As we are all aware, many of our small businesses and their employees have been badly impacted by drought, fire and flood across the breadth of our region.
Now we are all facing the impact of disease as we confront the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

The outbreak is impacting businesses in many ways including reduced trade, temporary business closures, staffing issues, and supply chain interruptions.

The following information will provide you with tips and resources to help you manage your small business during the crisis and into the recovery phase.

Firstly, we need your help…

RDAWEP would like to monitor and capture the impacts of COVID-19 on Eyre Peninsula.  We are currently working on ensuring that the full impact of COVID-19 on Eyre Peninsula businesses and organisations is better understood, compiled and communicated to all levels of government and stakeholders.
In order to do so, we need to hear your story.
Please take a few minutes to explain the impact on your business or organisation HERE.

Have you lost your job recently due to coronavirus? 
We need your details. RDAWEP is collating a database of residents across Eyre Peninsula who have lost their jobs to advocate, inform and potentially match you to future employment opportunities when they arise.
Please take 2 minutes to fill out the survey HERE, your contact details will remain confidential.

Recent Announcements – updated 03 April 2020

Australian Government Essential Information
australia.gov.au is regularly updated to give you the latest Coronavirus news, updates and advice from government agencies across Australia.
Updates from 3pm Thursday 2 April include: Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package; registrations are open for apprentice and trainee wage subsidies; self-isolation form to track the spread; public gatherings reduced to two people; stay home; people aged over 70, over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people over 50 to stay home; evictions on hold.
Stay informed. Download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join our WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.

South Australian Government Essential Information
Regularly updated essential information from the South Australian Government can be found at sa.gov.au/covid-19
Updates from 6pm Thursday 2 April include: $1 billion stimulus package for SA jobs and businesses; COVID-19 metal health support line; advice message; call centres and information lines.

Funding to Help Small Tourism Businesses and Regional Events
The State Government has announced 2 funding support packages.
The Small Tourism Business Grant Fund provides financial support for sole traders and small tourism businesses who have experienced financial loss a s a result of COVID-19. The fund aims to provide an immediate injection of funds to boost the cash flow for small tourism businesses during this period of uncertainty.
The Regional Events Grant Fund provides financial support for small to medium regional event organisers who have experienced financial loss due to the forced cancellation or postponement of an event staged between 16 March 2020 and 31 August 2020, as a result of COVID-19.
More information and how to apply can be found at www.tourism.sa.gov.au

Early Childhood Education and Care Relief Package
From 6 April 2020 payments will be made directly to early childhood education and care services in lieu of the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy, to help them keep their doors open and employees in their jobs.  Payments will be made until the end of the 2019-20 financial year and families will not be charged fees during this time.
For more information, see Information for early childhood education and care providers and services
View the Prime Minister’s MEDIA RELEASE

Airfreight Support for Agriculture and Fisheries Industries
A new $110 million initiative will help exporters get their produce into key overseas markets. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is setting up an information line and a process to capture from exporters information on eligible products. To provide information to best guide this investment go to www.haveyoursay.agriculture.gov.au or phone 02 6272 2444. Read the FACT SHEET  View the MEDIA RELEASE

Support and Assistance

Support for Business

Coronavirus Information and Support for Business

Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses including:
* Restrictions on non-essential services
* Support available for sole traders
* Support available for employers
* Support available for companies.
Visit business.gov.au

The latest advice and information from SA Health for business
SA Health have developed a COVID-19 Fact Sheet which provides information and advice for organisations, businesses, employees and volunteers about close contact, getting tested, positive test, cleaning practices, and social distancing in the workplace.

Helpline for Small Businesses
Looking for answers? The www.business.gov.au Hotline – 13 28 46 – has been expanded to provide specialist advisers and extended hours to support small and medium businesses impacted by the pandemic.  Operations at the Contact Centre have increased from five days per week to seven days per week, and provide an additional two hours a day of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST. You can talk over the phone, live chat or email.

Loan Relief for Small Business
Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.  Any small business who has not already been contacted should contact their bank to apply.
For more information visit Australian Banking Association

How can I prepare my business if I get sick?
It’s important to be prepared in case you cannot be there to run your business.  Having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ahead of time is a good way to ensure that your business can remain operating or viable should a disaster strike. Start your Business Continuity Plan with this BCP template.  Guidance to complete a BCP can also be found at Business SA.

