Coronavirus Business Support

Updated Monday 15 May 2020.

Our Business Team is here to help

Even though there will be disruptions to many normal activities, Baw Baw Shire continues to support our business community.

We are introducing the Baw Baw Business Recovery Service, an experienced and dedicated resource to help you navigate through all the information available to ensure you obtain the right assistance.

To get in contact with our Business Recovery Service, email us at or call us on 1300 BAW BAW.

Baw Baw Shire Council Business Support Package

Stage one Council supports for local business

COVID-19 Business Support Grants

Local businesses were given the opportunity to apply for a share in Baw Baw Shire Council’s $100,000 Business Grant Program developed to support businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

Please note: Funding for this program has been fully allocated and grant applications are now closed. 

Business Permit and Registration Refunds

As part of Council’s business support package, Council is offering 50% refunds or credit on a number of permit and registration fees for business:

  • 50 per cent refund/waiver of eligible new and existing permits under the Community Local Law for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020 (includes roadside trading, A-frame and outdoor dining permits).
  • 50 per cent refund/waiver of eligible new and existing permits under the Food Act and Public Health and Wellbeing Act for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020 (includes class 1,2 and 3 food business permits and streatrader, accommodation, hair, skin and beauty premises permits).

Click here for more information and to apply for a refund or credit.

Online virtual market for local makers and producers

Baw Baw Shire’s menu of top shelf food producers, artists and other crafts’ creators will soon have their wares available through an innovative online virtual market involving Baw Baw Shire Council and popular online tourism operator, One Hour Out.

Click here for more information and to register your business and products. 

Additional support 

The following stage one support package initiatives will be live by 1 June 2020:

  • Waiver of all charges for written planning advice fees for eligible small to medium businesses for six months from 1 March to 1 September 2020.
  • Fast-tracked Council procurement processes to award infrastructure projects sooner to invest funds and provide jobs in the local economy. Additionally, for the next 12 months, the weighting of local suppliers will be increased from 10 to 20 per cent.
  • Direct support, advice and business promotion through Council’s Economic Development team.
  • Free access to online training, webinars and business mentoring sessions.

These initiatives have been considered for a six-month period. The package will be delivered with a staged approach to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the community in this constantly evolving situation.

An additional stage-two support package will be considered in July, pending the status of the evolving situation.

Victorian Government Economic Survival and Jobs Package

As part of a $1.7 billion economic survival package, the Victorian Government has announced $500 million to establish a Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Businesses who have been subject to closure or highly impacted by non-essential closures will be able to access up to $10,000.

This fund is currently open and will close on 1 June 2020. For more information or to apply please visit the Business Victoria website

There are also a range of other initiatives including payroll tax deferral, rent relief for commercial tenants in Government buildings, faster payments to supplier and a Working for Victoria Fund to support works who have lost their jobs.

Australian Government Business Stimulus Package

The Australian Government has announced a $18.9 billion economic plan in response to coronavirus COVID-19. Our Business Support Team is happy to have a chat with you about which aspects of the package suit your business and how to access them.

Increasing the Instant Tax Write Off

The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50m) until 30 June 2020.

Visit the Increasing the Instant Asset Write-Off page on the Australian Government business website.

Boosting Cash Flow for Employers

Provides up to $25,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $2,000 for eligible businesses. The payment will provide cash flow support to businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million that employ staff.

  • The payment will be delivered by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) as a credit in the activity statement system from 28 April 2020 upon businesses lodging eligible upcoming activity statements.
  • Eligible businesses that withhold tax to the ATO on their employees’ salary and wages will receive a payment equal to 50 per cent of the amount withheld, up to a maximum payment of $25,000.
  • Eligible businesses that pay salary and wages will receive a minimum payment of $2,000, even if they are not required to withhold tax.

Visit the Boosting cash flow for employers page on the Australian Government business website.

Back Business Investment (BBI)

A time-limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021.

  • Benefit — deduction of 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset’s cost
  • Eligible businesses — businesses with aggregated turnover below $500 million.
  • Eligible assets — new assets that can be depreciated under Division 40 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (i.e. plant, equipment and specified intangible assets, such as patents) acquired after announcement and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Does not apply to second hand Division 40 assets, or buildings and other capital works depreciable under Division 43.

Visit the Backing Business Investment (BBI) page on the Australian Government business website.

Supporting apprentices and trainees

If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 percent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.

Visit the Supporting apprentices and trainees page on the Australian Government business website.

Employer, finance and business obligations

Find out your employer and business obligations if you or your employees are affected by the coronavirus.

