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Business support during COVID-19

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This page provides information on business support initiatives during COVID-19 and what Council is doing to support local businesses and creatives.

We're here to help

We know many businesses are doing it tough and are responding to rapidly changing restrictions in these unprecedented times.

We’re here to help support local business, tourism and creatives affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and point you in the right direction to information and support packages.

For local information and support call our COVID-19 support service on 1800 512 446 between 8.30am and 5.00pm (Monday to Friday) or send an email to covid19@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

Our Environmental Health Officers are also available to answer any queries. They are still visiting premises and undertaking wastewater inspections. Contact them by phone or email environmentalhealth@mountalexander.vic.gov.au. The team has drafted Environmental Health Guidelines for businesses operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state and federal governments have announced a number of relief packages for business.

Call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15 for information about coronavirus business support or visit www.business.vic.gov.au.

Read more details below or find out what financial support is available if you have lost your income.

This business support page will be updated as new information becomes available.

How Council is supporting local business

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and play. We have been working with businesses, community groups and food markets to meet new public health standards, and keep our local food supply and economy going.

As part of our response to coronavirus, we have introduced some initial support measures to help reduce financial pressures on local business, and have created a dedicated COVID-19 support service.

We’ve been checking in on businesses, event organisers and accommodation providers who have been hit hard, and are working in partnership with our creative workforce on a collaborative, online platform to help keep us culturally connected and support e-commerce opportunities.

We are working with several local and regional working groups to assess the social and economic impacts in our shire and have set up a local business sub-group to focus on ways to support local businesses and industry, including tourism and the arts, in the shire.

Complete our survey for businesses and creatives to help us to better understand the economic impacts on the pandemic in our shire and identify priority areas for support in our community to shape our recovery plan for the shire.

Sign up to our business and creative community newsletter to stay informed on the local industry response to the pandemic, and finance and support.

Help and support for business

Victorian Government

The Victorian Government has established a $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package to support Victorian small to medium businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The package includes the following:

Payroll tax refund
Waiver of liquor licencing fees
Land tax deferral
Payroll tax deferral
Business Support Fund - $500m to support small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19.
Grants for small business
Working for Victoria Fund - $500m to support workers impacted by COVID-19
• Commercial tenancy rent relief in Victorian Government buildings.

Read the Economic Survival Package fact sheet. For more information contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15 or visit www.business.vic.gov.au.

Australian Government

The Australian Government has announced a $320 billion economic survival plan to support business and workers.

For more information on the latest coronavirus information and support for business visit: www.business.gov.au or call 13 28 46.

Jobseeker payments

The Australian Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the coronavirus.

Around six million workers will receive a fortnightly payment of $1,500 (before tax) through their employer. The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.

Find out more about the Jobkeeper payment.

How you can help – buy local

It’s important to celebrate the small things and find solutions that enable us to thrive, not just survive. Local businesses are adapting their products and services so they can keep working. Now more than ever we need everyone to buy local to keep every dollar in our shire. Some things you can do are:

• Think local before ordering goods online
• Source essential items from your local butcher, grocer, supermarket or farmers market
• Buy a gift voucher for future use
• Order take away from a local café, pub or restaurant
• Leave a tip, or
• Share a positive review online.

Find a list of local takeaway, delivery and online shopping options at www.maldoncastlemaine.com.au.

Keeping you and your staff safe

It is recommended that employers implement the following practices to help keep workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19:

• Allow staff to work from home where possible
• Maintain physical distancing by keeping a distance of at least 1.5 metres between people
• Encourage all workers to frequently wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser and to practise good hygiene
• Be aware of how to spot COVID-19 symptoms and make sure workers do not come to work if they are unwell
• Make sure your workplace is regularly cleaned and disinfected
• Have signs and posters around the workplace to remind workers and others of the risks of COVID-19 and the measures that are necessary to stop its spread
• Use touchless transaction systems such as online ordering and EFTPOS
• Minimise the duration of exposure by splitting shifts and limit time spent traveling together
• Look at the risks in your business and put processes in place to limit them,

For more information read:

Council's Environmental Health Guidelines for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Victorian Department of Health and Human Service’s Physical distancing and transmission reduction measures, the Department of Health’s social distancing guide, and Safe Works Australia’s COVID-19 information for workplaces and resource kit.

If you are working in hospitality, read the Hospitality Industry Guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) to help you safely prepare to resume operations as the restrictions ease.

If you are struggling

If you or anyone you know needs help or mental health support visit our managing your health and wellbeing page for information on crisis and support services.

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