For more information about eligibility and permits visit the DHHS website.
Access to childcare permit for permitted workers
- People working in permitted industries will maintain access to kinder and childcare for their kids under Stage 4 restrictions beginning at 11:59pm tonight 5 August, regardless of whether they are working onsite or from home.
- The new Access to Childcare Permit will sit alongside the Worker Permit Scheme
Restrictions on social gatherings and non-essential services
Find out the latest information on restrictions on social gatherings and non-essential services that may impact your business.
Victorian Government's new Business Support Package
The link will take you to information on what's included in the new package, including:
- the expanded Business Support Fund providing more than 80,000 eligible businesses with a new $5,000 grant to support them through the renewed restrictions. This grant was previously made available to the 12 postcodes linked to outbreaks. It will now apply to all areas under Stage 3 restrictions.
- a $30 million dedicated fund for Victoria’s night time economy to support the hardest hit businesses in hospitality.
- $26 million in mental health support will ensure Victorians dealing with the compounding challenges of running a small business can get the support they need as they navigate their way through the crisis.
- a $10 million business mentoring program, pairing small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis.
- a $40 million capped fund for regional tourism businesses to cover the costs of refunds.
- a $20 million fund to support small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD that are faced with a large and sustained shock to their trading environments.
Businesses will also benefit from an extended and expanded payroll tax deferral. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020-21 financial year.
For more information and to register visit Business Victoria
Extension of the Business Support Fund
Applications close: Monday 14 September 2020.
- The return to Stay at Home restrictions from 8 July mean that businesses within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, live music, entertainment venues and other businesses are either restricted in their operations or can no longer operate.
- Businesses within metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire that are affected by the return to Stay at Home restrictions may be eligible for a one-off, $10,000 grant under the Business Support Fund - Expansion program.
This program is in addition to the first round of the Business Support Fund, which closed on 1 June.
For more info visit Business Support Fund Expansion
Other grants open
- Food production businesses and farms in Victoria will be supported in making their workplace safe and keeping supply chains uninterrupted in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas.
- Individual grants of between $10,000 and $300,000 are available to support eligible businesses to meet the costs of adapting their workplaces to meet health, safety and social distancing requirements or adapt to business changes imposed by COVID-19.
- Part of the broader $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan supporting regional businesses across Victoria during COVID-19.
Boosting Female Founders Initiative - Closed
- This grant provided female founders of startup businesses with funding to launch and scale their businesses into domestic and global markets.
- Applications closed on Tuesday 14 April.
This opportunity is for Australian entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors, start-ups, commercialisation offices and small and medium enterprises who have a novel product, process or service they want to commercialise.
It provides small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers with access to expert advice and funding to help get a novel product, process or service to market.
Successful applicants receive:
- expert advice and guidance
- up to $250,000 of matched project funding for Commercialisation Offices and Eligible Partner Entities
- up to $1 million of matched project funding for all other eligible applicants.
Energy Efficient Communities Program – Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020
This grants program provides community groups with grants up to $12,500 for energy efficient equipment, energy generation and storage systems, and energy audits.
Working for Victoria: If you've lost your job due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The $500 million Working for Victoria Fund will help Victorians who have lost their jobs due to the economic impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19) find new opportunities – providing vital contributions to our state’s response to the pandemic and affording workers security when it's needed most.
To find out more about the program, see if you're eligible and to apply visit the website.
The Australian Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.
- Businesses impacted by Coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Australian Government to continue paying their employees.
- Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.
JobKeeper payment for sole traders
- Under the JobKeeper payment for sole traders, sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced.
- Following registration, the government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months. This will support sole traders to maintain their income and connection with employees.
International Freight Assistance Mechanism
- The Australian Government is establishing an International Freight Assistance Mechanism to back Australia’s agriculture and seafood export sectors.
- This will help exporters get their high-quality produce into key overseas markets. Return flights will bring back items critical to the ongoing health response, including vital medical supplies, medicines and equipment.
- The target is high-value agricultural and fisheries exports, predominantly for perishable products where Australian exporters have important established customers in markets.
Eligible products may include:
- seafood, including lobsters
- premium red meat, including beef and pork
- dairy, including fresh milk and yoghurt
- horticulture, including premium fruits and packaged salad or vegetables.
Visit the website for more information and to express your interest.
Boosting cash flow for employers
- Employers will receive a payment equal to 100% of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000 and the minimum payment increased from $2,000 to $10,000.
- An additional payment is also being introduced equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments received. This means that eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
- Not-for-profit entities will also be eligible.
A hold on evictions for renters
Evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of Coronavirus.
Assistance with paying wages of apprentices or trainees
- Eligible employers can apply for a wage subsidy of 50% 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).
Increased income support and early access to superannuation
Find out what tax support is available if you or your employees are affected by Coronavirus.
Supporting the flow of credit
The Australian Government, Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to support the flow of credit in the Australian economy, in particular for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
- The Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme: Under the Scheme, the government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.
- Quick and efficient access to credit for small businesses: The government is providing an exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders providing credit to existing small business customers. This exemption is for 6 months, and applies to any credit for business purposes, including:
- new credit
- credit limit increases
- credit variations and restructures
Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries including agriculture
The Australian Government has set aside an initial $1 billion allocation to support those regions and communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus, including those heavily reliant on industries such as:
The $1 billion will be provided through existing or newly established Government programs.
Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
There is a temporary increase to the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. This includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief from provisions of the Act.
Backing Business Investment (BBI)
A time-limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.
Increasing the instant asset write-off
The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or second‑hand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
Business Victoria Coronavirus hotline
If you have any questions about your business’s ability to open under the restrictions you can contact the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline by calling 13 22 15 or using the online form.
Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program
With Stage 3 restrictions starting again on 8 July, residents in these areas, as well as some interstate visitors prevented from travelling to Victoria, will have to cancel bookings with accommodation providers in regional Victoria.
Accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by these cancellations will be able to apply for direct financial support through the Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program.
Applications are open until the end of the current Stay at Home restrictions or when funds are exhausted.
For more information visit Business Victoria
Other information from Business Victoria
The link will take you to other information including:
COVID-19 regional business survey
- The Mornington Peninsula Shire, on behalf of South East Melbourne (SEM) group of councils, is collecting information from local businesses to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 via this online survey.
- SEM includes Cardinia Shire, Mornington Peninsula and the cities of Casey, Frankston, Greater Dandenong, Kingston, Knox and Monash.
- The information collected will be used by Cardinia Shire Council and the wider SEM group for recovery activities, and to advocate on behalf of businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Support from the Casey Cardinia Region
If you are a business in Cardinia Shire or the City of Casey, please contact the Casey Cardinia Region to let us know how this period has affected your business and how we might be able to assist you.
The Casey Cardinia Region website has information on topics including:
- Council's Business Concierge Service
- Business Essentials Webinar Series
- Industry Innovation Masterclass
- free mentoring sessions
- innovative pivots for your business
- the I can, I need ... marketplace
- the #imstillopen social media campaign
Looking after your mental health
COVID-19 manufacturer response online form
- A register designed to register expressions of interest from Australian-based manufacturers and people looking to assist with supply of goods, services or knowledge in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Australia.
- As the situation develops, there may be a need for the goods you manufacture, the supplies you hold or the skills you have to be called upon.
Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of businesses and consumers across Australia.
Travelling for work
Get the latest business travel advice and know how to protect yourself and others from Coronavirus.