Visit the Employer, finance and business obligations page on the Australian Government business website

Increased and accelerated income support

Expanding eligibility to income support payments and establishing a new, time‑limited Coronavirus supplement to be paid at a rate of $550 per fortnight. This supplement will be paid to both existing and new recipients of the eligible payment categories. These changes will apply for the next six months and will not be income tested.

Visit the Increased and accelerated income support page. 

Job Keeper Payment

The Australian Government has announced payments of up to $1,500 per fortnight per employee for businesses impacted by COVID-19. The aim is to hopefully allow businesses that have been impacted to continue to retain staff.


Eligible employers are businesses (including companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders), not-for-profits and charities:

  • With a turnover of less than $1bn that have lost 30% or more of their revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.
  • With a turnover of $1bn or more and with at least a 50% reduction in revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.

Eligible employees:

  • Were employed by an eligible employer at 1 March 2020
  • Can be sole traders, full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020.
  • Are at least 16 years of age.
  • Are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a protected special category visa, a non-protected special category visa who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a New Zealander on a special category (subclass 444) visa.

Expressions of interest can be made on the Australian Taxation Office website.


Latrobe Valley Authority

As part of the Concierge, Business Support Service, businesses may now be eligible for funding by working closely with their local Concierge to help take their business to the next level. This can include skills and capability building (including training, professional services and feasibility studies), infrastructure, equipment and collaborative business activities.

If you’re interested in seeing how you may benefit from the program, please give our team a call on 1300 BAW BAW. 

Training Opportunities

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation and the advice of relevant authorities, Baw Baw Shire Council has cancelled or postponed all face-to-face, non-essential Council run events, workshops and programs.

To support our business community through this challenging time, we will be providing webinars and online based training opportunities for free, please keep checking back on our Workshops and Seminars page as we announce more events. These are designed to be as relevant and helpful to businesses and we welcome all feedback and suggestions to deliver valuable support to our business community.

We can also refer you to some of our training partners to provide personalised support and coaching, these programs offer a range of support from general business advice, accounting, legal, marketing and more. Contact the team and we can point you in the right direction. 

Some tips for managing your business

  • Make sure you are following health and safety guidance from the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • If you have a business continuity plan or emergency management plan for your business, have a read and begin to employ some of the plan that is appropriate.  
  • Communicate with your customers, keep them updated of changes to your business and the health and safety measures that you are taking. Remind them that there are plenty of ways to support your business even during times of social distancing from buying gift cards to shopping online (or via phone) to leaving great reviews on social media and many more.  
  • With the change to take away and delivery options only it is important that businesses move more into the digital space. Building a solid footing online can be a great asset, not just now, but in the future of your business.  
  • Consider how you or other people within your network can share information or tricks to support your business or other businesses to be creative and stay operational.  
  • The Department of Health has launched a national campaign to inform all Australians about the coronavirus. They have developed a range of resources for businesses to use.
  • Business Victoria also has some great resources on dealing with coronavirus or you can contact the Business Victoria Hotline on 13 22 15.
  • FairWork Australia is also a great resource for anyone looking to understand their rights and obligations. You can find further information at FairWork Australia
  • Take care of yourself and your loved ones. This is a stressful time for many business owners. If you are worried about your mental health, or the mental health of a loved one, don’t be afraid to reach out if you need support.

Be Kind to Business

As our community responds with precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many local businesses are feeling the impacts.

Council is currently working through ways we can assist directly with things like rates, fees and charges. We’re also advocating to other levels of Government for the need for assistance with rates relief.

To encourage our local community, we have started introducing Be Kind to Business Baw Baw initiative. 

In the face of the current challenges, it has been amazing to see local businesses and residents respond to changing situations so quickly. By supporting local businesses where we can, we are all helping to keep our economy resilient and ready to bounce back. 

Here are some helpful tips to share with your customers to support them to Be Kind to Business in Baw Baw:

  • Buy a gift card now and enjoy it later. It helps businesses keep cash flowing and it’ll be a great reason to get out and celebrate when things open up again.
  • Shop online with local businesses. Lots of our local businesses have a website for shopping online and lots of great products on show via their Instagram and Facebook Pages.
  • Shop over the phone. If your favourite business isn’t online, give them a call and see if you can buy your product over the phone to arrange a quick pick up or arrange delivery.
  • Leave a review. It’s a tough and uncertain time for many businesses, and if you can’t spare the cash head online and leave them a review, show them a little love so our businesses know just how much they mean to our community!
  • Get on social media: Like, comment, and share posts from local small businesses. A click of a button, or a friendly comment means more people will see their posts, and they can share their products and services with even more people.

For the latest advice and resources on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, see the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) coronavirus page.