Business and COVID-19

Business Recovery and Support

All levels of government are providing support for businesses who have been affected COVID-19.  Restrictions have started being eased in a staged manner and will be reviewed by the Federal and State Governments weekly. 

Noosa Council is working with local agencies to implement a Roadmap to Recovery for our local economy.  We've put together resources and information to provide COVID safe guidance and support for Noosa businesses as we re-open our economy.   

Complete the Business Resilience Survey & help shape Noosa's recovery 

Roadmap to Easing  Business Restrictions 

The Queensland Government has developed a Roadmap to Easing Restrictions which outlines the step down approach toe asing of restrictions to ensure businesses can reopen in a way that increases business activity but does not compromise the health of customers, staff and the community.  Find out what this means at Easing Business Restrictions. 

Re-opening Information and Resources

  • Key points for Restaurants & Cafes

    • You are required to complete and display COVID Safe checklist when you open for trade to comply with the essential health requirements that enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your customers and your staff.
    • You must complete, sign and display the checklist in a prominent, visible location at your business premises.
    • You are not required to submit this checklist to Queensland Health, however a relevant enforcement officer can check compliance at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed checklist.
    • Your staff must complete mandatory COVID Safe mandatory training within two weeks of your business commencing. Staff that commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before commencing. This training program is available for free at https://tafeqld.edu.au/covid-safe

    Source: covid19.qld.gov.au

    The following resources/posters may be helpful for you in complying with the COVID Safe requirements:

    For display at a prominent location for your customers

    For display internally for your staff

    Other posters are available at Safe Work Australia

     

  • Key points for Beauty Therapists and Nail Salons 

    • You are required to complete and display COVID Safe checklist when you open for trade to comply with the essential health requirements that enable you to open and provide a safe environment for your customers and your staff.
    • You must complete, sign and display the checklist in a prominent, visible location at your business premises.
    • You are not required to submit this checklist to Queensland Health, however a relevant enforcement officer can check compliance at any time and/or may ask for a copy of the signed checklist.
    • Your staff must complete mandatory COVID Safe mandatory training within two weeks of your business commencing. Staff that commence with your business after this two-week period must complete this training before commencing. This training program is available for free at https://tafeqld.edu.au/covid-safe

    Source: covid19.qld.gov.au

    The following resources that need to be displayed by your business, as required by the COVID Safe checklist are enclosed.

    For display at a prominent location for your customers

    For display internally for your staff

  • Key points for Retail Outlets

    • All businesses should work to the Safe Work Australia Workplace COVID 19 Checklist.  This is an internal plan that does not need to be submitted for approval.
    • Manage customer numbers and queues - have plans and systems in place to monitor and control the number of customers in the workplace at any given time
    • Provide hand sanitiser at ample locations throughout the store 
    • Clean surfaces thoroughly including all high contact areas such as doors, handles, point of sale devices, counters and displays, kiosks, trolleys, lifts, with appropriate cleaning agents.
    • Place reminders and cues about precautions around the store, for social distancing, hand hygiene, cough and sneeze behaviour. Use posters, floor markings to provide the key message.
    • Consider physical, distance or other engineering controls to protect staff and customers at social interaction points
    • Encourage cashless transactions such as tap and go, to reduce contact

    Source -  Safe Work Australia 

    The following resources/posters may be helpful for you in complying with the COVID Safe requirements:

    For display at a prominent location for your customers

    Business Safety Poster

    Symptom Signs

    Social distancing

    Store Capacity

     

    For display internally for your staff

    Workplace COVID 19 Checklist

    COVID-19 Cleaning Checklist  

    COVID-19 At Your Workplace : Unwell staff

    COVID-19 Physical Distancing Checklist

    Download the complete Retail Re-Opening Information Pack

    Other posters are available at Safe Work Australia

     

  • Information for Accommodation Providers and Stage 1 - Please note that as at 16 May, only essential bookings can still be made for short term accommodation.

    More information for the Accommodation Sector is being prepared by the State authorities and will be uploaded as soon as it is available.   For more information, keep updated at Tourism Noosa's Coronavirus Hub  

     

  • All businesses will need to undertake some planning to ensure they keep their business, their staff and their customers safe.

