Coronavirus update 13 March 2020

Stage 3 lockdown: guidance and support.

We know our local businesses are experiencing a challenging time as a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak and we want to provide support where we can during this time.

We will provide relevant information and advice from the Victorian Government and the Australian Government to support local businesses to respond to changes as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak as it becomes available.

Please note that the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the primary source of updates on the COVID-19 outbreak. The Australian Government’s Department of Health is also a source of additional information and resources. 

Does your business need to close?

To combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), the Victorian Government has implemented closures and restrictions on non-essential business activity.

For the latest information about restrictions on non-essential venues and activities, see Guidance on non-essential closures due to coronavirus.

Support for businesses

Financial support

Council support

While the predominant source of funding and support for the economy is at the State and Federal level, we are taking action where we can to support you.

We are providing financial support to businesses, including:

  • waiving food premises registration fees  
  • waiving and rebating footpath trading fees
  • waiving trader parking permits fees
  • launching the Small Business Resilience grant program, supporting eligible local businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to develop or improve online and e-commerce capabilities.
Extension of footpath trading area 

To support our local cafes and restaurants, we are offering businesses with a food registration permit the opportunity to apply for an extension of their footpath trading area to facilitate social distancing.

This will increase our local traders’ ability to trade and comply with social distancing requirements directed by the Chief Health Officer.

The extension permits are for a maximum period until 31 March 2021 and are subject to the consent from neighbouring proprietor(s) and must comply with any existing planning permit requirements.

If however a food business does not have an existing commercial street furniture permit, they will need to make an application for a permit.

For enquiries regarding trader parking permit fees and footpath trading fees, please contact us on 9278 4949 or [email protected].

For enquiries regarding food premises registration fees, please contact us on 9278 4710 or [email protected].

To learn more about our relief package, see COVID-19 financial assistance for our local community and businesses.

Australian and Victorian Government support

  • Australian banks have announced a Small Business Relief Package, which will defer loan payments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for 6 months.
  • The Australian Government has announced a number of measures to support businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees.
  • The Victorian Government has announced an Economic Survival Package to support business and jobs.
  • The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is offering relief measures to help businesses having difficulty meeting tax and super obligations. You can also call their emergency support hotline on 1800 806 218.
  • Business Victoria has launched a $500 million Business Support Fund to help eligible small businesses. Funding of $10,000 per business is available and will be allocated via a grants process.
  • Business Victoria has also launched a new assistance finder to help businesses identify financial assistance or support available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rental support

The Australian Government has announced measures to help commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments as a result of COVID-19.

The Victorian Small Business Commission have developed resources to help small businesses experiencing difficulty paying rent.

The Victorian Government has announced a commercial tenancy relief scheme to support commercial tenants and landlords who are struggling with economic disruption due to the coronavirus. The scheme includes a 6-month moratorium on evictions for eligible commercial tenants and mediation services through the Victorian Small Business Commission

Employer obligations

Contact the Fair Work Helpline for information on your obligations as an employer. 

Additional support

For additional resources, support services, information and advice, see:

REMPLAN Australian Business Economic Impact Survey

REMPLAN has launched a survey to gain an understanding of the changes businesses in all industries are experiencing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The results and analytics will be shared with all levels of government.

Complete the survey 

Promoting your business

If you are open for business and doing things a little bit differently so that you can continue to deliver your products and services to the Boroondara community, we would love to share your ideas with other local businesses. 

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll promote your business on our Boroondaralife Facebook page.

Send us:

  • the name of your business
  • information about your products and services and how you’re doing things differently to ensure the health of customers is prioritised
  • a photo of your adapted business in action (this could depict the steps you’ve taken to promote health and safety, for example, your new takeaway coffee set-up/station)
  • any online offers.

Online resources

We have created some online tutorials to provide a beginner's guide to using Instagram and LinkedIn for your business. See our Online business resources.

We are also taking our free business mentoring service online. For more information and to book, see Free business mentoring.

Food businesses

If you have a food business and are offering takeaway, pick-up or delivery options, you can list your business on Broadsheet’s Live List.

More information

For more information or assistance, contact our Business team on 9278 4814 or at [email protected].