Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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 we help?

  • We will 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 business@knox.vic.gov.au

Economic Survival Package to Support Businesses and Jobs

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak impacting industries, the Victorian Government is responding with a $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package to support businesses and workers.

One of the key programs in the package, the $500 million Business Support Fund, is officially open to applications.

The Business Support Fund will help small businesses highly impacted by shutdown restrictions. Those businesses can apply for a $10,000 grant towards operational costs and to help keep people in work.

To be eligible, businesses must already employ staff, have payroll of less than $650,000 and a turnover of more than $75,000. Full details on eligibility and how to apply are set out on the Business Support Fund webpage business.vic.gov.au/businesssupportfund.

Small businesses make a significant contribution to the Victorian economy. The Business Support Fund and other programs in the Economic Survival Package will help them survive the impacts of the coronavirus.

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.

Jobs Hub

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 workforce@dese.gov.au who can connect you quickly with the support you need to get your workforce on board.

Business Education, Workshops & Mentoring

Online training and mentoring opportunities are added to this website as they become available.

Small Business Bus mentoring
Access professional assistance and expert advice from an experienced business mentor. Free mentoring sessions are available over the phone and can be booked online at business.vic.gov.au/small-business-bus

Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) online workshops
ASBAS are running three (2 hour) Online Digital Solutions Workshops a week on various topics until 30 April 2020. Bookings are filling fast! Get full details and booking information at knoxbiz/asbasonline.

Small Business Victoria online workshops coming up:
- Commercialising Your New Idea (2 sessions) 29 April & 14 May - via Zoom
- Winning Government Business - 10 June - via Zoom

To see all events, visit www.knoxbiz.com.au/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.

Forum for managing supply chain shortages 

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.

COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

To help us understand how COVID-19 is impacting your business, we encourage you to complete this short 5 minute survey. This survey was developed in partnership with 5 other Councils in Melbourne’s East. Your input will be used to inform local action and advocacy for business assistance from other levels of government.

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.

Staying informed

This situation is moving quickly and often changes by the hour. 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 business@knox.vic.gov.au.