Information and Support for business affected by COVID-19

Business owners are faced with challenging times. Take advantage of the assistance provided by different levels of government, and non-government organisations, helping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID Safe Check for NSW Businesses

Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan specific to your industry, and register so customers know your business is COVID Safe.

3 simple steps to become a COVID Safe business 

  1. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan
  2. Register as a COVID Safe business
  3. Show that you’re COVID Safe 

 

COVID Safe is a NSW-wide program that supports your business to keep our community safe from COVID-19.

The program provides ways to help meet your obligations under the rules:

  • industry-specific advice on COVID-19 health and safety measures
  • signs to show that you are committed to protecting your staff, your customers and visitors
  • feedback on how your customers rate their level of COVID Safety 
  • updates to information about changes to health and safety rules

 

Below are some helpful links and information. Please monitor government announcements regularly for the latest advice and changes to rules for business operations.

COVID-19 Updates

August Updates

20 August Update

Opportunity for NSW businesses to help fill the medical supply chain (Updated)

The NSW Government has introduced a $5 million grants scheme to locally manufacture critical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during COVID-19.

The new grants are available for manufacturers who can demonstrate their ability to ramp up or repurpose manufacturing of items including masks, gowns, disinfectant, hand-wash and soap or their components, reducing our dependence on imports and providing a secure source for Australia’s future needs.

The application process, program guidelines and eligibility criteria will be released shortly.


17 August Update

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch (Updated)

The deadline for applications for the Small Business Recovery Grant of up to $3,000 has been extended until 11:59pm Monday, 31 August 2020. (Previously applications were due to close on Sunday 16 August.) 

The list of highly impacted industries has been broadened to include 18 additional industries, which means that more small businesses can apply.

The additional 18 industries are:

  • Building and Other Industrial Cleaning Services
  • Creative Artists, Musicians, Writers and Performers
  • Employment Placement and Recruitment Services
  • Interurban and Rural Bus Transport
  • Labour Supply Services
  • Metal Coating and Finishing
  • Motion Picture and Video Production
  • Music and Other Sound Recording Activities
  • Optometry and Optical Dispensing
  • Other Allied Health Services
  • Other Goods and Equipment Rental and Hiring not elsewhere classified
  • Other Motor Vehicle and Transport Equipment Rental and Hiring
  • Other Social Assistance Services
  • Physiotherapy Services
  • Post-production Services and Other Motion Picture and Video Activities
  • Printing
  • Takeaway Food Services
  • Urban Bus Transport (Including Tramway).

View the media release for more information. Visit the Service NSW website to apply.


17 August Update

Business Connect: free advisors and online workshops – UPDATED

The NSW Government’s business advisory service, Business Connect, has developed a new toolkit to help businesses as they continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.

The toolkit includes more than 35 webinars on a range of business-related subjects, fact sheets and training videos.

View the media release for more information, or register interest.

July Updates

24 July Update 

Commercial tenancy leases during COVID-19 (Updated)  

A step-by-step interactive commercial leasing tool is now available on the Service NSW website. The tool assists tenants and landlords to negotiate a commercial lease where a tenant is having difficulty paying rent as a result of COVID-19. Direct URL is: https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/commercial-leasing/screener/get-started 


20 July Update

Go Local First campaign (New)

The Australian Government’s Go Local First campaign is led by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) and urges Australians to ‘Go Local First’ when they are purchasing products and services to help the small business sector get back on its feet. Visit the campaign’s website for more information.

New COVID-19 compliance measures for venues (Updated) 

From Friday 24 July, the compliance measures that currently apply to pubs (in effect from 17 July) will be extended to restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs.

View the media release for more information.  

Further details will be available on the NSW Government What you can and can’t do under the rules webpage.  

COVID-19 Business Recovery Roadshow (Updated)

The NSW Government has postponed the COVID-19 Business Recovery Roadshows scheduled for Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 July at Twin Towns Services Club, Tweed Heads. This is to ensure the safety of attendees, staff and the local community in light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Details will be available on the Service NSW website when the event is rescheduled for a later date: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-small-businesses/covid-19-business-recovery-roadshow.

A COVID-19 business recovery webinar is scheduled for 23 July, featuring representatives from across government who will talk about the range of support available to small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19.

Register for the webinar.

Support for apprentices and trainees (Updated)

The Australian Government has announced a new $2 billion skills package to help re-train and upskill Australians as the economy recovers from COVID-19. 

