The following is from an update sent out on October 12 to RDA Hume stakeholders.
Please subscribe here if you would like to receive future updates from RDA Hume.
Dear valued stakeholders
We understand that this year has been challenging for our regional business community and I want to update you on the significant Victorian and Australian government support that is available to eligible local businesses. This support includes:
- Financial help: relief and support for businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Tourism accommodation support: specific support for regional tourism accommodation providers
- Finding workers: how to source agricultural workers
- Mental health and wellbeing: managing yours and your workers’ mental health
- Staying safe: Preparing a COVIDSafe Plan
- Other ways to find support: links to mentoring, training and other helpful tools
Please find further detail below for your information. I encourage you to reach out to the Hume team on 03 5722 7101 if you have further questions.
We are here to support you and all regional Victorian businesses during this time.
Cr Amanda McClaren
Chair, RDA Hume
Business Resilience package
The Victorian Government is investing $3 billion to help businesses impacted by ongoing restrictions and prepare for COVID Normal business.
$3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support will be delivered to Victorian businesses that have been most affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions .
Business Support Fund
The Victorian Government recently announced a third round of the Business Support Fund – ensuring businesses impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions continue to receive the support they need to make it through restricted trading.
Through this third round of the Business Support Fund, eligible businesses will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on a business’s annual payroll. Applications are open now through Business Victoria.
Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring
The Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring program provides small businesses with mentoring sessions to help them navigate the economic challenges posed by restrictions to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Eligible businesses can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.
Financial Counselling Support for small regional businesses
The Australian Government has expanded its Rural Financial Counselling program to assist small regional and rural businesses affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access free and confidential financial counselling.
Small business financial counsellors can help you to understand your business’ financial position, develop budgets and cash flows, create goals, access dispute resolution services, identify grants and further support .
This expanded program will run until 30 June 2021.
More information about Australian Government support for businesses and workers can also be found at the Australian Government’s business information website.
Victorian Rural Financial Counsellors across the Hume Region
102 Hume Street
Benalla & Seymour
Tourism accommodation support
Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program
The Regional Tourism Accommodation Support Program provides direct financial support to accommodation businesses in regional Victoria impacted by cancellations due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions across Victoria.
Accommodation businesses are strongly encouraged to download and read the program guidelines, available from Business Victoria.
Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Program
The Victorian Government is investing $87.5 million to prepare for COVID Normal reopening across Victoria.
Regional city councils will be eligible for up to $500,000 in assistance, while rural councils will be eligible for up to $250,000 to deliver reduced or waived permit fees, or invest in new infrastructure and equipment to support outdoor dining.
The package also includes grants of up to $5000 for hospitality businesses with an annual payroll of less than $3 million to help them adapt to outdoor dining.
The Victorian Government’s $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan provides targeted support to agriculture, food processing and critical food supply chain businesses in rural, regional and outer metropolitan areas in Victoria, who need assistance to meet their labour and operational needs during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The plan assists with recruitment support and financial support for:
- worker relocation and transport (worker accommodation and travel-to-work transport)
- worker induction and retraining; and
- business adaptation.
All Victorian businesses are required to have a COVIDSafe Plan.
Random spot checks to ensure compliance in regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne are underway.
There are six COVIDSafe principles for businesses to ensure reopening is safe, steady and sustainable.
For more information and for templates and guidance go to Business Victoria.
Other ways to find support
- Business Victoria has a business support and financial assistance finder tool to help businesses find a range of Australian and Victorian Government support initiatives.
- The Victorian Government has launched the Upskill My Business platform to give businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, free access to top online short courses and training events so they can plan for a stronger future.
- Small businesses are encouraged to access the Victorian Government’s mentoring program to help refine their business strategy, map out the direction their business can take and assist in setting goals to succeed.
Sign up to the Business Victoria newsletter to receive the latest information on initiatives and announcements that will impact your business.