When times change, it is important to stay informed. Things continue to change. Hang in there….
C4EM are working hard to keep you informed, and help you access support in the most streamlined way possible.
This is a list of business-related information from reliable sources to help you during the COVID-19 Pandemic from a Federal, State (NSW & Vic) and local level further to the announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on 30 March 2020, considered Stage 3 of restrictions.
This information is current as Monday 31 March 2020 at Noon
(New) For business owners: The Job Keeper Payment is a subsidy which will keep more Australians in jobs through the course of the coronavirus outbreak.
- The payment will be paid to employers, for up to six months, for each eligible employee that was on their books on 1 March 2020 and is retained or continues to be engaged by that employer.
- Employers will receive a payment of $1,500 per fortnight per eligible employee. Every eligible employee must receive at least $1,500 per fortnight from this business, before tax.
- Self-employed individuals are also eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment.
- Eligible businesses can apply for the payment online.
- Read the Fact Sheet and register your interest online via ato.gov.au
(New) For individuals: Income support partner pay income test
- Over the next six months the Government is temporarily expanding access to income support payments and establishing a Coronavirus Supplement of $550 per fortnight.
- JobSeeker Payment is subject to a partner income test, and today the Government is temporarily relaxing the partner income test to ensure that an eligible person can receive the JobSeeker Payment, and associated Coronavirus Supplement, providing their partner earns less than $3,068 per fortnight, around $79,762 per annum.
- The personal income test for individuals on JobSeeker Payment will still apply.
- You can register your intention to claim here:
(New) Commercial Tenancies:
- National Cabinet agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus. Read the detail here:
- Commercial tenants, landlords and financial institutions are encouraged to sit down together to find a way through to ensure that businesses can survive and be there on the other side. As part of this, National Cabinet agreed to a common set of principles, endorsed by Treasurers, to underpin and govern intervention to aid commercial tenancies
(Updated:) Other things to note:
- New restrictions on business and ‘Places of social gathering’ now apply. You should read this in conjunction with how your state regulations about how this takes effect in NSW and Victoria. This applies from midnight 30 March.
- Avoid non-essential travel of any type. Australians should stay at home, unless shopping for essentials, attending medical or exercising with 1 other person. In short, just stay at home.
- business.gov.au can provide general information via their contact Centre. Phone: 13 28 46 from 7 am to 9 pm daily. Nina’s big tip: You may spend a lot of time online and then be referred to the website or the ATO.
- Services Australia (Centrelink) can be contacted via one of their self-service options, or you can phone them on 13 24 68, but expect long wait times. Do not attend the local office.
- The ATO can help with hardship arrangements or deferral of payments. You can phone them on Ph: 1800 806 218, read more or email them.
- Note: ATO does not apply relief automatically, so get in contact with them and your accountant to better understand how it all works.
- Read the ‘FAQ’ section for specific information about individuals and business.
- Fair Work Australia is now providing updates on employee/employer rights here including flexible work, using leave, standing down employees and ending employment.
- Information for Job Service Providers
- General advice for business continuity can be found here:
- Good templates for Emergency Management and Recovery can be found here
NSW Government Information and Support:
- General information from the NSW Government
- Confused about who can stay open, closed or restricted? Here is a list:
- Support for small business. You can call the NSW Business Concierge 24/7 on 13 77 88 for personalised advice on financial and business support.
- The NSW Small Business Commissioner has some very handy information on things like your employer obligations, and advice for financial hardship
- Job opportunities at Services NSW. Register here:
- Border Closures exist elsewhere, but not in Echuca Moama. Have other Cross-Border issues? Phone: 02 6926 8620 or Email to find more info.
- This is the latest update from the Victorian Premier-Stage 3 is now in place.
- Business Victoria can help with financial support and advice.
- The Business Support Fund is now open. Ring them on Ph: 13 22 15 or click through to register.
- The Victorian Government Job matching service for people displaced from work is now open: Register here
- This is a one-stop-shop of info from the Victorian Government (DHHS) There are useful downloadable resources for your workplace in various languages for your workplace.
- Murray River Council has a Rates Hardship Policy and Form that may help you down the track, or read their latest update here:
- Campaspe Shire Council update on COVID-19 can be found here. They have just released a new online form for Rate Hardship here:
Other resources that will help:
Need to ask for payment extensions?
A big range of letter templates are here:
Need Help with from your bank?
Australian banks will now defer loan repayments for 98% of all businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.
All banks have a dedicated hardship phone line you can call to discuss your situation, and easy on-line forms to get in contact with them.
Visit here for a comprehensive list of contact details and current information that will help, including support for commercial landlords.
This Fact Sheet from the Australian Banking Association can help start the conversation and options you might consider to ‘take the pressure off’ with your bank.
Nina’s Big Tip: Don’t stick your head in the sand. Get on the phone to your Bank Manager ASAP, and get a game plan in place.
Victoria Chamber of Commerce:
have a very useful guide about a range of things like making sure your staff are safe when working from home. This has been updated yesterday. (Updated yesterday)
Free landline calls for pensioners, free data to home and small business customers, and no late fees. Register via the Telstra 24/7 App. It is quick and easy. Read more here:
Keeping up to date, and taking action:
- Read or watch the ABC live update here. Do not rely on social media as a primary source of information. When in doubt, always refer to the primary government source. If in doubt, ring us and we can help find the right info.
- The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has some handy videos you can watch such as explaining how the Job Keeper support works.
- Having dramas with your landlord or anything else? Contact them here
and in closing…..
A BIG note of gratitude to the wonderful staff and board of Echuca Regional Health. We are in good hands!
A MASSIVE high five to Moama Bowling Club for stepping up during very trying circumstances of their own.
Please stay in contact with us. Tell us you are going. We will keep sending out these updates as fresh information comes to hand.
Email me here or sometimes a yarn will help too: 0409 804 415
Nina O’Brien on behalf of the C4EM Board
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