The package includes the JobTrainer fund, which will provide for around 340,700 additional training places to help school leavers and job seekers gain the skills they need to get a job.

A further $1.5 billion will be made available to expand and extend the Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy. The wage subsidy will also be extended to March 2021.

View the media release and visit the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) for more information.


14 July Update

Resources to support healthy workplaces (Updated) 

The following resources can help businesses stay resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond:

  • Beyond Blue has a range of free resources to help employers, employees, managers and small businesses create mentally healthy workplaces, and a 24-hour hotline to support the mental wellbeing of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Call 1800 512 348 or visit https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/?utm_campaign=hp_banner.  
  • The My Business Health web portal offers dedicated holistic support for businesses to access financial support, to prepare, respond and recover as the economy reopens, and for seeking out emotional support.
  • Ahead for Business by everymind.org.au is designed to help businesses understand mental health and manage business stress, and the service provides tailored recommendations, information and programs.

COVID-19 compliance measures for pubs (New)

New rules will be introduced to pubs across NSW from Friday 17 July that will limit group bookings to a maximum of 10 people and cap the number of customers inside a venue to 300 people. The new measures follow the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

For more information and to view the full set of requirements, read the media release and visit COVID-19: What you can and can't do under the rules


9 July Update 

COVID-19 NSW border entry permit (New)

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19.

From 8 July, a border entry permit is needed to travel from Victoria to NSW (exceptions apply). Visit the Service NSW website to apply, and view the media release for more information.

A new permit will be available Thursday 9 July to allow people to travel between NSW and VIC for work. Workers whose employer has a COVID-19 safety plan will not be required to self-isolate.

In the meantime, Freight and Transport workers will still require the current critical services permit to enter NSW, but will not be required to self-isolate if their employer has a COVID-19 safety plan. Visit the Border restrictions page on the NSW Government website for more information.

Support for employers to assist injured workers (Updated) 

SIRA’s Support4work grant for small business provides financial assistance of $4,000 paid in two payments, to help a small business manage the recovery at work of an injured person, while the business recovers from the economic impact COVID-19. Visit the SIRA website for more information.

Business Connect: free advisors and online workshops (Updated) 

Business Connect has a range of pre-recorded webinars available to support small businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the Business Connect website for more information.

Loan repayments deferment to help business owners (Updated) 

The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has confirmed banks will extend deferred repayments on loans for up to four months for customers continuing to experience financial difficulty and reduced income as a result of COVID-19. For more information, please visit the ABA website


3 July Update

COVID-19 Business Recovery Roadshow (New)

The NSW Government is launching a series of roadshow events to support small business owners as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

At the roadshows, small businesses can hear from a range of government specialists about the support available when applying for financial grants, completing a COVID-19 Safety Plan or developing a customised recovery strategy.

The first roadshow event will be held on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July at Nelson Bay Golf Club, Nelson Bay, NSW.

More dates and locations for roadshow events around NSW will be announced on the Service NSW website. A webinar will be available for those who are unable to attend.

Registration is free but essential for roadshow events and the webinar.

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch (Updated) 

Applications are now open for the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant of up to $3,000. Visit the Service NSW website for more information and to apply.

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated)

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls are some of the businesses that can reopen (subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule) from July 1.

Businesses must follow the COVID Safe guidelines and adhere to their business specific COVID Safety Plan consistent with NSW Health orders. 

June Updates

16 June Updated

Support for community sporting clubs and associations (new)

A one-off grant of up to $1,000 will be provided to close to 12,500 local sporting clubs and associations across NSW to assist clubs when sport resumes on 1 July. The grant is part of NSW Government’s $27.3 million Community Sport Recovery Package to help the sector get back on its feet.

View the media release and visit the website for more information.

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated) 

From July 1, the number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centers. All activity must be seated only. View the media release for more information. To stay up to date on health and safety guidelines as restrictions ease, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

Information for businesses about protecting customers and staff (Updated) 

A small business planning tool is available from SafeWork Australia to help businesses manage work health and safety during COVID-19, and as restrictions ease. The tool outlines key steps and considerations for small business when operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the SafeWork Australia website for more information and view the new planning tool.

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch

A new grant of up to $3,000 will help NSW small businesses in industries highly impacted by COVID-19 to safely re-launch their operations. Applications will open by 1 July 2020. View the media release for more information.

