Support and information for businesses during COVID-19

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Are you a local business looking for:

  • what support is available,
  • information on the latest restrictions and
  • help to plan and respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic?

Victorian Government information on restrictions, support and requirements for businesses can be found on the Business Victoria COVID-19 page.

Other useful resources for businesses: 

 Shire Support for Local Business

Business support package

The Shire has developed a business support package(PDF, 2MB) designed to help the local community through the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. 

Phone 1300 850 600 or email business@mornpen.vic.gov.au to learn more.

The  Shire's Funding Finder lists funding opportunities provided by state, federal and philanthropic grant programs, including all COVID-19 funding support.

Federal and State guidelines for businesses are being updated regularly. Subscribe to receive the MP Business newsletters and stay up to date.

Free training and advice for your business

A wide range of free business resources  are collated on the Shire’s MPbusiness website.

  • Free Business Webinars on topics such as: finance fundamentals, taking businesses online, business marketing, building business resilience, and commercialising new business ideas.
  • Free Small Business Mentoring Clinics to support businesses on the Peninsula. These clinics are introductory sessions, where you get the opportunity for a 45 minute one-on-one with a small business mentor at no cost.
  • Library membership gives you access to a range of free training resources that can help your business and staff. This includes free access to Lynda.com which offers training in online meetings, productivity tools and more. Visit the Library website to learn more.

Free marketing for your business

Important Points for Food Businesses

During restrictions, standard Food business requirements still apply.

Advice on operating a Covid-safe business, business restrictions, personal hygiene and food safety is available from DHHS and from Business Victoria.

You can also find specific sector guidance including cafes, restaurants and food businesses from Business Victoria, and clear evidence based answers to FAQs about Coronavirus and Food Safety from Food Safety Standards Australia New Zealand.

Free online training for food safety and allergen management is available for food businesses at:

Environmental Health Officers are available for advice and can provide up to date Coronavirus business information & support. They can also provide onsite advice to food businesses on implementing the reduced dining restrictions. As businesses fully reopen, it is important staff are trained in food safety, hygiene and allergen management. If your business fully ceased trading during the previous Coronavirus dining restrictions, please contact the Shire’s Environmental Health Team to book an inspection before serving foods.

The Team can be contacted by emailfood@mornpen.vic.gov.au or phone 5950 1050

Learn more about Health and Hygiene for Business

Accessing mental health support

Business proprietors, their staff and families can access a range of mental health services to help them cope.

  • The Shire has a detailed list of resources to help with managing COVID-19 & Health and Wellbeing.
  • Business Victoria offers additional mental health business resources and a listing of free mental health services.
  • Beyond Blue has valuable tips for small business owners on managing mental health during coronavirus or you can call them on 1800 512 348 to speak to a trained counsellor.
  • Resources are available on the Head to Health website, including self-help options and information on accessing mental health services. 
  • For businesses concerned about staff between 15-25 years there is support on offer through Headspace Ph: 1800 650 890, and the Shire Youth Services team

Meeting Occupational Health and Safety obligations

Businesses have an important role to assist with the prevention and management of the current outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Shire is regularly updating information for food businesses to assist them and further protect the community.

Advice on operating a Covid-safe business, business restrictions, personal hygiene and food safety is available from DHHS and from Business Victoria.

You can also find specific sector guidance including cafes, restaurants, food businesses, and more.

Services and industries that are able to open are required to have a COVID Safe Plan.

All employers must notify Work Safe Victoria if an employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Tenants and Landlords Relief Assistance

A mediation service is available for commercial tenants and landlords through the Small Business Commission

Although commercial tenants are no longer entitled by law to rent relief now that the Victorian Government’s Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (the Scheme) has ended, they are still providing free and impartial mediation to help resolve commercial rent relief disputes in response to the pandemic.

The Small Business commission is providing guidance in how to negotiate in good faith and reach a fair agreement after 28 March 2021. Where an agreement can’t be reached, either the tenant or landlord can apply for mediation. 

Email or phone 13 87 22.

Stay safe so we can stay open!

Most patrons are great at checking in to a venue or event by scanning QR codes, but some still need a reminder. Please ensure you ask all guests if they have checked in properly. These records help contact tracers in the event a positive case of coronavirus is identified. As we recently experienced, the coronavirus threat is still real and we must continue to be vigilant so we can continue to stay safe and importantly, for business to stay open.

To help contract tracers, you should only use one platform per business, organisation, club or event. The Victorian Government has a free QR code service, which only asks patrons their first name and phone number, making the check in process quick and easy.

Victorian Government QR Code Service | Coronavirus Victoria

Extended Outdoor Dining

The Shire is supporting businesses with extended footpath trading, outdoor dining and a new ‘parklets’ program for local restaurants and cafes. This includes a streamlined permit process to increase outdoor dining space, making it quicker, easier and cheaper for businesses to apply.
 
Options to extend outdoor dining space include extended footpath space, temporary street closures and new parklets, which repurpose car parking spaces outside shop fronts. 

Additional outdoor dining space will be crucial for the Peninsula’s food businesses to re-open and remain profitable while complying with social distancing measures and space restrictions.

Learn more about extended outdoor dining.