Business Support Network

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

If the drought, bush fires and floods were not enough, local business is now facing probably its biggest challenge yet brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Business Support Network has been established as part of the Bellingen Shire COVID-19 Pandemic Response Group and is focusing on supporting our business community. The Network consists of representatives from the Bellingen, Urunga-Mylestom and Dorrigo Chambers of Commerce and is supported by Bellingen Shire Council. The role of the Network is to assist businesses with practical support, information, connection and resources to help get through the Covid-19 economic crisis.

Information and updates as to what is available to small business, including Federal and State economic stimulus and support packages, is provided in the 'Economic Assistance' folder on the right-hand side of this page. Every attempt will be made to keep this updated as information comes through.

There is also a 'Tools and Resources ' folder for businesses to consider other ways they may be able to adapt or transition during the coronavirus. It also provides links to agencies and other information generally regarding employers and employees. Australian Business has recently released an Employer Guide to Coronavirus FAQs that is worth taking a look.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION - UPDATED 23 June 2020

New Recovery Grants to Help Small Business Reopen in a Post COVID World

Funding of up to $3,000 will be available under a new Small Business Recovery Grant.

Applications will open on 1 July to help businesses safely relaunch their operations with funds remaining from the $750 million Small Business Support Fund. The grants can be used to cover marketing and advertising expenses, make fit-out changes and train staff in how to work safely under the current health conditions.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday 16 August. For more information, refer to the media release in the Economic Assistance Folder or go to the Services NSW website.


Essential Energy Information and Support for Businesses and Households - Updated 15 June 2020

In addition to ensuring Essential Energy manage the physical impact of COVID-19, they are also working hard to support households and small businesses in economic hardship as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.

Essential Energy, along with other electricity businesses across Australia, have been working with electricity retailers to confirm a financial support package for residential customers who find themselves in financial hardship during COVID-19.

The package provides, for those customers in hardship, the ability for:

  • Small retailers to not pay network businesses for the network charge component of a residential or small business customer bill
  • Large retailers to have longer to pay network businesses for the network charge component of a residential customer bill, and, for small business customers, to not have to pay the network charge component at all

The package was initiated in April and will continue through to the end of June. As always, residential and small business customers in financial hardship should contact their retailer to discuss their needs, options and eligibility for support.

In addition, Essential Energy is not disconnecting any customer who cannot afford to pay their power bill during the pandemic, and the temporary suspension of disconnection and reconnection fees for any small business customer in financial stress, or who has temporarily stopped trading as a result of COVID-19, remains in place.

Finally, as the pandemic continues, all planned work continues to be risk assessed prior to going ahead, with not only COVID-19 considerations reviewed, including extra PPE and crew safety, but also the number of customers impacted, as many of our customers are working from home.

Further information is available on the Essential Energy website.


Proposed Economic Stimulus Projects - $145k - 9 June 2020

Council recently allocated $145,000 for some economic stimulus projects.

We are seeking your input on what strategies you think would deliver the most assistance to our local economy within the allocated budget.

There is also an opportunity to suggest additional projects within the survey.

Please review the document located under the library and consider the projects listed. Once you have reviewed the document, click on the survey to provide your input.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5TTCL5S


AGL's Farmers and Business Assistance Packages - 11 June 2020

AGL are currently offering two assistance packages until 30 June. These include the Drought Relief Assistance Package and Solar Assistance for Farmers and Rural Business.

For more information go to:

Drought Relief Assistance - https://www.agl.com.au/newcampaigns/sponsorship/farmers/campaign-drought-assistance

Solar Assistance - https://www.agl.com.au/newcampaigns/sponsorship/farmers/campaign-solar-assistance

The information is also available in the Economic Assistance folder on the right hand side.


JOBS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE START - announced 30 April

ISS Cleaning Services urgently need to fill 150 plus positions on the Mid North and North Coast of NSW in cleaning roles for schools in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Ballina.

Work will be for 3 - 4 hours a day between the hours of 10am and 3pm, five days a week paid at $26.03 per hour. There is a minimum criteria requirement. For more information please go to School cleaning jobs on Mid North Coast and North Coast of NSW.


THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE PROVIDES ALTERNATIVE TESTS SO MORE BUSINESSES CAN BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER SCHEME - announced April 24

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has provided alternative means to assess the criteria for the fall in turnover for businesses. This will increase the number of businesses eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme that might otherwise not meet the existing eligibility test.