Export assistance grant

A $10,000 Export Assistance Grant will be available for up to 1,000 export ready or export capable NSW businesses, helping them access new markets or re-enter old ones where business has ceased. The grant is part of a $13 million package to boost regional business. View the media release for more information.


10 June Updated

NSW Government launches COVID Safe Check for business (New)

Businesses will be able to check, test and promote their COVID Safe credentials with the launch of the NSW Government’s online COVID Safe Check. 

When businesses complete their COVID-Safe Plan online and self-declare, they are registered as COVID Safe. They will receive collateral (posters, stickers and digital assets for use in their premises and online) allowing customers to know that their business is COVID Safe.

Customers are invited to provide feedback on how successfully the business is achieving a COVID Safe environment. Customer feedback will be kept private and stored securely, and will be combined with overall feedback and provided to the business as statistics. This feedback will assist business owners with the knowledge and awareness to operate in an increasingly COVID Safe way.

View the media release and visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses for more information. 

Business Connect: free advisors and online workshops (Updated)

New Business Connect advisors are being deployed in NSW (in both metropolitan and regional areas) to help provide valuable advice and guidance.

Among the 40 new advisors are those who have experience running their own businesses in industries impacted by COVID-19, including the arts and creative industries, retail and tourism. 

Advisory sessions with Business Connect are currently free of charge.

View the media release and visit business.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect or call 1300 134 359 for more information. 


3 June Update

COVID-19 Business Recovery Roadshow (New) 

The NSW Government is launching a series of roadshow events to support small business owners as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

At the roadshows, small businesses can hear from a range of government specialists about the support available when applying for financial grants, completing a COVID-19 Safety Plan or developing a customised recovery strategy.

The first roadshow event will be held on Monday 6 and Tuesday 7 July at Nelson Bay Golf Club, Nelson Bay, NSW.

More dates and locations for roadshow events around NSW will be announced on the Service NSW website. A webinar will be available for those who are unable to attend.

Registration is free but essential for roadshow events and the webinar.

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch (Updated) 

Applications are now open for the Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Grant of up to $3,000. Visit the Service NSW website for more information and to apply.

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated) 

Cinemas, theatres and concert halls are some of the businesses that can reopen (subject to the one person per 4 square metre rule) from July 1.

Businesses must follow the COVID Safe guidelines and adhere to their business specific COVID Safety Plan consistent with NSW Health orders.


16 June Update

Support for community sporting clubs and associations (New)

A one-off grant of up to $1,000 will be provided to close to 12,500 local sporting clubs and associations across NSW to assist clubs when sport resumes on 1 July. The grant is part of NSW Government’s $27.3 million Community Sport Recovery Package to help the sector get back on its feet.

View the media release and visit the website for more information.

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated) 

From July 1, the number of people allowed inside indoor venues will be determined by the ‘one person per 4 square metre’ rule, with no upper limit. This includes function centers. All activity must be seated only. View the media release for more information. To stay up to date on health and safety guidelines as restrictions ease, visit www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19.

Information for businesses about protecting customers and staff (Updated)

A small business planning tool is available from SafeWork Australia to help businesses manage work health and safety during COVID-19, and as restrictions ease. The tool outlines key steps and considerations for small business when operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit the SafeWork Australia website for more information and view the new planning tool.

COVID-19 recovery grant to help small business re-launch

A new grant of up to $3,000 will help NSW small businesses in industries highly impacted by COVID-19 to safely re-launch their operations. Applications will open by 1 July 2020. View the media release for more information.

Export assistance grant

A $10,000 Export Assistance Grant will be available for up to 1,000 export ready or export capable NSW businesses, helping them access new markets or re-enter old ones where business has ceased. The grant is part of a $13 million package to boost regional business. View the media release for more information.


10 June Update 

NSW Government launches COVID Safe Check for business (New)

Businesses will be able to check, test and promote their COVID Safe credentials with the launch of the NSW Government’s online COVID Safe Check.

When businesses complete their COVID-Safe Plan online and self-declare, they are registered as COVID Safe. They will receive collateral (posters, stickers and digital assets for use in their premises and online) allowing customers to know that their business is COVID Safe.

Customers are invited to provide feedback on how successfully the business is achieving a COVID Safe environment. Customer feedback will be kept private and stored securely, and will be combined with overall feedback and provided to the business as statistics. This feedback will assist business owners with the knowledge and awareness to operate in an increasingly COVID Safe way.

View the media release and visit https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe-businesses for more information. 

