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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.

Current restrictions

The Victorian Government recently announced Victoria’s roadmap to reopening. Regional Victoria will enter Step 3 from 11.59pm, Wednesday 16 September.

  • This means stay at home directions will end but face coverings and public gathering restrictions still apply
  • There are no restrictions on reasons to leave the home or distances travelled, unless travelling through a restricted area
  • You must still work from home where you can
  • Regional households can form a social bubble with one nominated household, meaning you can have up to five visitors at a time (infants under 12 months not included)

This step will focus on outdoor activities and dining with limitations on how many people you can meet up with.

This means:

  • You can gather with up to 10 people outdoors
  • Hospitality will be able to offer table service again, mainly for outdoor service. Cafes and restaurants can seat people in groups of up to 10, with tables 1.5 metres apart
  • There are caps of 20 patrons per venue for indoors and 50 outdoors, subject to density rules
  • Shops, markets and shopping centres are open with no person limits
  • Hairdressing, beauty and personal care services are all able to resume as long as a face covering is worn during the procedure
  • Real estate inspections can occur by appointment, and auctions are permitted outdoors subject to gathering limits of up to 10 people
  • People in regional Victoria can travel to other regional areas and book accommodation in regional towns with caps as per social bubble
  • Weddings and funerals will be allowed with up to 10 people and 20 people respectively
  • Outdoor religious gatherings for up to 10 people are permitted, plus a faith leader, with houses of worship able to open for private worship for households and social bubbles
  • Outdoor skate parks will open and there can be outdoor fitness for groups of 10 people – no contact sport for adults. People aged 18 and younger can participate in contact and non-sport. Indoor fitness centres remain closed at this stage
  • Outdoor venues and events can open subject to pre-approved plans. Indoor entertainment venues including cinemas, indoor museums and galleries stay closed

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 introduced some initial support measures to help reduce financial pressures on local business, and created a dedicated COVID-19 support service. We’ve also adopted a COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy to guide financial relief for those who need it and have allocated funding for relief measures in the Budget 2020/2021. This includes additional investment in tourism marketing, mental health training, the waiver of registrations and permits for some businesses, and our online platform for the creative industries.

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 to develop and launch Get Lost - 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.

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

Visit Council’s Connect website page for more information on business support initiatives and to find out what Council is doing to support local businesses and creatives

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:

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.

And do please reach out to the following services if you’re not feeling okay:

Further resources

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