What to do if there’s a confirmed COVID-19 case in your business
The Victorian Government offers information and advice for businesses that have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, this includes steps to take, managing staff, financial support for workers who test positive and must isolate, and more.
City of Port Phillip assistance
Re-purpose parking bays outside your business to increase footpath trading until at least the 30 June 2021.
More information can be found at business parklet.
Footpath trading fees are waived until 30 June 2021, this includes outdoor dining settings, planter boxes, umbrellas, freestanding heaters, A-frames and goods displays.
Also, if you are a current footpath trading permit-holder, you can apply to extend your existing footpath trading area in front of a neighbour's business.
More information can be found at footpath trading permit.
If a Business Parklet is not a suitable option due to your location, you may be able to extend your dining area outdoors into public open space, if you have a park or reserve adjacent or across from your business.
More information can be found at public space trader extensions.
Ratepayers who are experiencing financial hardship can apply for rate relief assistance. Relief includes the option to make regular rates payments or defer rates interest free until 30 June 2021.
More information can be found at rates concessions and hardship relief.
Rent waivers are available for Council commercial and community tenants and licensees. Rental waivers will be applied proportionally in line with the impact on turnover as follows.
Victorian Government Assistance
Landlords who provide residential tenants impacted by the coronavirus pandemic with rent relief between 1 January 2021 and 28 March 2021 may be eligible for a reduction of up to 25 per cent on the property's 2021 land tax.
Eligible applicants can also defer payment of their remaining 2021 land tax (and any 2020 land tax previously deferred until 31 March 2021) until 30 November 2021.
Applications for 2021 land tax relief will be opening soon.
For more information, visit Apply for Coronavirus Land Tax Relief.
The program provides grants for between $5,000 - $7,000 for eligible employing and non-employing businesses in sectors most impacted. This includes businesses operating in an industry that cannot operate under the circuit breaker restrictions and which cannot work remotely.
The Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two will open for applications on Thursday 3 June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.
The Victorian Government partnered with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to deliver business mentoring to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges posed by restrictions.
Through this program, eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.
The program offers tailored guidance on Business Recovery, Market Transformation, Digital Literacy and Engagement, Market and Supply Chain Diversification and Reskilling and Retraining.
More information can be found at Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring.
The COVIDSafe Deep Cleaning Rebate is available for small and medium-sized businesses, where anyone suspected or confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19) has been on the premises or worksite when they may have been infectious.
The rebate will cover up to 80 per cent of the cleaning costs at each worksite, capped at a grant of $10,000 (for a total cleaning cost of $12,500).
Business Victoria have developed a COVIDSafe resource site to assist businesses to stay physically and mentally well.
Some resources include:
- Six COVIDSafe principles
- COVIDSafe Plan template
- Fact sheets, social media assets and templates
- Coronavirus translated information for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
- Collection of signage, posters and questionnaires to assist in communicating key messages to workers and customers
- Information on COVIDSafe Deep Cleaning Rebate
More information, see COVIDSafe Workplaces.
Jobs Victoria wage subsidies of up to $20,000 are available for eligible employers who hire eligible jobseekers. Wage subsidies can be used to meet the costs of taking on new employees for the first 12 months of employment.
You can apply for a wage subsidy for up to 20 full time equivalent employees depending on the size of your business.
As the Fund was designed to support those individuals most affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic, hiring must be from these priority groups before applying for the Fund:
- Women aged over 45 years
- Jobseekers who are long-term unemployed (unemployed for six months or more)
- Jobseekers registered with a Jobs Victoria partner
- Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people
- People with disability
- People seeking asylum/refugees
- Newly arrived migrants from non-English speaking backgrounds
- Young people aged under 25
- People over 45 years
- People previously employed under the Working for Victoria initiative
More information, see Jobs Victoria Fund.
The program provides businesses holding an eligible liquor licence and food certificate with a $7,000 grant per premises.
The Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund will open for applications on Thursday 3 June 2021 and will remain open for applications for three weeks.
Liquor licencing fees will be waived for 2020 and 2021. Businesses that have paid for a renewable liquor licence for 2020 will be reimbursed their licence fee and those yet to pay will have the fee waived.
The State Revenue Office will administer the reimbursement, regardless of whether the licence fee was paid to it or the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation.
Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived.
Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year.
The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses in relation to reimbursement for payroll tax already paid in the financial year.
These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year.
More information about the administration of these relief measures will be sent directly to eligible businesses.
The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program will allow eligible businesses to trial and then receive access to digital products, tools and training they can use to build digital capability in their day-to-day operations, e.g. point-of-sale payment, upgrading current website to include an online store etc.
Once businesses have purchased a selected digital product, they can apply for a rebate of $1,200 to access the product for 12 months.
Applications close at 11.59 pm 30 June 2021.
More information can be found at Small Business Digital Adaption Program.
Whether you're new to running a business or a seasoned business owner, a mentor can help you refine your business strategy, map out the direction that your business should be taking and assist in setting goals for your business to succeed.
Complimentary sessions are available via the Small Business Clinics and Small Business Bus, plus ongoing paid mentoring is available.
More information can be found at Small Business Workshops and Mentoring.
Business owners can gain practical skills from the state’s top education providers and industry experts to set them up for a strong recovery through free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources.
More information can be found at Upskill My Business.
Mental health support is available to Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business and to help them navigate through the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).
More information can be found at Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Businesses.
Australian Government Assistance
Eligible businesses, for the 2019/20 and 2020/21 income years, may be able to deduct the cost of new depreciating assets at an accelerated rate.
Deductions are claimed when lodging a tax return for the income year.
For more information, visit Backing Business Investment – Accelerated Depreciation.
Eligible businesses can claim an immediate deduction for the business portion of the cost of an asset in the year the asset is first used or installed ready for use.
Instant asset write-off can be used for:
- Multiple assets, if the cost of each individual asset is less than the relevant threshold.
- New and second-hand assets.
More information, see Instant Asset Write-off for Eligible Businesses.
The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme is an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16 to 35 years.
Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.
More information, see JobMaker Hiring Credit Scheme.
Support is provided if you can't go to work and earn an income because you must self-isolate or quarantine, or are caring for someone with COVID-19.
Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is a lump sum payment to help during the 14 days you need to self-isolate, quarantine or care for someone.
More information, see Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment.
The Coronavirus Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Guarantee Scheme provides SMEs with access to unsecured working capital loans to help them manage disrupted cash flows.
Phase 2 of the Scheme commenced on 1 October 2020 until 30 June 2021.
More information, see Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.
Temporary COVID Disaster Payment is provided to eligible workers unable to work in a Commonwealth defined hot spot where an outbreak is longer than seven days.
The payment is $500 for those who work more than 20 hours per week and $325 for those who work less. Payments are made on a weekly basis.
Payments are made via Services Australia.
More information, see Services Australia.
For more information call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.
Information and resources can also be accessed via the Victorian Government’s financial support for businesses and workers.
For the latest information on the restrictions, please visit the Department of Health and Human Services.