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…

  1. RDAEP 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
  2. RDAEP is compiling information on the uptake of State and Federal Government Business Assistance measures and is seeking feedback on your experience with applying for or accessing assistance.
    Please take 5 minutes to complete the survey HERE
  3. Have you lost your job recently due to coronavirus? 
    We need your details. RDAEP 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 05 August 2020

New Restrictions in SA
From 5 August gatherings at residential premises will be limited to a maximum of 10 people and food and drink service must be seated at all cafes, restaurants and licensed venues. A continual ramping up of restrictions is expected.

Travel Restrictions
Only essential travellers are able to enter SA from Victoria.  South Australians are no long able to return to SA from Victoria.
Travellers from NT, QLD, TAS and WA are able to enter South Australia directly without restriction.
Travellers from ACT and NSW, other than essential travellers, are required to self-quarantine and submit for COVID-19 testing.
More information on restrictions and process is available at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions

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.
Updated 5 August: pandemic leave disaster payment for Victoria; JobKeeper Payment and Coronavirus Supplement extended; when and where to wear a mask; gradual return on mutual obligation requirements; additional mental health support.
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.

COVIDSafe app
The COVIDSafe app speeds up contacting people exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19).  This helps health officials support and protect you, your friends and family.  The app is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play.

South Australian Government Essential Information
Regularly updated essential information from the South Australian Government can be found at sa.gov.au/covid-19
Updated 4 August:  New COVID fund to aid pharmacies; pharmacy testing trial begins; shop trading reverts to pre-COVID hours; updated border restrictions in place; budget cost of saving lives and jobs.

COVID-19 Update – Fact Sheets
Treasury has fact sheets on how the Australian Government’s economic response could support you.
Go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/resources

Support and Assistance

Support for Business

Guide to Continuing Business
The Australian Government has developed a guide which provides positive steps that businesses can take to help them keep operating and become more sustainable in the future.
Access the Guide at www.business.gov.au/Guide/Continuing-your-business 

Small Business Roadmap for Recovery and Beyond
The South Australian Tourism Commission (SATC) engaged Deloitte to develop a resource to assist small business adjust and recover from COVID-19 disruptions.  The Small Business Roadmap for Recovery & Beyond: Workbook is intended to support small business owners as they navigate their way through the crisis, highlighting the areas that require attention across the dimensions of customer, cashflow, supply chain, workforce, digital enablement, and workplace.  For more information go to www2.deloitte.com

Planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe
The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) has launched a planning tool to help you develop a plan to keep your workers, customers and the community safe as you reopen or increase your business activities.  Learn more here NCCC planning tool

Recovery from COVID-19
To support your sector with the transition to recovery, the SA Government has updated resources relating to the easing of restrictions.
Details of the recovery roadmap can be found at www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery

NB:  All defined public activities are required to have a COVID-Safe Plan in place.  More information is available HERE
Special COVID clean training is being offered to help businesses to safely return to work as restrictions lift. COVID Clean training is available for customer-facing workers across retail, hospitality, tourism, cleaning, security, transport and logistics industries.  It requires a co-contribution of $15 per enrolment by the individual or their employer.  More information at www.skills.sa.gov.au/business/covid-clean-training

Coronavirus Information and Support for Business
Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support for Australian businesses including:
*Government assistance for business
*State and territory information, grants and assistance
*Relief for commercial tenants
*JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees
*JobKeeper Payment for sole traders and other entities
*Support for sole traders
*Support available for employers
*Support available for companies
*Restrictions on services
*Business information
*Guide to continuing your business.
Latest news: Extension to JobKeeper Payment; changes for child care providers; JobTrainer skills package announced; talk to the business.gov.au chatbot; support for the cultural and creative sector; tax time changes due to COVID-19; what to do if you couldn’t pay your super on time; generating jobs for the construction industry; optimising your remote workforce with digital; instant asset write-off expansion.
Visit business.gov.au

