Businesses & Social Services

Last updated:
23 March 2020, 11:21

Federal, state and local governments are all providing support for small businesses who are affected by novel coronavirus. The following information about support services is available for businesses.

Health advice 

Council is committed to supporting Queensland Health as the lead agency responsible for responding to COVID-19. Anyone with health concerns can call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website. Council will continue to ensure our business community is kept informed. The following support is available for businesses.

Australian Government support

There are numerous Australian Government Departments providing accurate information and resources to access support and guidance In response to the COVID-19

Health.gov.au - Australian Government health directives and resources

(Source: Health.gov.au)  

Health is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. Health.gov.au information provides daily updates, answering your questions about the latest news, current facts and figures, travel advice, key contact and phone numbers.

Business.gov.au – Australian Government business support and resources. Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses.

(Source: Business.gov.au)

www.business.gov.au/risk-management/emergency-management/coronavirus-information-and-support-for-business

Business Liaison Unit- The Australian Government has created a new Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit in Treasury to build on existing efforts to support confidence, employment and business continuity.

https://treasury.gov.au/policy-topics/business-and-industry/coronavirus-business-liaison-unit

The role of the Unit is to engage with peak business groups on systemic issues relating to Coronavirus to ensure these are being addressed by Government.

It is staffed by experienced officials drawn from agencies across the Australian Public Service and will work closely with the private sector.

It is also a source of information for business groups on the Australian Government’s response to Coronavirus and the actions that agencies are taking to support business at this difficult time. This will allow for information to be disseminated quickly and effectively across the business community.

The Unit supplements existing stakeholder relationships and liaison work undertaken by Government agencies, who will continue to engage closely with business stakeholders in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Contact Email coronavirusbusinessliaison@treasury.gov.au

Treasury.gov.auThe Australian Government through The Treasurer have announced a range of measures as an Economic Response to the Coronavirus. Keep informed with accurate information from the Australian Federal Government.

(Source: treasury.gov.au)

treasury.gov.au/coronavirus

The Government’s economic response targets three areas:

Supporting Individuals and Households: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households

The Australian Government is providing financial assistance to Australians. This assistance includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation.

Support for Businesses: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/businesses

The Australian Government is supporting Australian businesses to manage cash flow challenges and retain employees. Assistance includes cash flow support to businesses and temporary measures to provide relief for financially distressed businesses.

Supporting the flow of credit: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/business-investment

The Government, the Reserve Bank of Australia and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority have taken coordinated action to ensure the flow of credit in the Australian economy. Timely access to credit is vital for businesses to manage the impacts of the Coronavirus.

Additional resources: treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/resources

Information on how the Australian Government’s economic response could support you can be found in the fact sheets attached to this link.

Services Australia: More financial support for coronavirus affected job seekers, youth allowance, parenting payments, farm household allowance, special benefit, and crisis payments plus Medicare and mygov.com.au links. 

Information and services to help you if you’re affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) or looking for more details.

(Source: www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/subjects/affected-coronavirus-covid-19)

Learn more about:

JobSeeker Payment www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/more-financial-support-coronavirus-affected-job-seekers

Youth Allowance for job seekers www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/youth-allowance-job-seekers

Parenting Payment www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/parenting-payment

Farm Household Allowance www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/farm-household-allowance

Special Benefit www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/special-benefit

Crisis Payment www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/services/centrelink/crisis-payment


Last updated:
19 March 2020, 15:30

Visit the Australian Government business website for information and support.

Increasing the instant asset write-off - the instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or secondhand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe. 

Backing business investment - a time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. 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 cost. 

Boosting cash flow for employers - Provides $25,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff. The payment will be tax free. 

Supporting apprentices and trainees - if you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020. 

Safe Work Australia - for advice on work health and safety requirements in your workplace.

Employer and business obligations - find out how to meet your employer and business obligations and isolation requirements if you're affected by the coronavirus. 

Travelling for work - if you need to travel overseas for work, make sure have the right travel advice and know how to protect yourself and others if you're affected by the COVID-19. Make sure you and your staff check Smart Traveller prior to travelling.

Tax relief - If you are experiencing difficulties with tax obligations because of COVID-19, you can phone the Australian Taxation Office Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to your circumstances or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au

Queensland Government support 

Visit Business Queensland for small business support.

Call for advice - local teams are ready to talk you through the support and services on offer – call 1300 654 687 to find out more. 

Tell us what you need - complete the online survey to help the government understand the impact of COVID-19 on your business and assess what support you need. 

