State and Federal Government Support during COVID-19

Many businesses and stakeholders are experiencing challenges in navigating the various program and support streams available. 

Below is a summary of key programs and resources available to business in Victoria that may assist when communicating with your stakeholders.   

Apply now for your free thermometer for Local Bussinesses

The Victorian Government has provided Council with a limited supply of high grade thermometers for local businesses. These thermometers are a further preventative measure you can take to help keep your staff and customers safe. 

Eligibility criteria includes: 

  • Businesses currently operating with 5 staff or more
  • Businesses that have not been able to source a thermometer already

If you would like to claim your free thermometer please provide the following details: 

  • Your name
  • Business name and ABN
  • Business address
  • Contact number
  • Number of staff currently working

Applications close on Friday 18 September 2020.

Translated text - support for businesses during COVID-19 restrictions

Stage 3 Restrictions re-introduced (30 June) - grants available

 As announced on Tuesday 30 June 2020, specific postcodes in Victoria will return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This includes:


Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham, West Footscray


Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore

The return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions mean that businesses such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, live music, entertainment venues and other businesses can no longer operate as they would like.

Businesses that are operating within a postcode affected by the return to Stage 3 restrictions are eligible for a one-off, $5,000 grant to help them get through to the other side of the local lockdown.

This program closes 31 July 2020.

Please read the information carefully on the Business Victoria site for further information.

Businesses can register their interest from today. Applications will be up and running within days.



The JobKeeper Payment

Businesses significantly impacted by the Coronavirus outbreak will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees through the JobKeeper payment. This assistance will help businesses to keep people in their jobs and re-start when the crisis is over.

For employees, this means they can keep their job and earn an income – even if their hours have been cut.  The JobKeeper payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus. The JobKeeper Payment will also be available to the self-employed. The Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months. Businesses can register at this ATO

For more information if you are an employer click here and for more information if you are an employee click here.  

Visit The Australian Treasury for more information.

COVID-19 Support for Sole Traders

The JobKeeper Payment for Businesses without Employees:

Sole traders may be eligible to receive the JobKeeper Payment if their turnover has reduced. Learn more about JobKeeper Payment for sole traders.

The increased instant asset write-off

Under normal circumstances, individual assets less than $30,000 are eligible for the instant asset write off. The Government has lifted this threshold to $150,000 for assets that are either installed or ready for first use by 30 June 2020.  Read more about the increased instant asset write-off .

Backing Business Investment (BBI)

A time limited 15 month investment incentive (through to 30 June 2021) to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost.  Learn more about Backing Business Investment.

Increased and accelerated income support

The Government is temporarily expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time-limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months. Find out about the increased and accelerated income support.

Assistance for affected regions, communities and industries

The Government has created an initial $1 billion support fund to provide assistance to industries and regions severely affected by the economic impacts of Coronavirus.  Read more about the assistance for affected regions, communities and industries.

SME Guarantee Scheme

This will provide businesses with funding to meet immediate cash flow needs, by further enhancing lenders’ willingness and ability to provide credit. Businesses with a turnover of up to $50 million will be eligible to receive these loans. Learn more about the Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

Early access to superannuation

You can access up to $10,000 of your superannuation in 2019-20 and a further $10,000 in 2020-21. You will be able to apply for early release of your superannuation from mid-April 2020.  Read more about early access to your superannuation.

Tax support

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) is providing relief for some tax obligations for businesses affected by the outbreak, on a case-by-case basis. Contact the ATO’s Emergency Support Infoline for businesses on 1800 806 218 for more information or to request this help.

COVID19 Manufacturer Response Register Portal

The Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC)'s portal for Australian manufacturing, component suppliers and skilled design, engineering and manufacturing experts enables manufacturers to register their interest and core competencies in support of the national response to COVID-19. 

For more information visit the COVID19 Manufacturer Response Register Portal.

