We know that many businesses are doing it tough and are having to react and adapt to rapidly changing restrictions.
The information provided on this page is from the Australian and Victorian governments, Council and other agencies, and is the most current information available for businesses in the shire.
You can also keep up-to-date with information about the pandemic from:
Call (03) 5421 9616 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions as to how we can further support our local business community.
Farmers and producers are vital to all Victorian communities. Find out the latest advice for your agribusiness from Agriculture Victoria
Agriculture Workforce Plan
The $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan is helping Victorian businesses meet their labour and business operation needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Find out more
In order to fully understand the effect that COVID-19 is having on local businesses, both positive and negative, a business impact survey was recently conducted. The survey closed on 31 July and the results are being analysed and used to inform decision making.
To identify business impact trends as restrictions continue to have an effect, a second survey commenced on 1 September. Due to Council elections and restrictions around communications during the caretaker period, the survey will close between 5pm, 21 September and 8.30am, 25 October. It will then remain open until 30 November.
Subsequent surveys will be undertaken quarterly. All local businesses are urged to participate in each survey to ensure that the data is comprehensive. Your time is appreciated.
Have your say
Small Business Victoria workshops
Council is now a Small Business Victoria workshop host. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these workshops are free and will be delivered online.
The workshops being delivered are focused on addressing some of the needs of the business community as restrictions are beginning to ease and recovery becomes the key focus for many.
Find out more
Small Business Bus
The Small Business Bus usually visits the shire twice a year to provide face to face mentoring delivered by experts from the Small Business Mentoring Service. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, mentoring will take place online. Dates available for businesses in the Macedon Ranges are 28 September to 1 October between 10am and 4pm.
Bookings are essential.
Online business resilience program
The Australian Small Business Advisory Service (ASBAS) and Melbourne Innovation Centre launched an online Business Resilience program.
This program is designed to assist Victorian small businesses affected by COVID-19. Support includes free access to virtual mentoring, online workshops and resources.
Businesses must be Victorian for-profit, have an active ABN and less than 20 employees to participate in this program.
Find out more about workshops
Also on offer is up to four hours of mentoring, delivered in 2 x 2 hour sessions. Examples of discussions include COVID-19 best practices for small business, developing a crisis management plan, digital transformation and communicating with your customers during COVID-19. This program concludes 30 September.
Find out more about mentoring
Places are limited and bookings are essential.
Australian Taxation Office
Webinars for small business
The Australian Taxation Office has split their current free small business webinar series into different session topics that cover both general and industry-specific areas of tax obligations. Each session runs for approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
These sessions are of interest if you:
- are starting a new business or just thinking about starting one
- want to update your knowledge
- work in any of the industry-specific areas advertised.
Find out more
It has been wonderful to see so much adaptability and creativity recently, with many businesses changing to online services and providing take away and delivery options where possible.
To help encourage a greater focus on local shopping, Council is participating in a nationwide campaign initiated by the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA). The GO LOCAL FIRST campaign will be rolled out on outdoor, broadcast, print and digital advertising over the next six months with the simple call to action for Australians to spend locally first.
Find out more
If you have any questions about workplace entitlements, the Fair Work Ombudsman has advice about rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Council financial support measures
These new financial support measures take effect immediately and will assist the community, residents, businesses, staff and sporting clubs.
Australian Government support
Find a full listing of Australian Government support and information including business and employer information.
Managing cash flow and retaining employees
The Australian Government Treasury has information on how to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees during this difficult time.
- JobKeeper payment
- Boosting cash flow for employers
- Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
- Increasing the instant asset write-off
- Backing business investment
- Supporting apprentices and trainees
- Business Liaison Unit
State Government support
Grants for food production businesses
The Victorian Government has launched the Business Adaptation grants program to support food supply chain businesses in making their workplace safe and keeping supply chains uninterrupted. Individual grants from $10,000 to $300,000 are available.
Find out more
Upskill my business
The Victorian Government has launched Upskill My Business in partnership with key industry groups and education providers.The online programs, short courses and events cover topics ranging from business innovation and staff development to export preparation – important areas of development that can help shape the future of businesses and individuals.
Find out more
Coronavirus business support and financial assistance finder
A range of assistance is available from the Australian and Victorian governments and other organisations to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. The finder will ask you a series of questions to help you find the funding or support available to you based on your circumstances.
Business Victoria financial assistance and support
Business Victoria has a range of advice, updates and support to help with your workforce plan and response to COVID-19.
Advice for landlords and agents
If your tenant is having difficulty paying rent due to COVID-19, find out what help is available from the Victorian Small Business Commission
NBN Co has announced it has established a relief and assistance package(PDF, 174KB) . To find out the latest updates, working from home tips and FAQs, visit the nbn project blog.
All businesses should follow advice from the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19):
Find out more
The shire-wide Recovery Operations Centre (ROC) is a centralised service for residents and businesses to ask for support, request information, offer assistance or put forward recovery ideas and suggestions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Restrictions are in place but changing frequently. Visit Business Victoria for latest advice on how to operate under the current COVID-19 restrictions or you can also call their coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15.
Small Business Survival Plan
Join Small Business Australia free and get a copy of the ‘5- step Small Business Survival Plan: How to stay in business and reach the other side’. You will also get access to their small business news, expert advice and grant opportunities via a monthly update. Join now.
The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), an industry body for the tourism and events sector, is waiving membership fees for 'In the Loop' and 'Essentials' membership packages. They will also be providing additional services including training credit to courses provided by the Victorian Chamber.
If you are looking for work, or run a business and are looking for workers, find out how to register your interest in the Working for Victoria program.
As we move closer to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it’s vital to recognise that this has been, and may continue to be, a hard time for some in our community. No two people will react in exactly the same way at the same time, but it is important to be prepared with information about what people can do and what supports are available if needed. The following resources may be helpful.
Heads up is a guide outlining actions you can take to support a client, customer, family member or friend, including:
- Who to contact for immediate support
- What are the symptoms of poor mental health and wellbeing
- How to speak with someone you're concerned about
- How to help small business owners take action
- How to look after your own mental health
An initiative on behalf of the Mentally Healthy Workplace Alliance and Beyond Blue.
Ahead for Business
Ahead for Business includes a website and app for small business owners.
The website connects small business owners with information, programs and interventions that can help with planning, managing every day business stressors and taking action for mental health challenges.
National Debt Helpline
If you are experiencing financial difficulties, the National Debt Helpline offers free financial counselling.