Mentoring sessions - mentors are available to provide tailored support including financial mentoring and business planning. Contact 1300 654 687 or m4g@desbt.qld.gov.au 

Financial workshops - workshops will be delivered to support a place-based approach for the local small business community. Register your interest by contacting 1300 654 687 or info@desbt.qld.gov.au 

Immediate industry recovery package - market diversification and resilience grants are available for Queensland agriculture, food and fishing exporters and their critical supply chain partners, as well as industry organisations working with exporters.  

Support for tourism operators and hospitality providers - fees and charges relief for tourism operators and hospitality providers include: waiving application fees for some variations to liquor licences, waiving registration renewal fees for inbound tour operators, waiving of daily fees for commercial activity agreements and permits, rebate on marina charges and passenger levies, deferral of Tourism Lease Rent Payments

Support for fisheries - market diversification and resilience grants will be available to support activities including, but not limited to, market evaluation studies, market visits, training, new processing equipment such as refrigeration or cryovac machines, and boat modifications necessary to meet new market requirements. The catch area for tropical rock lobster will be extended for three months to reduce operating costs for quota holders and enable alternative markets to be developed. Fishing boat licence fees and quota fees for tropical rock lobster and coral trout will be temporarily waived. For further information, fishers can contact the DAF Customer Service Centre on 13 25 23. 

Support for exporters - the $1.1 million ‘market ready’ initiative will provide tailored export advice to SMEs on leveraging opportunities in the Chinese online market, support brand development by providing market intelligence and expert advice for exporters entering new markets and host China market development forums to provide practical export advice. 

Payroll tax relief package - if your business has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be able to apply for a relief package to defer lodging and paying payroll tax returns until 31 July 2020.  

Worker transition scheme and rapid response - the Worker Transition Scheme and rapid response provides a suite of information and support services to workers who may find themselves without work as a result of business closures or redundancy programs. 

Tourism impact survey - the Queensland Government is continuing to keep a close eye on the impacts of COVID-19 on Queensland’s tourism industry, please take a few minutes to complete this short survey so there is robust information about the business impacts that are being experienced.

Work Safe Queensland - for workplace risk management information and advice.

Counselling and support

Isaac Regional Council support

Businesses that have undertaken work for council are urged to submit their invoices for receipting, processing and payment as soon as possible and preferably within seven days.

For event operators with approved permits and current applications through Isaac Regional Council, please liaise with you council contact.

Council’s Economic and Prosperity team are here to support businesses during this challenging period, please contact our Economic and Prosperity officers. By calling 1300 ISAACS (1300 47 22 27)

International information

World Health Organisation - information from across the globe on the pandemic. 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - resources for business and employers to plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19.

US Chamber of Commerce Foundation - resources on business resilience and disaster recovery.

Other useful resources

Crisis Planning - PWC offers some tips for responding to business impacts, such as crisis planning, effective communication, workforce planning and supply chain.

Legal advice - ClaytonUtz has compiled a briefing document covering workplace law, healthcare and safety, privacy, contractual compliance, insurance, tax and finance.

Financial advice - BDO has a suite of information to help you respond to COVID-19, while Westpac is offering general financial and business advice to help deal with the impacts of the virus. You do not have to be a Westpac customer to access the service, but any business already banking with Westpac may find additional services available. Email: businesspecialistsqld@westpac.com.au. For an accountant’s advice on how you can protect your small business from coronavirus head to MYOB.com

HR support - FCB Group is offering 15-minute complementary HR advice sessions for challenges associated with staffing decisions related to COVID-19. Call the hotline on (02) 9083 0033.

Insurance advice - Gallagher are offering complimentary general advice on risks affecting industry and how to obtain suitable insurance cover. Call the advice line on (07) 3002 3051. 

Crisis marketing support - tourism tribe offers free disaster recovery marketing resources to help businesses through difficult times. They have templates, online videos, articles and strategies available.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland - To assist, CCIQ have set out a information booklet in a way to address the key safety and employment issues, outlining the base position and then additional questions that may arise.

Preparing your business against coronavirus - small business Western Australia has compiled its top 6 tips to prepare your business.

Frequently asked questions - novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

(source: Queensland Health)

What is a novel coronavirus

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). However novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

It depends on the virus, but common signs include:

  • fever
  • a cough
  • sore throat
  • fatigue
  • shortness of breath

What can I do to protect myself?

To protect yourself and others from infection practice good hand and respiratory hygiene including:

  • cleaning hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs
  • covering your nose and mouth with a tissue and disposed of appropriately or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
  • avoiding contact with anyone who has symptoms such as fever, a cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath
  • staying home if you are unwell.
  • You should also try and stay at least 1.5 metres away from people coughing or sneezing.