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
- RDAWEP 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
- 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 27 May 2020
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 with stage one starting Monday 11 May 2020.
Step 2 of easing restrictions has been brought forward to Monday 1 June.
NB: Businesses that were previously directed to close MUST complete a COVID-Safe Plan before they can reopen. The easy to complete COVID-Safe Plan application is available HERE
View the updated Roadmap
For more information on specific activities go to covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery
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
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 Wednesday 27 May: Matchmaking Platform to boost local manufacturing supply chains; easing of restrictions; domestic violence support; mythbusting; funding announced for the National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan.
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.
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 26 May: fast tracking economic recovery; COVID-clean toolkit for business; roadmap released on easing restrictions; new laws to assist commercial landlords, tenants impacted by COVID-19; tourism sites re-open.
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.
COVID-19 Update – Fact Sheets
Treasury have released updated fact sheets about the JobKeeper payment, support for sole traders and supporting apprentices and trainees.
Go to https://treasury.gov.au/coronavirus/resources
Support and Assistance
Support for Business
Coronavirus Information and Support for Business
Find financial assistance, eligibility and timing for government support for Australian businesses including:
*Support for sole traders
*Support available for employers
*Support available for companies
*Government assistance for business
*State and territory information, grants and assistance
*Continuing your business
Latest news: easing of restrictions; update to JobKeeper Payment rules; planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVIDSafe.
$10,000 Emergency Cash Grants for Small Businesses
Small businesses and not-for-profit entities including eligible sporting and community organisations that employ South Australians who have been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to receive a $10,000 grant to support the operation of their business.
The grant is being funded from the State Government’s $650 million Jobs Rescue Package.
The cash grant is open to eligible businesses and not-for-profits including sporting and community organisations.
To see if you are eligible go to www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19
Applications are open now: www.revenuesaonline.sa.gov.au
Frequently asked questions: www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19
Small business guidelines: www.treasury.sa.gov.au/Growing-South-Australia/COVID-19
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
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
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
NB: The Government is temporarily expanding the eligibility criteria to include sole traders depending on the combined income of the individual and their partner.
Register at ato.gov.au NB: Time to enrol for the initial JobKeeper periods has been extended from 30 April to 31 May 2020.
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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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.
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.
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
World Health Organisation (WHO)
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/crisis-chat (7pm-midnight, 7 nights)
Watch out for scammers taking advantage of COVID-19: https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/
How is RDAWEP Continuing our Work?
RDAWEP 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.
If you have a general enquiry or you’re not sure who to contact, email email@example.com and we will arrange the best person to respond.