Refer to the ATO website for more information - https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/eligible-employers/ .


$10,000 BUSHFIRE GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS EXPANDED TO 30 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS - Announced 22 April

Small businesses impacted by the recent bushfires will receive more support with the expansion of the $10,000 grants to 13 additional Local Government Areas (LGAs). Announced today by Federal Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro, the much needed support will be extended to additional LGAs that have suffered hardship as a result of the recent bushfires. This now includes Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Local Government Areas.

Refer to the Economic Assistance folder for more information.


SLASHED LICENCE FEES A BIG WIN FOR BUSINESSES - Announced 15 April

Up to 200,000 licence holders operating across the trades and construction sectors will not have to pay up to $50 million worth of licence fees, thanks to the NSW Government. It gives eligible businesses in the entertainment and hospitality sectors access to a 12-month waiver on liquor licences and certain SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading fees and charges.

For more information refer to the media release in the Economic Assistance folder.


NSW GOVERNMENT OFFERS $440 MILLION LAND TAX BREAK TO SUPPORT TENANTS AND LANDLORDS

NSW commercial tenants significantly impacted by COVID-19 will have greater protection from evictions with the State Government set to enact the National Cabinet Code of Conduct as part of a $440 million land tax relief package.

The measures will apply to commercial leases where the tenant is in financial distress due to COVID-19, including but not limited to shops, cafes, gyms, hairdressers, restaurants, offices, warehouses and industrial sites.

For more information refer to media announcement in the Economic Assistance Folder.


$130 billion Job Keeper Package - Announced 9 April

Last night, the Federal Government passed legislation in support of the $130 billion Job Keeper Package. Payments will be made to employers for up to six months during the coronavirus-fuelled economic downturn, starting from next month. Payments will be back-dated to the end of March.

See link for more information - Federal Government passes $130 billion Job Keeper legislation


NSW BUSINESSES TO BENEFIT FROM TODAY AS PAYROLL TAX MEASURES TAKE EFFECT - Announced 7 April

The NSW Government has deferred payroll tax payments for all businesses for six months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less will also be eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in their annual liabilities for 2019-20, when they complete their annual reconciliation.

For more information go to the Economic Assistance folder on the right hand side of the webpage.


FREE TAFE COURSES TO SUPPORT NSW IN PANDEMIC - Announced 6 April

A suite of 21 fee-free TAFE NSW short courses are available online to assist anyone across the State who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 21 short courses include but not limited to:

  • eMarketing for Small Business
  • Engaging Customers Using Social Media
  • Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Computing Skills

For more information refer to TAFE NSW - Fee Free Courses.

$10,000 Small Business Grants - Announced 3 April

The NSW Government has this morning announced a Small Business Grant to help provide some relief of the financial burden affecting small business.

This is a great opportunity to get some financial support quickly for those who meet the criteria. The funding is targeted at businesses between 1 – 19 employees. Applications will open in approximately 2 weeks’ time and be received through Service NSW.

Refer to the 'Economic Assistance folder' for the latest media release.


Government Announces Funding boost to support Australian Exporters and Tourism Businesses

The Morrison Government will inject an extra $49.8 million into the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program in the 2019-20 financial year, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services around the world.

Refer to 'Economic Assistance folder' for media release.


JOB KEEPER PAYMENTS INCLUDING SOLE TRADERS - announced 30 March 2020

Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of six months.

Eligible sole traders will be granted access to the job seeker allowance, which now includes an additional coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for the next six months.

Refer to the State Government Support Packages document in the 'Economic Assistance folder' for more information.


The Business Support Network will, where possible, provide information on current local employment opportunities to further support those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. See below for more information.


BUSINESS HOTLINE AND CONTACT INFORMATION CENTRE

Council is also having to adapt its business model in response to the coronavirus. The Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre has been temporarily remodelled into the Business Information Centre - providing assistance to businesses during the crisis. The Centre is re-engaging our cohort of volunteers to work with us in helping to deliver business support. The Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre will re-open when it is safe to do so.

A Business Hotline has been provided for general information and guidance. The number is 02 6655 1522 or email bushelpcv19@gmail.com.


If the drought, bush fires and floods were not enough, local business is now facing probably its biggest challenge yet brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Business Support Network has been established as part of the Bellingen Shire COVID-19 Pandemic Response Group and is focusing on supporting our business community. The Network consists of representatives from the Bellingen, Urunga-Mylestom and Dorrigo Chambers of Commerce and is supported by Bellingen Shire Council. The role of the Network is to assist businesses with practical support, information, connection and resources to help get through the Covid-19 economic crisis.

