To help you manage business disruption associated with corona virus (COVID-19), The Small Business Development Corporation put together a range of support information focused on the needs of small business owners. This includes:
- government and financial support packages
- restrictions on business activities and social gatherings
- how to prepare your business
- employer obligations
- support and advisory services
- free online webinars
- free online learning portal
The State and Federal Governments have announced small support packages for small business.
On 20 March 2020, the Australian Banking Association (ABA) also announced that Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.
Restrictions on business activities and social gatherings
From 25 March 2020, expanded restrictions on business activities and border closures came info effect.
The Australian Government announced new guidelines around places of social gathering including recommended distances between people of 1.5m where possible. As part of these guidelines, pubs, licensed clubs and hotels (excluding accommodation), places of worship, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, casinos must close from midday on Monday, 23 March 2020. Restaurants and cafes to offer takeaway only. Supermarkets can remain open.
If you’re unsure if your business is considered essential, we’re put together an overview of what is an essential business during COVID-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is expected to have economic and health impacts on Australian residents and businesses. To help you prepare for the potential impact, we have developed the following information resources:
- how to prepare your business against coronavirus
- FAQ: how to deal with the business impact
- checklist: Keep your business going during the COVID-19 pandemic
- what is considered an essential business?
- how to avoid coronavirus related scams
If you employ staff, you may have questions about what happens if they need time off work for self-isolation or if your business needs to temporarily close.
If your business operates under the WA state industrial relations system (which covers sole traders, micro businesses, unincorporated partnerships and unincorporated trust arrangements), visit the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety website for information regarding employment impacted by COVID-19. While many micro-businesses fall within this system, you can confirm your business structure via the ABN Lookup and checking the structure recorded under ‘Entity type’.
If your business operates under the federal industrial relations system (which covers businesses such as ‘Pty Ltd’ companies), visit the FairWork website for information on coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.
Business, financial and emotional support is available from a range of organisations, this includes:
- Our free business advisory service provides with guidance on your business performance, cost cutting measures you can take or how to diversify your services to try and mitigate the impact. If you’re located in regional Western Australia, you can also access our Business Local service.
- Eligible businesses can apply to the Australian Tax Office (ATO) for tax relief on certain tax obligations, such as deferring tax payments. Read the ATO’s information on Covid-19, call them on 1800 806 218 or speak to your tax professional so that they can work with you to find a solution.
- The Financial Counsellors’ Association provides free and confidential support. They can provide you with information, strategies and guidance to help you with any financial difficulties you are experiencing.
- The Australian Banking Association provides a list of the hardship team contact details for most banks in Australia. These teams can help you in times of financial hardship.
- beyondblue and Ahead for Business have free online resources to help with emotional support. You can also seek help by phone
Additional support is available for small businesses across WA through our new series of webinars focused on dealing with business disruptions. They are all free of charge, but registration is essential.
To support you and your team during this period of business disruption arising from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic we’ve joined forces with GO1, a library of online professional learning resources, to offer you a range of online learning opportunities. The featured courses are:
- focused on the needs of small business
- accessible 24/7 – take them at a time to suit to you
- completely free of charge*
*Access is free until 30 June 2020, after this you can choose to subscribe to the service. No credit card details will be collected during the initial sign-up stage.
Download a guide to help you with signing-up to the portal.