Water Relief Grant for Sporting Clubs
The State Government recognises that some sporting clubs that have been impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions are still required to maintain playing surfaces, including watering large ovals etc.  Financial assistance is available to support clubs that have significant water and sewerage bills issued between April and June 2020
For more information go to www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19/water-relief-grant-for-sporting-clubs 

Helpline for Small Businesses
Looking for answers? The www.business.gov.au Hotline – 13 28 46 – is available for calls between 8am – 8pm, seven days a week. 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
RDAEP 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
How your bank can help – Australian Banking Association

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

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

Information for Livestock Producers
Livestock SA has collated information regarding COVID-19 and its effects on livestock producers throughout South Australia, which can be found on the website www.livestocksa.org.au

Advice for Employers

JobKeeper Payment
The JobKeeper Payment scheme is a temporary subsidy for businesses significantly affected by coronavirus.   Read the FACT SHEET
Changes have been announced to JobKeeper including an extension through to 28 March 20.
More information is available at www.ato.gov.au/general/JobKeeper-Payment/
JobKeeper payments will cease from 20 July for employees of a child care subsidy approved service and for sole traders operating a child care service.
NB: A monthly business declaration must be made by the 14th day of each month, starting in June, to receive reimbursements for payments made in the previous month.  More information 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 4 – current as at 9 April)

Safe Work Information for Workplaces
Safe Work Australia has developed a website with guidelines and information across 23 industries so that businesses can return to work in a COVID safe environment.
www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces

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. The Fair Work Commission has updated awards during the pandemic which includes provision to an entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and flexibility to take annual leave at half pay.

Financial support to employ an apprentice
In light of COVID-19, additional support has been made available for South Australian businesses willing to take on an apprentice or trainee and help skill the state’s future workforce.
Visit skills.sa.gov.au to check what your business may be eligible to receive.

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 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.
The ATO is currently experiencing a high volume of calls.  To save you a long wait, a helpful web page has been put together covering their most frequently asked questions.

Tourism Advice for Operators

Supporting Tourism Businesses in Commonwealth National Parks
To support the tourism industry through COVID-19 and to support businesses to rebuild their operations, the Australian Government is waiving and reimbursing the cost of permits and licence fees for commercial tourism businesses operating in Commonwealth National Parks for the period of 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2021.  This support is being made available through the Australian Government’s $1 billion Relief and Recovery Fund.
Commercial tourism businesses will still be required to hold a valid licence or permit to resume operations when the national parks re-open, however these fees will be waived through to 31 March 2021.
Parks Australia will contact all eligible operators with information about how they will receive their reimbursement.
For more information visit parksaustralia.gov.au

Fee and Rent Relief for Nature-Based Tourism Businesses
The South Australian Government will provide fee and rent relief for nature-based tourism businesses (including boating experiences and fishing) who have been significantly impacted in the wake of the coronavirus crises.
For 2020-21, the charter boat sector will have their fees waived for six months and the collection of all other commercial fishing and aquaculture sectors’ fees will be deferred for six months.
Any outstanding 2019-20 fees for all sectors will be deferred.
The next round of fees will not be collected until January 2021.
Read more at environment.sa.gov.au

Information on consumer rights and business obligations in relation to the coronavirus can be found on the ACCC Website or View the FAQs
SATC have collated resources and links to information to assist the tourism sector.  Go to tourism.sa.gov.au

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

While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers.
Visit the Australian Government Jobs Hub

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.

Increasing export of Australian goods
A new network of air freight service providers has been established by the Commonwealth Government to accelerate delivery of agricultural and fisheries exports into key overseas markets.In the first three weeks of its operation, over 560 Australian businesses have registered their interest in utilising the International Freight Assistance Mechanism and agreements for 55 freight flights have already been secured.
For more information, go to the AusTrade 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.

Who can I speak to about other issues?

RDAEP 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.

Introducing Free and Confidential Financial Counselling services
The Australian Government has committed more than $4.7 million to provide small regional businesses affected by COVID-19 with access to free and confidential financial counselling.  Register your interest by calling 1300 771 741.
View the MEDIA RELEASE

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 RDAEP Continuing our Work?

RDAEP has 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