The impacts of COVID-19 on our economy and community have been significant. The situation is changing rapidly. Here are some resources that can support your business though this challenging time.
COVID-19 Website: coronavirus.vic.gov.au
COVID-19 Hotline (Business Victoria): 13 22 15
Monday 31st March
Stage 3 Restrictions: In an announcement this morning, Premier Daniel Andrews has stated if people breach these directions, they face on-the-spot fines of $1,652 for individuals and $9,913 for businesses. Larger fines can also be issued through the courts.
Job Keeper Payment – As announced by the Prime Minister
- Employers to receive $1500 per fortnight “Job Keeper” payment
- Employers are legally bound to pay employees and keep them attached to the business
- Every worker will get the same payment no matter what the regular wage of the employee
- The amount equates to 70% of the Australian median wage
- Casuals – payments available to those who have been with employers 12 months or more
- Stood down workers will be eligible
- Turnover of the business must be down 30%,or more than 50% for businesses that turn over more than $1billion
- Job Keeper payments will start May 1 to employers, and will be backdated. NZ citizens eligible for this payment
- Workers need to have been with the employer before March 1
Also Announced: For those on Job Seeker payments , the partner income threshold is extended to $797662pa
Sunday 30th March
Stage 3: Additional Prohibited Activities From Midnight Monday 30th March, 2020, Stage 3 restrictions will be in place nationally.
National Cabinet agreed to limit both indoor and outdoor gatherings to two persons only.
Exceptions to this limit include:
- People of the same household going out together;
- Funerals – a maximum of 10 people;
- Wedding – a maximum of 5 people;
- Family units.
National Cabinet’s strong guidance to all Australians is to stay home unless for:
- shopping for what you need – food and necessary supplies;
- medical or health care needs, including compassionate requirements;
- exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements;
- work and study if you can’t work or learn remotely.
National Cabinet agreed that playgrounds, skate parks and outside gyms in public places will be closed. Bootcamps will be reduced to two persons, including the trainer.
A dedicated Covid-19 App and WhatsApp chat have been set up and avaible for download here
Thursday 26th March
Hairdressers and Barbers – 30 minute rule has been revoked however salons and barbers must still adhere to the physical-distancing restrictions of one person per 4 square metres.
Tuesday 24th March
Stage 2: Additional Prohibited Activities From Midnight Wednesday 25th March, 2020, Stage 2 restrictions will be in place for places of social gathering.
- Cafes – Exceptions Takeaway service and home delivery. Cafés or canteens at hospitals, care homes or schools; prison and military canteens; services providing food or drink to the homeless, workplace canteens can provide takeaway
- Food courts – Exceptions – Delivery and takeaway can remain operational
- Auction houses – Closed
- Real estate auctions and open house inspections – Exceptions Private appointments for inspections
- Outdoor and indoor markets will be a decision for each state and territory – Exceptions – Food markets will continue to operate in all states and territories
- Hairdressers and barber shops- Exceptions – Up to 30 minute appointments and the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies in the premises.
- Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons, tattoo parlours – Closed
- Spas and massage parlours – Closed
- Cinemas, nightclubs – Closed
- Casinos, gaming or gambling venues – Closed
- Strip clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues- Closed
- Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums- Exceptions – Concert venues, theatre, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums
- Amusement parks and arcades – Closed
- Play centres (indoor and outdoor) – Closed
- Health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres – Closed
- Boot camps, personal training operating outside and inside – Exceptions – For outside events, limited to groups of no more than 10 people and social distancing must be exercised.
- Social sporting-based activities – Closed
- Swimming pools- Closed
- Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites, caravan parks, and boarding houses will be a decision for each state and territory – Closed
Businesses seeking advise about whether they are affected can also call the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 55
Monday 23rd March
Stage 1 Regulations From midday on Monday 23 March, 2020, Stage 1 restrictions will be in place for places of social gathering.
Please note: Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and access other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores.
The following facilities will be restricted from opening:
- Pubs, registered and licenced clubs (excluding bottle shops attached to these venues), hotels (excluding accommodation)
- Gyms and indoor sporting venues
- Cinemas, entertainment venues, casinos, and night clubs
- Restaurants and cafes will be restricted to takeaway and/or home delivery
- Religious gatherings, places of worship or funerals (in enclosed spaces and other than very small groups and where the 1 person per 4 square metre rule applies).
Stay up to date with key authorities and services
COVID – 19 – Department of Health and Human Services
Workplace Safety – Worksafe Victoria
Dealing with corona virus – Business Victoria
Workplace Entitlements – FairWork
Advice for Food Business – Department of Health
Consumer Rights and Guarantees – ACCC
Information for exporters- Austrade – Australian Trade and Investment Commission
Travel restrictions – Smartraveller – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Postal disruptions – Australia Post
Support your people
- Educate and keep your staff, customers and clients regularly updated about what steps your business is taking in dealing with the challenges
- Information in relation to COVID-19 to support retailers from Australian Retailers Association
- Display posters to promote good hygiene : Good Hygiene Is in Your Hands
- Support is available to you and your employees from Lifeline(13 11 14) and Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636 or online chat)
- Ask your landlord about a payment plan to ease the financial burden of rent payments
- Get in contact with your bank or financial institution as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Here are the dedicated business hardship contact lines for the key Australian banks or speak directly in your relationship/account manager:
- In addition to dedicated hardship lines, most banks have now released details of the assistance packages to support the impact COVID-19 is having on business and personal finance. Check in with your financial institution.
- Stay up to date with State and Federal Government initiatives to provide assistance packages that your business may be eligible to apply for
- The Australian Tax Office have implemented a series of relief options and a support line 1800 806 218
- The Victorian Chamber of Commerce are waiving their membership fees. Membership offers online resources and information, a full suite of communications and access to member discounts and guides.
- CPA Australia have some useful resources for businesses
- The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s helpful breakdown for small businesses
- COVID – 19 Infection Control Training – Department Of Health
Support Local Businesses
Support your fellow traders and continue to purchase essential goods and services from local businesses who will also need your support