    At all stages, all businesses should have their Work Health and Safety Plan in place, and up to date including strategies to manage COVID-19. This is an existing internal plan which does not need to be submitted for approval and should be made available when requested.

    If you are unsure what applies to your business, check out this decision tree and frequently asked questions to better understand the COVID Safe Businesses framework.

    If the services your industry provides have previously not been restricted by public health directions you can continue to operate as you are now, in line with the health guidance set out by the Chief Health Officer and Queensland Health. 

    The following resources/posters may be helpful for you in meeting COVID Safe requirements:

    For display at a prominent location for your customers

    For display internally for your staff

    Other posters are available at Safe Work Australia

    All businesses should use the framework to be COVID safe.

  • Looking after your own health is paramount during such times, especially your mental health.  Programs below offer mental health support. 

    Small Business Mental Health - Support services and resources that offer business and mental health advice and assistance. 

    B Well and Prosper Program  -  A website to discover Wellbeing & Mental Health tools, resources, programs and information to support Sunshine Coast small business owners and employees. Visit B_Well & Prosper for more information.

    Beyond Blue provides immediate mental health services.  Talk through any anxiety you may be experiencing with a trained mental health professional.  Call 1 300 224 636.

  • Frequently Asked questions about COVID Safe re-opening for businesses

    FAQ's 

  • Looking to refresh and re-open?  Not sure how your business will look or operate in the post COVID economy?

    Noosa Council has engaged  local professional service providers to support and advise businesses as COVID-19 restrictions ease and businesses start to re-open. Businesses wishing to review and/or refresh their operations as we enter a post COVID economy, are encouraged to take up the below offers.   

    Subsidised by Council, business operators and owners can arrange a one on one (virtual) appointment to receive advice on specific issues.   Offers are described below and are wholly subsidised by Council. 

    The areas of expertise on offer are:

    1. Business Continuity Planning /Financial 
    2. Human Resources/Employee 
    3. Communications and Marketing 
    4. Innovation and Business Models
    5. Moving to an Online Retailing Model

     For more information, visit Subsidised Business Support Services 

Other Support Programs for Business

Find out what support is available for business from all levels of government and industry bodies. 

  • Safework Australia has excellent resources on how to be a COVID Safe Workplace

  • The impacts of the Coronavirus crisis has seen many of our small businesses struggle with their cash flow and the ability to pay rent on their commercial tenancies.

    To address this, the Commonwealth Government has released a mandatory code of conduct for small & medium sized enterprises. The Code of conduct provides for the renegotiation of lease terms and the possible reduction of rental in some circumstances.   We encourage all landlords and lessees to review the Code and adhere to the principles laid out.

    The Queensland Government has introduced regulations under the COVID-19 Emergency Response Act in response to the Federal Government's Code of Conduct.  Commercial landlords and tenants can now seek help through the Queensland Small Business Commissioner to resolve COVID-19 impacted lease disputes. 

    For assistance and information on commercial leasing issues, please visit www.business.qld.gov.au/qsbc or call 1300 312 344

     

  • What is the JobKeeper Payment?

    The JobKeeper Payment is a payment made to eligible businesses and not-for-profits affected by the coronavirus to support them in retaining employees. Eligible businesses that elect to participate will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee to support the people they employed as at 1 March 2020 who are retained in employment.  Businesses must have paid their employees before they are entitled to receive the JobKeeper payment. Where an employee’s total remuneration is less than $1,500 per fortnight (before tax), or has been stood down, the employer must provide the employee at least $1,500 per fortnight (before tax). Where an employee earns more than $1,500 per fortnight, employers can use the payment to subsidise the employee’s wages.  Self-employed individuals will also be eligible to receive the JobKeeper payment.


    The first payments by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will be received by employers from the first week of May. The payments will be made by the ATO monthly in arrears. 