Business Connect: free advisors and online workshops (Updated)

New Business Connect advisors are being deployed in NSW (in both metropolitan and regional areas) to help provide valuable advice and guidance.

Among the 40 new advisors are those who have experience running their own businesses in industries impacted by COVID-19, including the arts and creative industries, retail and tourism.

Advisory sessions with Business Connect are currently free of charge.

View the media release and visitbusiness.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect or call 1300 134 359 for more information. 


3 June Update

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated)

Gyms, indoor pools, yoga and dance studios will be able to reopen across NSW from 13 June 2020 and kids’ sport from 1 July 2020.

For more information visit the NSW Government website. For health guidelines as restrictions ease, visit: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules

Resources to support healthy workplaces as restrictions ease (Updated)

May Updates

28 May Update 

Commercial tenancy leases during COVID-19 (Updated)

Content has been added to the Service NSW website outlining steps for tenants to negotiate commercial rents.

View lease negotiation steps.

Fee waivers for small business (Updated)

Premium rates for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer (which is managed by icare and covers many businesses and workers) will remain unchanged from 30 June 2020.

Customers can contact icare on 13 44 22 to discuss their individual business circumstances. Further details on COVID-19 measures and impacts are available on the icare website.


25 May Update

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated)

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has released a planning tool to help business develop a plan to keep their workers, customers and the community safe as they reopen or increase their activities in the weeks and months ahead. Visit the commission’s web page for a Word and PDF version of the tool.

Information for businesses about protecting customers and staff  (Updated)

Industry-specific guidance is now available for two new industries – Hairdressing and barbers and Real estate on the Safe Work Australia website.

Fee waivers for small business – (Updated)

The Australian Government has waived the annual registration fee for civil marriage celebrants to help ease the burden from COVID-19. For more information, visit the Attorney-General’s Department website.  

Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws (Updated)

The Australian Government will issue a new Regulation under the Fair Work Act to limit any changes made to enterprise agreements in response to the coronavirus pandemic to be effective for no more than 12 months. Visit the Attorney General’s Department website for more information.

Taxi industry support package (New) 

The NSW government is providing a stimulus package for taxi owners/operators and wheelchair accessible taxi (WAT) licence owners impacted by COVID-19.

The package includes:

  • a subsidy of $2900 to eligible licence holders, to assist with offsetting a range of taxi operating costs such as CTP insurance and registration (application to open on June 1)
  • a six-month rebate of approximately $7,000 for taxi operators currently holding a renewable annual taxi licence (eligible licence holders will be contacted by the Point to Point Transport Commissioner’s office)
  • a $500 waiver of 2018/19 authorisation fees for all authorised service providers, which represents a full annual fee waiver for over 1,800 smaller operators (automatically applied for authorised service providers).

For more information, view the media release and www.pointtopoint.nsw.gov.au.


22 May Update

Easing of COVID-19 restrictions: information for small businesses (Updated) 

Regularly updated content on the NSW Government website helps businesses find out what they can and can’t do as COVID-19 restrictions ease over time.

Visit the following links for more information.

Information for hospitality businesses on opening, reopening, and making workplaces COVID safe

Guide for understanding which businesses, services and industries can currently open 

April Updates

20 April Update

Cyber security guide for small business at risk during COVID-19 (NEW)

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has published advice on how small business can better protect themselves from cyber-attacks and disruptions during COVID-19.

Visit cyber.gov.au for more information

JobKeeper subsidy to help eligible employers and employees stay connected (UPDATED)

Updated 20 April: New information about satisfying the turnover test is now available

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/In-detail/Applying-the-turnover-test/

Sole traders and some other entities (such as partnerships, trusts or companies) may be entitled to the JobKeeper Payment scheme under the business participation entitlement. However, not-for-profit organisations are not included under the business participation entitlement.

https://www.ato.gov.au/General/JobKeeper-Payment/Sole-traders-and-other-entities/

Visit ato.gov.au for more information including employer and employee eligibility guidelines.


16 April Update 

NSW Government confirms second set of fee waivers (UPDATED)       

Updated 15 April: second set of fee waivers  

Licence, registration and permit fees will be automatically waived for 12-months on new applications and renewals lodged by eligible businesses and individuals as follows:  

From 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 

  • Liquor licences for bars, pubs, clubs, hotels and most other licensed venues 
  • Licences for tattoo parlours and pyrotechnicians 
  • Paintball venue permits 
  • Registration of amusement devices. 

