Business and COVID-19

All levels of government are providing support for businesses who are, or will be affected by COVID-19.  Below is a list of current programs available. We encourage you to bookmark this page and we will update regularly as new information becomes available. 

Business & COVID-19 Checklist 
This checklist provides a simple guide for business owners to address key impacts of COVID-19.  

Business Mentors Noosa Hotline -  Call 5430-6652  for business support and advice.  

Government has announced mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenancies  - Read here

 

Noosa Council Business Support Information

Noosa Council has implemented the following initiatives to support affected local business:

  • Stimulus Package Updates. Breaks down the information being issued by governments, including the JobKeeper Payment, how it applies to business  and how to access. See below under Immediate Government Support. 
  • Council Financial Initiatives to support local business cashflow.  See below under Noosa Council Business Financial Support.
  • COVID-19 Assistance Response - A Guide to Support for Small Business.  Outlines all the government packages for small business, including worksheets to calculate incentives, and How to apply. Includes the latest information on the JobKeeper scheme. 
  • Hotline for general Business Assistance/Advice– delivered in partnership with Business Mentors Noosa.  Hotline number is  5430-6652. The hotline will be staffed from 3.00pm - 5.00pm weekdays.  Please don't hesitate to call  and leave your details for a callback.  Live now. 
  • Free Business Support – Subsidised access to professional service providers to help business assess their current positions and actions to take in key areas such as Business Continuity/Finance, Legal, HR, Innovation, Communications.
  • Launched Shop Local Noosa - A marketplace connecting our Noosa community to local food & beverage producers, retailers and distributors who service our region
  • Subscribe to our regular e-updates here

Federal Government Business Support Initiatives will be administered through the Australia Taxation Office and Services Australia for individual workers.   

  • Business Assistance Finder - Use this tool to discover what support is available from the Queensland Government.  
  • If you have lost your job, please call the Centrelink  Hotline - 13 74 68.  Some sectors are recruiting, including Services Australia, Coles , Woolworths and QLD Health.  Regularly monitor employment websites for opportunities.  Other companies hiring are outlined in this article.    The Australian Government has also launched Jobs Hub - an online portal which lists all available jobs on the internet.
  • We strongly recommend businesses contact  their accountant who will be aware of the Government Financial Support Packages for Business.
  • If your business operates out of commercial premises, consider contacting your landlord to discuss rental relief options.  
  • Fairwork Australia - Coronavirus and Workplace Laws Information 

Emergency Business Hotlines: 

Queensland Chamber of Commerce Hotline 1 300 135 822

Federal Government Business Hotline 13 28 46 

Business Queensland Business Hotline is  1300 654 687 

Australian Taxation Office Emergency Hotline is 1800 806 218

Support Programs for Business

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

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

    COVID-19 Assistance Response  - A guide to support for Small Business.  This live document is updated as more information is released, writted by Biz Whiz Business Solutions 

    Federal Government Summary of  business support packages.

    State Government Fact Sheet - Summary of all State initiatives 

    Key initiatives include: 

    JobKeeper payments - 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.

    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. 

    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. 

  • Facebook are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for over 30,000 small businesses across 30 countries to help during this challenging time. 

    For more information, visit Facebook Grants 

     

     

  • 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.

     

  • CPA Australia has Fact Sheets outlining a range of actions and contingency plan checklists to prepare your business. 

    Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman 

    Outlines the various packages available from government, specifically for small and family businesses,  and outlines some information to prepare. 

  • 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.

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 
    • Governmetn 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. 


     

  • 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

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. 

Newsfeed

3 April 2020 - A new code of conduct for commerical tenants and landlords will be finalised over coming week. More information 

2 April 2020 - Registration is now open for the Australian Government's small business wage subsidy to retain apprentices and trainees through the Government's Supporting Apprentice's and Trainee's package

2 April 2020 - Australian Government launches Jobs Hub which lists all available jobs on the internet

26 March 2020 - State Govt joins forces with Queensland Chamber of Commerce to run business outreach and expand the capacity of their call centre.  Call CCIQ for assistance on 1 300 135 822

25 March 2020 - GrantGuru now has specific CoronaVirus Emergency Funding button which outlines all government funding opportunities related to Coronavirus.  GrantGuru Coronavirus Funding

24 March 2020 - QLD Government announces new support package for affected businesses. Media Release.  More information will be uploaded as soon as available. 

23 March 2020 - Council facilities, including gyms, The J and Library to close indefinitely.  More information 

22 March 2020 - Federal Government has delivered a second stimulus package estimated to be worth $66B, focused on three key inititiatives: income support for households, casuals and retirees; cash and loan support for small and medium sized businesses and regulatory reform regarding insolvency.  More information.   Key points for business is below under Immediate Government Support Packages.  

20 March 2020 - Business support package announced by Council including waived fees and refunds across wedding and event permit cancellations, a moratorium on fees and charges for footpath dining and commercial permit fees and rent relief for tenants of council-owned properties and more . To apply for a refund or for fees and charges to be waived, simply email a request to property@noosa.qld.gov.au. Click here to read more. 

20 March 2020 - Queensland Health is hiring health workers to assist with the COVID-19 response.  Expressions of Interest are now being taken.  Details 

For all Coronavirus health and other Council information, please visit: https://www.noosa.qld.gov.au/covid-19

Things to know

Keep informed with the latest news relating to Business  and COVID-19 

  • Banks announce small business loan repayment deferal.  More information

  • NBN Co has announced measures to support the increased demand on the network as more people work from home.  NBN Co will waive charges for additional capacity for Retail Service Providers for at least three months to meet the changing needs of customers at this time.

    More information

  • The Queensland Government has introduced new Planning Laws that will allow supermarkets and other essential services  to operate 24 hours a day when necessary, aimed at keeping supplies on shelves. More information

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