Business recovery after the Bunyip Complex bushfires
Increasing economic recovery services
For the next three months, Daryl Brooke, our Economic Recovery Officer, will be working full time to help fire-affected businesses who are now being further impacted by the Coronavirus.
We encourage all businesses in the bushfire area to contact Daryl to see how he can help. Contact Daryl by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0433 948 258.
- Dealing with short-term cash flow, equipment or facilities problems
- Business grants and financial aid eligibility and application writing
- Help making urgent business decisions or addressing urgent business issues
- Assessing and valuing financial impacts of fire on the business and owner’s income
- Referrals to appropriate professional help
Longer term assistance
- Help you trade through an ABN or company
- Assessing new business or product ideas
- 2020 and beyond strategic plans, business plans and marketing plans
- Guidance through assessing future business opportunities
- Evaluating new and better business models and methods
This service is free until October 2020.
Coronavirus help for fire-impacted farms and businesses
The following is a summary of help available as at 25 March 2020.
Businesses who have questions or would like help applying for the assistance below can contact Daryl Brooke, Economic Recovery Officer, at email@example.com or 0433 948 259.
Commonwealth Government assistance
Support for you as individuals and households
- Payments to assist lower-income Australians, including pensioners, other social security and veteran income support recipients and eligible concession card holders
- Income support for individuals – recipients of Jobseeker Payment, Youth Allowance Jobseeker, Parenting Payment, Farm Household Allowance and Special Benefit
- Payments to support households – social security, veteran and other income support recipients and eligible concession card holders
- Temporary early release of superannuation – retirees
- Temporarily reducing superannuation minimum drawdown rates – retirees
- Reducing social security deeming rates – income support recipients
Support for businesses of any kind
- JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees – Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the 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.
- Boosting cash flow for employers – eligible entities will receive anywhere between $20,000 to $100,000 in payments equal to 100 per cent of the taxes withheld on salary and wages from the government
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses – government is proposing several temporary measures to lessen the risk of a surge in insolvencies and allow more businesses to trade through this difficult period. For example, increasing thresholds at which creditors can act
- Increasing the instant asset write-off – increase the threshold for the instant asset write off from $30,000 to $150,000 and expand access
- Accelerated deprecation – eligible taxpayers will receive a deduction of 50 per cent of the cost of the eligible asset on installation
- Apprentice and trainee wage subsidy – a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January to 30 September 2020, capped at $7,000 each quarter per each eligible apprentices or trainees
Backing business investment:
- SME Guarantee Scheme, whereby it will provide a guarantee to SME lenders of 50 per cent for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital
- Exempt lenders from the responsible lending obligations for a period of six months in relation to the credit they extend to their existing small business customers
- Banks will have access to at least $90 billion in funding from the RBA at a fixed interest rate of 0.25 per cent to encourage lending to businesses
- Invest up to $15 billion into the markets used by smaller lenders to support their lending
- Support for Coronavirus-affected regions and communities – $1 billion to support regions most significantly affected by the Coronavirus outbreak
Australian Taxation Office help
ATO administration measures for business
The ATO has implemented a series of administrative measures to assist Australians experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. For example, deferring BAS payments and sooner access to GST refunds.
The ATO doesn’t apply these additional relief options automatically, so you need to contact them to discuss it. If you’re an individual, sole trader, small or medium business and you need further assistance managing your tax and super obligations, contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 or speak with a trusted tax advisor.
Victorian Government support
Business payroll tax refund
- Full payroll tax refund for the 2019-20 financial year
- Defer any payroll tax for the first three months of the 2020-21 financial year until 1 January 2021
Business Support Fund
A $500 million Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses in the hospitality, tourism, accommodation, arts and entertainment, and retail sectors. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for eligible businesses. To register interest in receiving this fund, visit the Business Victoria website
Hotline for businesses dealing with COVID-19
Business operators can access COVID-19 business information by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15
Help from your bank
Defer loan repayments
Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months. Any small business who has not already been contacted by their bank should contact them directly to apply.
Small Business Mentoring Service
The Small Business Mentoring Service is available for fire-affected local businesses.
They offer up to 3 sessions of FREE business mentoring.
We encourage local businesses to register for this service by contacting our Economic Recovery Officer, Daryl Brooke, on 0433 948 258 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Business advice and guidance
Two free business strengthening programs are being offered to business owners in the bushfire area.
The programs will help businesses to retune or overhaul their current business operation.
This is a comprehensive business diagnostic covering all aspects of business management and operation. This would help quickly recover business operations through the difficult times.
This takes a critical look at the most attractive types of customers you have (or could have) and the bundle of products and services you need to create a point of difference with these customers.
Both programs are one-on-one and deliver a plan that focuses you on the highest priorities for now and the coming years.
To get involved, contact Daryl Brooke, Economic Recovery Officer at email@example.com or 0433 948 258.
Giving food producers a competitive advantage
Farmers and food businesses in the bushfire area are encouraged to join a community working group that will give food producers a boost.
Council’s Bushfire Recovery team and the newly formed West Gippsland Progress Association are working together to implement parts of the Cardinia Food Strategy that will benefit fire-affected businesses.
The objective of this project is to create a competitive advantage for the Cardinia food industry and increase industry margins and jobs through farmer collaboration and vertical integration with food processors, distributors and retailers.
Actions in the Cardinia Food Strategy that will be carried out include:
Strategy 2 - Growing a vibrant local food economy that supports local farmers and food businesses and increases access to affordable, local and healthy food
What action will we take?
- Support local fresh food markets
- Increase access points for fresh food
- Promote local fresh produce
- Connect local food producers to each other and the broader community
- Increase healthy fresh food provision and promotion in food retail spaces (cafes, canteens, kiosks)
Strategy 3 - Enhancing food knowledge, skills and culture within schools, workplaces, clubs and the wider community
What action will we take?
- Celebrate food at local events
- Deliver social marketing campaigns
- Support projects that increase pathways to employment in food
Strategy 5 - Building capacity across the community to lead, participate in and support food system work
What action will we take?
- Build capacity for collective impact
- Develop and strengthen partnerships
If you are a farmer, food business or just interested in being part of the working group, please contact Daryl Brooke, Economic Recovery Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0433 948 258.