Information and updates as to what is available to small business, including Federal and State economic stimulus and support packages, is provided in the 'Economic Assistance' folder on the right-hand side of this page. Every attempt will be made to keep this updated as information comes through.

There is also a 'Tools and Resources ' folder for businesses to consider other ways they may be able to adapt or transition during the coronavirus. It also provides links to agencies and other information generally regarding employers and employees. Australian Business has recently released an Employer Guide to Coronavirus FAQs that is worth taking a look.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION - UPDATED 23 June 2020

New Recovery Grants to Help Small Business Reopen in a Post COVID World

Funding of up to $3,000 will be available under a new Small Business Recovery Grant.

Applications will open on 1 July to help businesses safely relaunch their operations with funds remaining from the $750 million Small Business Support Fund. The grants can be used to cover marketing and advertising expenses, make fit-out changes and train staff in how to work safely under the current health conditions.

Applications will be accepted until Sunday 16 August. For more information, refer to the media release in the Economic Assistance Folder or go to the Services NSW website.


Essential Energy Information and Support for Businesses and Households - Updated 15 June 2020

In addition to ensuring Essential Energy manage the physical impact of COVID-19, they are also working hard to support households and small businesses in economic hardship as the Coronavirus pandemic continues.

Essential Energy, along with other electricity businesses across Australia, have been working with electricity retailers to confirm a financial support package for residential customers who find themselves in financial hardship during COVID-19.

The package provides, for those customers in hardship, the ability for:

  • Small retailers to not pay network businesses for the network charge component of a residential or small business customer bill
  • Large retailers to have longer to pay network businesses for the network charge component of a residential customer bill, and, for small business customers, to not have to pay the network charge component at all

The package was initiated in April and will continue through to the end of June. As always, residential and small business customers in financial hardship should contact their retailer to discuss their needs, options and eligibility for support.

In addition, Essential Energy is not disconnecting any customer who cannot afford to pay their power bill during the pandemic, and the temporary suspension of disconnection and reconnection fees for any small business customer in financial stress, or who has temporarily stopped trading as a result of COVID-19, remains in place.

Finally, as the pandemic continues, all planned work continues to be risk assessed prior to going ahead, with not only COVID-19 considerations reviewed, including extra PPE and crew safety, but also the number of customers impacted, as many of our customers are working from home.

Further information is available on the Essential Energy website.


Proposed Economic Stimulus Projects - $145k - 9 June 2020

Council recently allocated $145,000 for some economic stimulus projects.

We are seeking your input on what strategies you think would deliver the most assistance to our local economy within the allocated budget.

There is also an opportunity to suggest additional projects within the survey.

Please review the document located under the library and consider the projects listed. Once you have reviewed the document, click on the survey to provide your input.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5TTCL5S


AGL's Farmers and Business Assistance Packages - 11 June 2020

AGL are currently offering two assistance packages until 30 June. These include the Drought Relief Assistance Package and Solar Assistance for Farmers and Rural Business.

For more information go to:

Drought Relief Assistance - https://www.agl.com.au/newcampaigns/sponsorship/farmers/campaign-drought-assistance

Solar Assistance - https://www.agl.com.au/newcampaigns/sponsorship/farmers/campaign-solar-assistance

The information is also available in the Economic Assistance folder on the right hand side.


JOBS AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE START - announced 30 April

ISS Cleaning Services urgently need to fill 150 plus positions on the Mid North and North Coast of NSW in cleaning roles for schools in Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Ballina.

Work will be for 3 - 4 hours a day between the hours of 10am and 3pm, five days a week paid at $26.03 per hour. There is a minimum criteria requirement. For more information please go to School cleaning jobs on Mid North Coast and North Coast of NSW.


THE AUSTRALIAN TAX OFFICE PROVIDES ALTERNATIVE TESTS SO MORE BUSINESSES CAN BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE JOBKEEPER SCHEME - announced April 24

The Australian Tax Office (ATO) has provided alternative means to assess the criteria for the fall in turnover for businesses. This will increase the number of businesses eligible for the JobKeeper Scheme that might otherwise not meet the existing eligibility test.

Refer to the ATO website for more information - https://www.ato.gov.au/general/jobkeeper-payment/employers/eligible-employers/ .