From 20 April 2020 to 19 April 2021 

  • Licences for tattooists 
  • Licences for packaged liquor licences for small operators (up to 3 licencees). 

Licences relating to gambling are excluded. 

From 15 April 2020 to 14 April 2021 

  • 1-year building contractor licences, trade or specialist contractor licences and motor vehicle repairer licences. For 3-year or 5-year licence applications and renewals, the licence fee is discounted by 1 year. 
  • 5-year High Risk Work licences and asbestos removal licences 
  • 2-year demolition licences 

From 20 April 2020 to 19 April 2021 

  • High Risk Work Assessor Accreditation licence 
  • SafeWork Registered Training Organisations licence 

The following 1-year licences: 

  • Home Building: Qualified Supervisor Certificate 
  • Home Building: Tradesperson Certificates 
  • Motor Vehicle Tradesperson Certificates (MVTC) 

For longer application and renewal durations, the licence fee is discounted by 1 year. 

Fee waivers for change of class, amendments to licences and replacement licences are excluded. 

Visit nsw.gov.au for more information. Read media release here. 

 

Information for small businesses struggling to make usual payments (UPDATED) 

Updated 15 April: If you are experiencing difficulties meeting your obligations to the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) due to COVID-19, you have the option of discussing payment plans and applying for fee waivers.  

Visit asic.gov.au for more information  

60 Free Online Workshops and Webinars (Updated)

Over 60 free online workshops and webinars are available through Business Connect to support your NSW small business to manage cashflow, change your business model, sell goods and services online and market your business in a challenging environment.

To book a webinar, visit business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au


14 April Update 

Online application form for the new Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant (up to $10,000) now live!

The NSW Small Business COVID-19 Support Grant of up to $10,000 is available to eligible NSW small business owners and non-profit organisations. 

The application form is now live, as of Tuesday April 14, 2020.

This grant supports the ongoing operations of small businesses highly impacted from COVID-19 pandemic following the NSW Public Health Order of 31 March 2020.

Customers need to apply for the grant using the online form on the Service NSW website.

Easter and Anzac Day home-delivery and takeaway alcohol sales (NEW)

Clubs, pubs, small bars, cafes and restaurants can now sell takeaway food and alcohol this Good Friday and ANZAC Day in a move to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

On Good Friday, pubs, clubs, small bars, restaurants and cafes with liquor licences can sell takeaway alcohol, with a meal, during their normal trading hours within a 12pm to 10pm window. The exemption does not apply to packaged liquor licenses such as bottle shops – these businesses are subject to their normal Good Friday closure.

On ANZAC Day, pubs, clubs, small bars, restaurants and cafes with liquor licences can sell alcohol during their usual trading hours, and packaged liquor licenses can open as usual from 1pm until normal close of trade.  

For more information, visit https://www.liquorandgaming.nsw.gov.au/news-and-media/more-takeaway-alcohol-sales-allowed-on-good-friday-and-anzac-day 

Beyond Blue COVID-19 24-hour helpline (NEW)

Beyond Blue has an online portal and 24-hour helpline available to support the mental wellbeing of Australians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources include strategies for small business owners. Call 1800 512 348 or visit https://coronavirus.beyondblue.org.au/?utm_campaign=hp_banner.  


9 April Update

Mandatory Code of Conduct will guide commercial tenancy leases for eligible businesses (NEW)

A mandatory Commonwealth Code of Conduct agreed by states and territories effective 7 April 2020 will implement a set of good faith leasing principles for commercial tenancies during the COVD-19 pandemic. 

The objective of the Code is to share in a proportionate, measured manner the financial risk and cashflow impact during the COVID-19 period, whilst seeking to appropriately balance the interests of tenants and landlords 

The Code applies to all commercial tenancies that 

  • are suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic 
  • are eligible for the JobKeeper program 
  • have an annual turnover of up to $50 million 

Parties involved in the commercial tenancy leases should read the National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct that outlines a range of overarching and leasing  principles  https://www.pm.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/national-cabinet-mandatory-code-ofconduct-sme-commercial-leasing-principles.pdf 

Key points: 

  • there should be a proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover to ensure that the burden is shared between landlords and tenants. 
  • tenants and landlords can agree on tailored, bespoke and appropriate temporary arrangements that take account of their circumstances and to equally share the burden. 
  • Australian and foreign banks along with other financial institutions are expected to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility as they work to implement the mandatory Code. 
  • the Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants.  
  • where landlords and tenants cannot reach agreement on COVID-19 leasing arrangements the matter should be referred to the NSW Small Business Commission

Visit business.gov.au for more information


8 April Update

Support for primary producers who export into key overseas markets (NEW)

Primary producers of certain high-value products, such as seafood, premium red meat, dairy and horticulture, may be eligible for the federal government’s International Freight Assistance Mechanism, which aims to help exporters get their goods into key overseas markets. 