    Is my business eligible?
    Employers (including not-for-profits) will be eligible for the subsidy if:

    • their business has an aggregated turnover of less than $1 billion (for income tax purposes1) and estimate their GST turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 30 per cent or more
    • their business has an aggregated turnover of $1 billion or more (for income tax purposes) and estimate their GST turnover has fallen or will likely fall by 50 per cent or more
    • their business is not subject to the Major Bank Levy

    JobKeeper Payments are paid in respect of each eligible employee who was employed at 1 March 2020 and is currently employed by the business (including those who are stood down or re-hired).


    What do I need to do If I want to participate?
    The JobKeeper Payment will be administered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO). Follow the steps on the ATO website to Enrol and apply for the JobKeeper payment.

    For more information, visit:

    JobKeeper Payment  for Employers and Employees 

    JobKeeper Payment for Sole Traders 

    Source: business.gov.au 

  • Federal and State Government Support Packages for Small and Medium Sized Businesses 

    Federal Government Summary of  business support packages.

    State Government Fact Sheet - Summary of all State initiatives 

    Key initiatives include: 

    Relief for Commercial Tenants & Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies - The government has announced a range of measures to help renters in commercial tenancies.  

    JobKeeper payments for Employers and employees - Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months.  Sole trader information is available at visit JobKeeker for Sole Traders 

    Land tax relief - Landlords affected by the coronavirus may be able to acess land tax relief.  

    Small Business Wage Subsidy - covers 50% of an apprentice or trainee's wage paid during the 9 months from January to September 2020.

    Boosting cashflow for employers - Provides up to $100,000 to eligible small and medium sized businesses that employ people with a minimum payment of $2,000.  Small and medium businesses with aggregated annual turnover under $50M and employ workers. Eligibility will generally be based on prior year turnover.  This payment will be delivered by the ATO - we recommend you contact your accountant to discuss accessing these funds. 

    Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses - The Government is temporarily increasing in the threshold at which creditors can issue a statutory demand on a company and the time companies have to respond to statutory demands they receive. The package also includes temporary relief for directors from any personal liability for trading while insolvent, and providing temporary flexibility in the Corporations Act 2001 to provide temporary and targeted relief for companies from provisions of the Act to deal with unforeseen events that arise as a result of the Coronavirus health crisis. 

    Loan Availability : Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme - The Government will provide a guarantee of 50% to SME lenders for unsecured loans to be used for working capital. 

    Quick access to credit for Small Business - Cutting of red tape by providing a temporary exemption from responsible lending obligations for lenders to small business customers. 

    Power Rebate - An automatic $500 rebate on power bill for the year for eligible businesses. In most instances, this will be applied automatically. 

    Supporting Apprentices and trainees :  If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. 

    Fee Waivers for hospitality and licenced premises – liquor licensees can have fees waived for applications to change trading hours and temporarily or permanently change a licensed area. 

    Payroll Tax Support - refund of two months of payroll tax, three monthly payroll tax holiday and six monthly payroll tax deferral. Please note that the JobKeeper payment is not liable for QLD payroll tax

    Interest Free Loans - to retain staff and maintain operations.  These low interest loans of up to $250,000 for carry on finance with an initial 12-month interest free will be available to eligible businesses (more information to follow soon). Expressions of Interest are currently being sought.  

    Other initiatives are available such as Increasing the Instant Asset write off ; Backing Business InvestmentMarket Diversification and Resilience Grants.  Keep updated at business.gov.au and business.qld.gov.au

    QLD Small Business Champion Summary outlines the relevant programs for small business 

    Safe Work Australia - For advice on work health and safety requirements in your workplace.

    Employer and business obligations - Find out how to meet your employer and business obligations and isolation requirements if you're affected by the coronavirus. 

    Travelling for work - If you need to travel overseas for work, make sure have the right travel advice and know how to protect yourself and others if you're affected by the coronavirus. Make sure you and your staff check Smart Traveller prior to travelling

  • The Australian Government has measures to support sole traders. 

    If you are a sole trader and do not employ staff you may be eligible for: 

    JobKeeper Payment - Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Following registration by the eligible business, the Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee for a maximum of 6 months. This will support sole traders to maintain their income and connection with employees. 

    Increased and accelerated income support - Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new Coronavirus supplement.  These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.   The Treasury Fact Sheet has specific detail on these payments. 

    Tips on how to apply for the JobSeeker payment - Some guidance for navigating Centrelink payments. 

