Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice and Updates

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.

Business restrictions

The Victorian Government has announced updated restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria.

Stage 4 restrictions for business and industry

The 3 August 2020 Statement from the Premier outlines the three lists that will apply during Stage 4 restrictions:

  • industries that can continue to operate: supermarkets, grocery stores, bottle shops, pharmacies, petrol stations, banks, newsagencies, post offices – plus everyone involved in our frontline response – will continue to operate.
  • industries that must cease onsite operations: including retail, some manufacturing and administration. These businesses will all need to close by 11:59pm Wednesday 5 August, unless they have specific circumstances that mean they need longer to shutdown safely.
  • industries permitted to operate onsite with significantly restricted or industry specific obligations. Retail stores will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place, and hardware stores can remain open onsite, but for tradespeople only.

DHHS have created a table detailing the directions for each industry sector

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.

If you need information on the operation of your business or access to assistance relating to coronavirus (COVID-19) you can call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.

How can Council help?

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

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.

BBP Jobs connects you to local employers, upskilling and new job opportunities.

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 Workshops and Mentoring

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

They can be viewed in our Calendar of Events

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.

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.

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

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.