Primary Producers can express their interest at https://haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au/international-freight-assistance 

Visit infrastructure.gov.au for more information. 

Grant available to help organisations provide engagement activities for seniors at risk of COVID-19 social isolation (NEW) 

The Combatting Social Isolation for Seniors Grant is a one-off grant open to eligible organisations who can provide programs that help seniors aged 65 years and over and Aboriginal people aged 55 years and over, engage with others to reduce social isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak.  

Applications close 26 April 2020. 

Visit Communities & Justice for more information.


7th April Update

Free online TAFE NSW courses to help businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs (NEW)

The NSW Government has announced that TAFE NSW is offering a suite of 21 free online short courses to assist job seekers and workers looking to diversify their skills, and businesses in hibernation to upskill their workers.

The 21 short courses include: 

  •  eMarketing for Small Business
  • Engaging Customers Using Social Media   
  • Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Computing Skills
  • Team Leader Skill Set
  • Administration Skills for Team Leader

Visit nsw.gov.au for more information or TAFE NSW to browse the courses.


6th April Update

Small Business Support Grant (NEW)

The NSW COVID-19 Small Business Support Grant of $10,000 will be available to eligible NSW small business owners.

The application form will be available on the Service NSW website by 17 April.

To be eligible, businesses will need to:

  • have between 1-19 employees and a turnover of more than $75,000
  • a payroll below the NSW Government 2019-20 payroll tax threshold of $900,000 
  • have an Australian Business Number as at 1 March 2020, be based in NSW and employ staff as at 1 March 2020 
  • be highly impacted by the Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 issued on 30 March 2020 
  • use the funding for unavoidable business costs such as utilities, overheads, legal costs and financial advice 
  • provide appropriate documentation upon application.

Highly impacted industries

Eligible industries are those that have been subject to closure or are highly impacted by NSW Government health directions in relation to COVID-19 and include:

  • Retail trade
  • Accommodation and food service 
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services 
  • Administrative and support services 
  • Arts and recreation services.

 

Cancellations and refunds of goods and service (NEW)

For guidance and support related to managing the cancellations, delays and suspensions of products and services, including rights and responsibilities as a business owner, refund entitlements and fair pricing, visit  the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) website at https://www.accc.gov.au/business/covid-19-coronavirus-information-for-small-business.  

COVID-19 electricity and gas network relief package (NEW)

Small businesses that are temporarily closed due to COVID-19 may be eligible for full electricity and gas tariff relief under a financial support package organised by Energy Networks Australia. Eligibility criteria apply, including usage figures and time limits.

For more information, visit https://www.energynetworks.com.au/news/media-releases/2020-media-releases/energy-network-relief-package-announced/


3rd April Update 

Changes to pharmacy trading (NEW)

Temporary new powers have been given to pharmacies to allow expanded services during COVID-19.

These include:

  • 24-hour operating hours
  • ability to dispense certain medications without a prescription 

Visit nsw.gov.au for more information

In addition, pharmacies can now register with Australia Post for access to free postage on prescription deliveries. Participating pharmacies can apply for a full rebate on costs associated with mailing prescriptions to vulnerable customers. 

Visit auspost.com.au for more information  

Extended hours for construction businesses (NEW)

Changes to planning rules for the construction industry now allow sites to operate on weekends and public holidays, as long as workers can abide by social    distancing  requirements. This means building works can continue to progress and staffing can be spread across more days of the week.

Visit planning.nsw.gov.au for more information.

Changes for food trucks and dark kitchens (NEW)

Planning rules for the set up and operation of food trucks and dark kitchens (also known as virtual, cloud or ghost kitchens, which cook food for purpose of delivery only) have been amended to make it easier for new and existing food businesses to operate. Food trucks can operate on any land at any time with the landowners’ consent. Existing commercial kitchens can offer takeaway and delivery only, without the need for dine-in options, providing they can adhere to social distancing requirements. 