Other practical ways to prepare for a shutdown or isolation period:

  • Use cloud-based storage for your business records to enable you to access key data and documents from any location with an internet connection.
  • Maintain a list of your key contacts and handover notes prepared and easily accessible in the event that someone needs to run your business on your behalf.
  • Have a staffing plan to ensure your employees are trained with the skills and knowledge to undertake necessary activities.
  • Ensure that you have arrangements for relief or casual/temporary staff you can call on at short notice if your regular staff are unable to work.

My business is experiencing lost trade and cash flow problems
If you’re having concerns about cash flow, and paying fixed costs such as rent, wages, utilities and loan repayments, the earlier you act the easier it can be to negotiate temporary payment terms with your lenders, creditors and suppliers.
Read more about financial hardship
RDAWEP strongly recommends that you get in contact with your bank or financial institution as soon as possible to discuss your situation. Dedicated business hardship contact lines for key Australian banks are:
ANZ Bank: 1800 252 845
Commonwealth Bank Hardship: 1300 720 814
National Australia Bank Care: 1800 701 599
Regional Australia Bank Hardship: 13 20 67
Westpac Assist: 1800 067 497

COVID-19 and Primary Industries
PIRSA has established a dedicated information portal on how COVID-19 affects primary industries.
Go to pir.sa.gov.au

Support for Creative Industries
Arts South Australia has re-configured its available grant funds to assist the arts community and organisations to respond to immediate pressures being experienced. For more information and to see if you’re eligible, see Arts SA COVID-19 Support

A portal has been established to enable food and beverage businesses to report impacts and issues arising from business disruptions associated with COVID-19.
Visit Food SA

Advice for Employers

JobKeeper Payment
Under the JobKeeper Payment, 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 6 months.  Read the FACT SHEET
Register at ato.gov.au

What are my employer obligations?
As an employer, you have certain obligations to look after your employees under work, health and safety legislation (WHS).  You must identify hazards and risks in the workplace and do what is reasonably practicable to eliminate and/or minimise them.
COVID-19 is considered a workplace risk and you must put in place minimisation strategies.
Your employees also have a duty of care and must take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.  Workers should always practice hygiene and other measures to protect against infections.
For advice on managing COVID-19 risks and work health and safety, visit SafeWork SA.
Business SA COVID-19 Employer Guide
(Edition 3 – current as at 25 March)

I need advice on managing employee leave
Fair Work Ombudsman provides specific information about what to do if an employee is sick or needs to be excluded from work.  It also provides guidance on whether employee leave should be considered as sick leave, carer’s leave or annual leave, as well as advising on the process for requesting employees to take leave.

Regular updates, including about support available for keeping your apprentice or trainee engaged in their learning, or making it easier for them to continue when the time is right are available at Business SA Supporting Staff
You can contact the Department for Innovation and Skills at distas@sa.gov.au or through the Infoline on 1800 673 097
Additional information can be found at Department of Education, Skills and Employment 

Help from the ATO

The ATO will provide administrative relief for certain tax obligations (similar to relief provided following the bushfires) for taxpayers affected by the coronavirus outbreak, on a case-by-case basis.
Contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit ato.gov.au for more information.
View the Media Release 20 March 2020

Income Support

Jobs Rescue Package
The SA Government are providing $1 billion in support to South Australian households and businesses.
They are adding $650 million to the first support package of $350 million.
Key elements of the support package are:
* relief from taxes and charges
* A Business and Jobs Support Fund
* A Community and Jobs Support Fund
* Additional support to recipients of JobSeeker payments from Centrelink who also receive a State Government Cost of Living Concession.
More information at Jobs Rescue Package

Financial assistance being provided by the Australian Government includes income support payments, payments to support households and temporary early releases of superannuation. Eligibility for income support payments has been expanded and a new, time-limited coronavirus supplement established.
More information can be found at www.treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/households or www.dss.gov.au

Tourism Advice for Operators

Digital Training Program: The SATC is investing in the development of online training programs focused on supporting and upskilling tourism businesses to market themselves online. The training programs – to be delivered by local experienced practitioners – will cover fundamental digital skills such as optimising search outcomes, managing social media, online booking systems and online marketing. The training programs will comprise of a series of online modules, including webinars, workshops, toolkits and templates, with each module targeting a specific area of online operations.