    Early access to Superannuation - you can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further 10,000 in 2020-2021.  You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.

    Increased Asset Write Off - The threshold for instant assset write off has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000

    Backing Business Investment  - This will allow businesses to accelerate depreciation deductions. 

    SME Guarantee Scheme - The government will provide a guarantee of 50% to small and medium enterprise lenders for new unsecured loans to be used for working capital.  

     

  • Council has provided the following initiatives to support our local business community during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

    These are outlined in the following Media releases.

    March 20

    March 26 

    Summary of Council Support  

    Council has announced  financial support measures to assist local businesses with cash flow:  

    • Waived fees and refunds across wedding and event permit cancellations
    • A moratorium on fees and charges for footpath dining and commercial permit fees
    • Rent relief for tenants of council-owned properties and more . Council Officers will be in touch with all affected businesses regarding these waivers. Should you have any enquiries, please email  property@noosa.qld.gov.au.
    • Council has also moved to a weekly payment cycle for all local and regional suppliers to assist them with cash flow - Media Release. These have now been announced and summarised on the attached media release Noosa Business Support Package - Media statement 
    • Council’s Planning and Building staff will work with business owners to develop a tailored approach to their individual circumstances.  
    • Waste charges: Commercial operators that have temporarily closed or have scaled down their business activities can request that Council suspend any unnecessary waste collection services and therefore avoid associated costs.
      Requests to suspend services can be lodged online or by emailing waste@noosa.qld.gov.au Council officers will assess the request and then adjust service levels as necessary. The waste containers (bins) will then need to be held at the premises until normal levels of service resume.
      Council will also immediately cancel waste services and associated charges if a business ceases to operate. In these circumstances proof of permanent closure will be required.  Media Statement  
    • Deferred Payments of Infrastructure Charges on Development due to COVID-19
      Infrastructure charges may be deferred until July 2021 with no interest payments applied.
      Eligibility:  All developments are eligible for this initiative.
      Dates:  Payment to Council is deferred to the sooner of 1 July 2021;  or,  prior to any sale of (or part of) the completed development.
      Process: Applicants should send a request to defer payment of the applicable infrastructure charge by email to: ic@noosa.qld.gov.au 
      Requests should be made ONLY for those Developments when they approach completion;
      Provide the Development Approval, Infrastructure Charge Notice & Property address reference/s.
      Council will then issue an “Infrastructure Charges Notice of Amount Due” confirming the amount payable with the Due Date For Making Payment deferred to 1 July 2021 but prior to any sale of (or part of) the completed development.  Further Delayed Staged Payments may also be permitted on separate written application to Council. Refer to “Delayed Staged Payments” information on the Infrastructure Charges webpage.

    Communications and Business Support 

    Council has established a dedicated Business and COVID-19 webpage outlining federal, state and local business support initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises. Also included is industry-specific information outlining protocols for managing COVID-19 at your place of work.  This website aims to cut through the swathe of information available to provide the most relevant and accurate support for business. 

    Advocacy

    Council and Tourism Noosa are working with Regional Development Australia to advocate on behalf of our business community to the Federal Government. They’re also working with our local Member of Parliament, Sandy Bolton, and Queensland Government staff, on a range of support requirements for business. 

    Please be assured that Noosa Council is committed to working for the business community and ensuring we get through this together.
     

  • Tourism Noosa has a dedicated Coronavirus toolkit available to all businesses. Visit their website for more information.

  • The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218. 

    Other ATO initiatives includes low interest payment plans for tax liabilities, remitting interest and penalties applied to tax liabilities, varying your PAYG instalments.  Visit the ATO website for more information. 

  • Fact Sheet and Posters - Resources for business to download and display in their workplaces, including checklists, infographics, fact sheets for industry and posters on handwashing, hygiene and physical distancing from Safe Work Australia 

    Financial Resilience Webinars - Training and mentoring packages are available for eligible small businesses from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, partnering with TAFE Queensland. These webinars will help you identify risks,  build financial skills and plan to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

    Facebook video of Q&A Session with QLD Small Business Champion, Maree Adshead, and QLD Minister for Small Business, Shannon Fentiman.  Provides an excellent summary addressing the questions that many businesses have. 