Visit planning.nsw.gov.au for more information 


2nd April Update

Opportunity for NSW businesses to help fill the medical supply chain.

The NSW Government is seeking expressions of interest from NSW businesses who can help supply or make components of urgently needed medical equipment and sanitation aids including: 

  • hand sanitiser 
  • examination gloves 
  • disinfectant and cleaning products 
  • handwash and soap 
  • masks 
  • eyewear 
  • gowns and protective overalls 
  • paper products, including toilet and tissue paper.  

Businesses:

Visit nsw.gov.au for more information.

Considerations for vulnerable workers

National Cabinet has endorsed the advice that workers classified as vulnerable to serious illness if they become unwell, must undergo a risk assessment and be redeployed to non-customer-based roles where possible. Where risk cannot be appropriately mitigated, arrangements should be considered to accommodate a workplace absence. 

People classified as vulnerable are:  

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions;  
  • 65 years and older with chronic medical conditions; 
  • 70 years and older; and 
  • those with compromised immune systems  

Visit www.health.gov.au for more information.  

JobKeeper subsidy to help eligible employers and employees stay connected

Update: sole traders may be eligible for the JobKeeper payment if their turnover has reduced relative to a comparable period one year ago.  https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business/jobkeeper-payment-for-sole-traders

Visit treasury.gov.au for more information including employer and employee eligibility guidelines

 

State and Federal Government Support

State Government

The NSW Government announced measures to support jobs, businesses and our most vulnerable in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Service NSW

Service NSW is here to help businesses impacted by COVID-19. Service NSW are working with federal, state and local government to bring together all the support and services available to assist small business. Help for businesses and workers, including COVID-19 Safety Plans to protect staff and customers, financial relief and personalised support.

NSW Fair Trading

The impact of COVID-19 is being felt by consumers and businesses across NSW as conditions are imposed to help slow the spread of the virus. Information and regular updates on customer and business rights.

NSW Food Authority

NSW Food Authority works with key agencies including local councils and NSW Health to ensure effective food safety and food quality management. COVID-19 Information and advice for food businesses.

NSW Health

The latest updates, advice and statistics for businesses to support the public health response to COVID-19.

Department of Planning, Industry & Environment

Updates on development rules to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Liquor & Gaming NSW

COVID-19 FAQs for the liquor and gaming industries.

Federal Government

Australian Government

The latest official corona virus news, updates and advice from the Australian Government can be found below. Call 13 28 46 – 7 days between 7am to 11pm.

Business.gov.au

Financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses. Call 13 28 46 - 7 days between 8am - 8pm.

Australian Government Treasury

Government assistance is available to help your business withstand the impact of the corona virus and encourage an economic recovery into the future. Call 1800 020 008 - Monday-Friday between 8.30am to 5pm.

Australian Trade and Investment Commission

Updates on markets and logistics, and links through to the Government’s extensive business support programs. Call 13 28 78.

Australian Taxation Office

Information and tailored support during COVID-19. If you have a specific question about your own circumstances, phone the Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218.

Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Targeted advice for the Agriculture sector on COVID-19 and how it affects you and your activities.

Services Australia

Information, forms, payments and services for employers and business owners.

Department of Health

If you are seeking information on coronavirus (COVID-19) or help with the COVIDSafe app,  call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

The latest information on the rights and obligations of businesses in response to events caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Call the Small Business Helpline on 1300 302 021 - Monday to Friday between 8.30am to 5.30pm.

 

 


COVID-19 Local Business Survey

The Australian Business Economic Impact Survey (ABEIS) is an initiative of REMPLAN, to respond to the rapid change experienced by businesses as a result of COVID-19 and the need for insights at a local government level.

Participating in the survey will provide Council with targeted insights around change in employment and economic impact at an industry scale.

Start Survey


 

Preparing your Business for Disasters

The NSW Small Business Commission has put together a comprehensive five step guide on how to prepare your small business for a disaster. 

Download the Five Step Guide for Preparing for Disasters

Recovering your Business from a Disaster

The NSW Small Business Commission has developed a range of resources to help small business owners recover from disasters, including their Get Back to Business Guide, which advises businesses through the early recovery stages to long- term revival. 

Download the Get Back to Business Guide

If your business needs to make a claim due to disaster disruption, access the NSW Small Business Commission's Insurance Claim Guide to ensure an easy claim process. 

Contact

For inquiries about disaster support for small businesses, contact the NSW Small Business Commission on 1300 795 534.