Business Australia, a free national membership organisation has been inundated with calls from business owners asking for support in the wake of new restrictions to help them navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic – with an 65% increase this week to their Stimulus Advice Line.
The organisation has had such an increase in requests for advice they have created an online hub for Coronavirus, offering national and state updates as well as tools and resources for business owners trying to navigate the rapidly changing situation.
The Coronavirus hub features a newly created dedicated resource with tailored advice to support business owners in Victoria manage the impacts of stage 4 and stage 3 restrictions.
Business Australia is encouraging business owners to seek out and apply for support including:
- Operational ability: Understand if the business is permitted to operate and under what capacity.
- Government assistance: Use BA’s free business grant finder tool to browse over 1500 government grants, including additional COVID support in VIC under the Business Support Fund Expansion program via VIC Gov (nearly $600 million in additional support available)
- Right advice: Seek expert help and advice on your business’ COVID Safe plan and workplace H&S, employee management e.g. COVID Safe guides, calling the Stimulus Advice Line or Financial Distress Line
- Workers Permits: Essential workers in Victoria are required to carry a Workers Permit. Those in the private sector must apply online. This is the employer’s responsibility.
- Temporary solutions: Speak to a lawyer to get correct information on how to stand-down employees or download a free template here.
- Paid Pandemic Leave: knowing when it can be accessed, how and by whom.
Business Australia Chief Customer Experience Officer Richard Spencer is urging businesses to act quickly to protect their businesses and employees, ensuring they understand their obligations as an employer.
“This is an incredibly challenging time for businesses in Australia,” said Mr Spencer.
“With unprecedented restrictions coming into force in this second wave – particularly in Victoria – it is inevitable that we will continue to see more businesses severely impacted, or unfortunately closing, as a consequence.”
“We strongly encourage business owners and managers to seek professional advice and take advantage of available financial support to provide the best chance of riding out the crisis.”
While there is a lot to consider for businesses right now, they are not alone – Business Australia is doing its best to provide tools, resources and crucial education to help them survive,” Mr Spencer said.