Accelerating Commercialisation Grants Announced

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Karen Andrews MP, recently announced that another ten businesses have been offered Accelerating Commercialisation grants under the Entrepreneurs' Programme.

Accelerating Commercialisation helps Australian entrepreneurs, researchers, inventors and start-ups reach their potential sooner, which in turn boosts jobs and economic growth. Aiming to:

  • Accelerate the commercialisation of novel intellectual property in the form of new products, processes and services
  • Support new businesses based on novel intellectual property with high growth potential
  • Generate greater commercial and economic returns from both public and private sector research and facilitate investment to drive business growth and competitiveness.

For more information on the grant recipients and to learn how to apply, visit

Victorian Government’s NEW Business Support Fund

Business Support Fund applications are now open as part of the Victorian Government’s Economic Survival and Jobs Package. 

Firms are eligible for $10,000 if they:

•    Employ staff,
•    Are highly impacted by COVID-19 business restrictions.
•    Have a turnover of more than $75,000.
•    Have a payroll of less than $650,000.

Click here for more information.

Stage 3 Restrictions in Victoria

For information about the current stage 3 restrictions in Victoria please visit the Victorian Government and the DHHS websites.

Otherwise you can also call the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services on 1300 650 172. 


What is an Essential Service?

The AusIndustry national Contact Centre has been getting numerous enquiries about what constitutes an Essential Service. Currently there is NO national definition.

Click here to view the list of firms / industries that are designated NON-ESSENTIAL (and have already been ordered to close down).

 Until further notice, all remaining businesses can and should keep operating where possible (as long as social distancing measures are adhered to).

 For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health.

Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020

The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, today released the guidelines for the Energy Efficient Communities Program - Community Energy Efficiency and Solar Grants 2020.

This will assist businesses and community organisations to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies and to better manage energy consumption to reduce their power bills through:

  • Energy generation and storage systems.
  • Equipment upgrades that reduce energy consumption.
  • Energy audits.
  • There is an estimated $3.8 million available and the grant amount will be up to 100% of eligible project costs, with a minimum grant amount of $1,000 and maximum $12,500. 

There will be a maximum of two projects funded per electorate with the first two eligible projects per electorate funded. An eligible application will not automatically be approved. We will decide which grants to approve taking into account submission time and date and distribution across federal electoral divisions.

Before applying, applicants should check to see if we have already received enough applications from the applicant’s electorate. The website will be updated regularly.

The program closes on 18 May 2020, and all details including eligibility requirements can be found at

Mental Health Support

If you know of anyone that you are concerned about in relation to their mental wellbeing, some of the supporting groups are:

  • Salvation Army (Disasters and emergencies support) - phone 1300 662 217
  • Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 13 11 14
  • Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1300 224 636
  • Headspace  (Youth mental health and wellbeing) - phone 1800 650 890

Cash Flow to Pay Bills

If your small or medium-sized business employs staff and has an aggregated annual turnover under $50 million, you may be eligible for two sets of cash flow boosts up to $100,000.  These payments are designed to help keep businesses operating, pay rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.

Click here for information.

Hospitality Business Grant

This program supports larger food service businesses with an annual payroll of greater than $3 million and lower than $10 million in financial year 2019-20. Eligible businesses will be provided with a one-off grant of: 

  • $25,000 to pay for business costs to support the continued operation of the business – available for businesses in Melbourne and regional Victoria 
  • An additional $5,000 for each additional premises located within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, capped at a total of $20,000 
  • Businesses with premises located in Melbourne CBD (postcodes 3000, 3005, 3006 and 3008) may also be eligible for an additional $20,000 grant to help them through the large and sustained shock to the trading environment. 

Note -  if you are a CBD business you may be eligible to receive up to $65,000 under this program, made up of: (i) the $25,000 grant, (ii) an extra $5,000 grant for each additional premises located within Victoria (capped at a total of $20,000) and (iii) a $20,000 grant if your business is located in postcode 3000, 3005, 3006 or 3008.