$10,000 BUSHFIRE GRANTS FOR SMALL BUSINESS EXPANDED TO 30 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREAS - Announced 22 April

Small businesses impacted by the recent bushfires will receive more support with the expansion of the $10,000 grants to 13 additional Local Government Areas (LGAs). Announced today by Federal Minister for Emergency Management, David Littleproud and NSW Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for Disaster Recovery John Barilaro, the much needed support will be extended to additional LGAs that have suffered hardship as a result of the recent bushfires. This now includes Bellingen and Coffs Harbour Local Government Areas.

Refer to the Economic Assistance folder for more information.


SLASHED LICENCE FEES A BIG WIN FOR BUSINESSES - Announced 15 April

Up to 200,000 licence holders operating across the trades and construction sectors will not have to pay up to $50 million worth of licence fees, thanks to the NSW Government. It gives eligible businesses in the entertainment and hospitality sectors access to a 12-month waiver on liquor licences and certain SafeWork NSW and NSW Fair Trading fees and charges.

For more information refer to the media release in the Economic Assistance folder.


NSW GOVERNMENT OFFERS $440 MILLION LAND TAX BREAK TO SUPPORT TENANTS AND LANDLORDS

NSW commercial tenants significantly impacted by COVID-19 will have greater protection from evictions with the State Government set to enact the National Cabinet Code of Conduct as part of a $440 million land tax relief package.

The measures will apply to commercial leases where the tenant is in financial distress due to COVID-19, including but not limited to shops, cafes, gyms, hairdressers, restaurants, offices, warehouses and industrial sites.

For more information refer to media announcement in the Economic Assistance Folder.


$130 billion Job Keeper Package - Announced 9 April

Last night, the Federal Government passed legislation in support of the $130 billion Job Keeper Package. Payments will be made to employers for up to six months during the coronavirus-fuelled economic downturn, starting from next month. Payments will be back-dated to the end of March.

See link for more information - Federal Government passes $130 billion Job Keeper legislation


NSW BUSINESSES TO BENEFIT FROM TODAY AS PAYROLL TAX MEASURES TAKE EFFECT - Announced 7 April

The NSW Government has deferred payroll tax payments for all businesses for six months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with payrolls of $10 million or less will also be eligible for a 25 per cent reduction in their annual liabilities for 2019-20, when they complete their annual reconciliation.

For more information go to the Economic Assistance folder on the right hand side of the webpage.


FREE TAFE COURSES TO SUPPORT NSW IN PANDEMIC - Announced 6 April

A suite of 21 fee-free TAFE NSW short courses are available online to assist anyone across the State who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The 21 short courses include but not limited to:

  • eMarketing for Small Business
  • Engaging Customers Using Social Media
  • Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Computing Skills

For more information refer to TAFE NSW - Fee Free Courses.

$10,000 Small Business Grants - Announced 3 April

The NSW Government has this morning announced a Small Business Grant to help provide some relief of the financial burden affecting small business.

This is a great opportunity to get some financial support quickly for those who meet the criteria. The funding is targeted at businesses between 1 – 19 employees. Applications will open in approximately 2 weeks’ time and be received through Service NSW.

Refer to the 'Economic Assistance folder' for the latest media release.


Government Announces Funding boost to support Australian Exporters and Tourism Businesses

The Morrison Government will inject an extra $49.8 million into the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) program in the 2019-20 financial year, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services around the world.

Refer to 'Economic Assistance folder' for media release.


JOB KEEPER PAYMENTS INCLUDING SOLE TRADERS - announced 30 March 2020

Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of six months.

Eligible sole traders will be granted access to the job seeker allowance, which now includes an additional coronavirus supplement of $550 per fortnight for the next six months.

Refer to the State Government Support Packages document in the 'Economic Assistance folder' for more information.


The Business Support Network will, where possible, provide information on current local employment opportunities to further support those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. See below for more information.


BUSINESS HOTLINE AND CONTACT INFORMATION CENTRE

Council is also having to adapt its business model in response to the coronavirus. The Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre has been temporarily remodelled into the Business Information Centre - providing assistance to businesses during the crisis. The Centre is re-engaging our cohort of volunteers to work with us in helping to deliver business support. The Waterfall Way Visitor Information Centre will re-open when it is safe to do so.

A Business Hotline has been provided for general information and guidance. The number is 02 6655 1522 or email bushelpcv19@gmail.com.