Advice, updates and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus COVID-19
Coronavirus is understandably causing concern in our community. We recognise the impacts could be significant for businesses, and we want to reassure you that our Economic Development team are here to support you through this challenging period.
How can Council help?
- Council has reviewed its policy regarding financial hardship. Check for further information on assistance with rates and charges.
- Council has approved a Community and Business Support Package with $465,000 allocated to business grants and programs. More information will be provided via the KnoxBiz eBulletin.
- We will continue to provide communications about business support services
- Provide webinar workshops for small business when possible
- If you have any queries, we welcome you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Council has been working closely with businesses to provide personalised support to adapt to changes in the market and build resilience. We have helped Biodome Functional Foods pivot into a new market by connecting them with the right people – suppliers, health providers.
Federal and State Government economic survival packages
The Victorian State Government has established an economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package complements the work of the Federal Government.
The package includes the following key programs.
- Payroll Tax Refund
- Liquor Licence fees waived
- Land tax deferral
- Business Support Fund - applications close Monday, 1 June 2020
- Grants for small businesses
- Working for Victoria Fund
- Fast tracking outstanding supplier Invoices.
- Rent relief for tenants in government buildings
- Commercial tenancy relief scheme
- Sustaining Creative Workers Initiative
This Economic Survival Package fact sheet provides further information about the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival Package.
Businesses needing guidance on dealing with the coronavirus can also check the Business Victoria website business.vic.gov.au or call the Business Victoria hotline 13 22 15.
The Federal Government has also announced its economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The support for business includes:
- JobKeeper payment for sole traders and employers and employees - closed
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the Instant Asset Write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers.
This includes jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others.
The Jobs Hub helps you find advertised vacancies and connects you to employers with multiple job opportunities.
If you are hiring, particularly scaling up your workforce quickly, email the workforce contact centre at email@example.com who can connect you quickly with the support you need to get your workforce on board.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)
As part of their commitment to supporting Victorian businesses, Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) are offering free membership to new members for their Networker ($350) and Essentials ($700) packages. Visit www.victorianchamber.com.au/memberships for more information.
Business Workshops & Mentoring
Online training and mentoring opportunities are added to this website as they become available.
They can be viewed in our Calendar of Events.
Support for Businesses
- Australian Banking Association - banking advice to access assistance including deferred loan payments, waiving fees and restructuring loans
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) - consumer rights information around COVID-19 concerns
- Australian Government - support for business investment, cash flow assistance for employers, stimulus payments to households to support growth
- Australian Tax Office (ATO) - assistance for businesses experiencing financial difficulty
- Business Victoria - advice for your workplace plan and COVID-19 response, information about the Economic Stimulus Package for SMEs
- CPA Australia - tips for businesses preparing for the long term effects of COVID-19, an example worksheet of potential implications and an example contingency plan checklist with specific COVID-19 examples
- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - health advice on COVID-19 symptoms, updates, resources and advice for the public, health professionals, education services and the media
- Department of Health - health information on COVID-19 including how they are monitoring and responding to the outbreak
- Fair Work Ombudsman - answers to frequently asked questions for employers
- Smart Traveller - up-to-date advice on travel restrictions and quarantine measures
- Worksafe - a downloadable guide which provides information to employers on managing OHS risks associated with an infectious disease pandemic
Hotline for businesses dealing with COVID-19
Given the rapidly changing nature of the pandemic, businesses need quick access to accurate information, including what support services and financial support might be available.
Business operators can access COVID-19 business information by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
Forums for managing supply chain shortages
Look for local procurements and small business projects in the Bayswater Business Precinct at bbpconnect.com.au/projects.
ICN has established a COVID-19 response portal as a forum for managing supply chain shortages due to COVID-19, including identifying gaps in the supply chain and how they can facilitate local businesses that can help fill these gaps.
Requests for Information and Expressions of Interest are currently open, visit the portal for full details.
Network with other businesses
Looking for a place to network with other Victorian small business owners while you work virtually and socially distance? Join the following Facebook Groups, I am a business owner in Victoria, Australia and I am a business owner in City of Knox, Victoria, and connect with members of Victoria's small business community.
Helpful tips and resources
- Activate your business continuity plans. If you need assistance in developing one, advice and a template can be found on Business Victoria's website
- Advice and updates to help your workplace plan and respond to COVID-19 is available at business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
- Victorian Businesses can access information on dealing with COVID-19 by calling the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15. Get information about support services, including those available through Business Victoria, which offers mentoring to help operators develop business continuity and recovery plans.
To stay updated, we recommend you to visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus for the latest information and advice on COVID-19 (information is available in other languages), and for Council updates visit knox.vic.gov.au/coronavirus or follow Knox Council's Facebook page.
If you have any questions, Council's Economic Development team can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.