Information on consumer rights and business obligations in relation to the coronavirus can be found on the ACCC Website or View the FAQs
An information sheet for hotel management and staff about coronavirus can be found at health.gov.au
SATC have collated resources and links to information to assist the tourism sector.  Go to tourism.sa.gov.au

Accommodation Providers
Are you interested in supporting self-isolation cases of COVID-19, including health workers?
Go to www.tenders.sa.gov.au/tender/view?id=224927  Tenders close at 2pm 20 April, 2020

Trade and Export Assistance

The Australian Government’s Export Finance Australia provide Australian businesses with export finance solutions and may be able to assist.  They provide export loans, guarantees, bonds and buyer finance solutions to help businesses access finance.

SA’s borders are closed – what does this mean for exporters?
All people entering South Australia are required to isolate for 14 days from their arrival. Businesses should be aware that exemptions apply for essential transport including: food and commercial supply chains, health and medical supplies, health personnel and patients, travel of a relative/carer of a dependant individual, and emergency services.
For more information visit the Department for Trade and Investment website

Changes to Skilled Migration
Travel restrictions have effectively ceased the immediate migration of skilled workers into South Australia. Visa holders and employers are advised to monitor the Department of Home Affairs website or contact the Department with any enquiries.

Call for PPE Manufacturers

The Industry Capability Network (ICN) is calling for EOIs from businesses across the country with the capability to manufacture Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other medical and hygiene products expected to be in high demand with the increase of COVID-19 patients.  CLICK HERE to register your details.

Regional Growth Fund

The opening of the third funding round of the Regional Growth Fund has been brought forward to help provide economic stimulus and unlock new economic activity. Projects should foster collaboration and demonstrate a commitment to local employment, and purchase local supplies wherever possible.  Applications will be accepted from local government bodies, incorporated associations and business clusters. Closes 11 May 2020.  View the Media Release
For more information visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/regionalgrowthfund

Who can I speak to about other issues?

RDAWEP advocates for small business and help connect you with appropriate support and assistance.  If you are facing other obstacles, please let us know and we can help direct you to the best available support. Contact our team

Up-To-Date Health Information and Guidance

Information about COVID_19 is changing daily and businesses need to be sure that the information they are receiving is accurate. New precautions should be adopted as you are informed.
For general information about COVID-19, visit the:
Australian Government Department of Health
Department of Health SA – Latest Updates – COVID-19
SafeWork SA
World Health Organisation (WHO)
Smartraveller
Check your symptoms www.healthdirect.gov.au
Eyre and Far North Local Health Network are part of SA Health, responsible for public hospital services and other community based health services in the Eyre and Far North region of SA.  EFNLHN on Facebook

Securing Australia’s Health
A $1.1 billion package will boost Medicare assistance for people at home, mental health services, domestic violence support, and emergency food relief.
CLICK HERE for further information.

Looking After your Mental Health

Please look after yourselves and your employees.  The outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted people in varying ways on an international scale. It is understandable that during times like this, you and/or your employees may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious and overwhelmed by the constantly changing alerts and media coverage regarding the spread of the virus.
You can access advice and support from:
Eyre Peninsula Mental Health Services and Support Guide
Eyre Peninsula Mentally Fit Bloke Wellness
www.lifeline.org.au/get-help/topics/mental-health-and-wellbeing-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat (7pm-midnight, 7 nights)

Scams

Watch out for scammers taking advantage of  COVID-19:  https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/

How is RDAWEP Continuing our Work?

In the past few days, we’ve taken steps to set up our team to continue working and minimise disruption, while respecting the advice from authorities that social distancing is important to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We will be restricting our travel and understand that many of you will be making similar arrangements.
If you had a scheduled meeting, training session or workshop we, or one of our partners will be contacting you directly where required to make alternative arrangements. Wherever possible, we will arrange to present scheduled sessions remotely, with postponement or cancellation a last resort.
Contacting Us
If you have a general enquiry or you’re not sure who to contact, email reception@rdawep.org.au and we will arrange the best person to respond.

COVID-19 Quicklinks