    Mentoring for Growth - more than 50 mentors are ready to connect with impacted small businesses, providing mentoring sessions and tailored support, including financial mentoring and business planning.  Contact 1300 654 687 or m4g@desbt.qld.gov.au for more information.

    Financial workshops – TAFE Queensland are delivering a series of workshops across a number of locations for small businesses to connect and learn about financial management, business planning and practical tools and skills to build business resilience. For information on workshop locations or to register your interest contact 1300 654 687 or info@desbt.qld.gov.au.

    Supporting small business survey – the Queensland Government wants to understand more about the impact of COVID-19 on your business and assess what support you need.

     

  • Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman 

    Outlines the various packages available from government, specifically for small and family businesses

Industry Information

Your local Industry Association is an important source of industry specific information for COVID-19 protocols at your business.

  • General information for business owners and employers, from the Queensland Chamber of Commerce & Industry, covering:

    • Employers Guide 
    • Managing Staff 
    • Government Support 
    • Cutting Costs 
    • Remote Working 

    More information 

  • Casual worker who lose their job, or have theirs hours reduced as a result of coronavirus, may be eligible for the Federal Government's new JobSeeker payment and temporary Coronavirus supplement of $550 a fortnight.  Visit Centrelink for more information. Centrelink Employment Services and Job Network Hotline - 13 74 68. 

    Tips on how to apply for the JobSeeker payment - some guidance for navigating Centrelink payments 

    Information regarding JobSeeker Eligibility - are you eligible and does your partners income affect eligibility? 

    You may also be able to access Early Release of Superannuation of up to $10,000 this financial year (before end June 2020) and a further $10,000 in 2020-2021. You will not need to pay tax on the amounts you withdraw and the payments will not affect Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs payments.  Apply through myGov

    Jobs Hub - The Australian Government has launched Jobs Hub - an online portal which lists all available jobs on the internet. 

    Other ways to protect yourself

    You can contact your lenders, utilities and providers (eg. bank, water, power, phone, insurance) and ask them about financial hardship plans like bill freezing or deferral.
    Look out for alternative work in new industries, major employers such as Queensland Health, Coles and Woolworths have announced the creation of new casual roles to cope with increased demands, you should regularly monitor employment websites and Linked-In Jobs Information for opportunities.  
     

  • The National Retail Association, Australian Retailers Association and the Hair and Beauty Industry Association  are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and providing information and resources to support your business. 

    This online guide will help you control risks and provide safer environments for employees and customers.   A free resource pack is available with Q&A’s, template employee handouts and pandemic policies for your business, or you can access these free COVID-19 awareness posters here for display in your workplace.
     

  • The Restaurant and Catering Association has set up a Coronavirus Information Hub to provide regular updates and resources for restaurants, cafes, catering and food services providers.

    You can access information on the impact of restrictions on indoor gatherings, a fact sheet with the top 10 best practices for managing COVID-19 in your business and Workplace Relations FAQ’s.

    KPMG Australia - Information for Hospitality Sector outlines implications for cash flow, workforce management, reimagining your offering, communications & accessing government responses. 


     

  • Safe Food Queensland - Together with the agricultural industries and Queensland Health, Safe Food Production Queensland (Safe Food) has developed a guideline for agricultural, horticultural, and meat and livestock processing businesses to help them understand the risks of COVID-19 to their workforce, and describe the measures that can be implemented when any of these risks are realised

  • An online training module for health care workers in all settings.  It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19. 

    More information

    Allied Health Professions Australia are regularly updating resources and guidance for practioners here.

  • The Queensland Hotels Association has fact sheets for industry here

  • Information for growers and others in the horticulture industry.  Includes information regarding social distancing for horticulture busiensses and workers; industry COVID guides and information confirming that agriculture is an essential service. 

    COVID 19 Information for Horticulture Industry  

Buy Local

Support our local businesses by taking advantage of new delivery and take away options from the following businesses listed on these pages.  Make sure you post on one of these pages if you're a local business with delivery & take away options.

We're committed to supporting our local businesses.  Watch this space. 

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