Coronavirus Business Support

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 economic.development@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au or call us on 1300 BAW BAW (1300 229 299).

For the latest restrictions and the requirements for your business please visit Coronavirus Website – COVIDSafe Settings.

Temporary Extension of Outdoor Dining

Updated Outdoor Dining Restrictions – From 11:59pm on Thursday 21 October 2021.

With our first dose vaccination rate at almost 90 per cent, Victoria has reached a significant milestone on the Roadmap, with 70 per cent of Victorians 16 years and over having received two vaccine doses.

  • Indoor settings – like pubs, restaurants, cafes and gyms – will increase from 10 to 30 people per venue, if everyone is fully vaccinated.
  • Tables must be cleaned after every customer.
  • Cleaning, signage and record keeping requirements apply.
  • Businesses must take reasonable steps to ensure that customers booking with them live outside of metropolitan Melbourne. This includes checking identification and refusing services to people who reside in metropolitan Melbourne.
  • Businesses must ensure all customers Check In. via the Service Victoria App, or alternatively keep a record of customer details, including the date and time the person attended these facilities. These records should be kept for 28 days.
  • Outdoor venues will increase from 20 to up to 100 people per venue, but only if everyone is fully vaccinated. If vaccination status is unknown, the venue can only have a total of 20 people.

For further information on the current restrictions and what is permitted please visit  the updated Roadmap.


I would like to extend my outdoor trading, where do I get started?

To make sure the process is as streamlined as possible for our local business community we have developed a simple process to get you started.

  • Step One: Have a look at the checklist below to ensure you have everything ready to get started.
  • Step Two: Contact our Business Support Service on 1300 BAW BAW to discuss your proposal and how we can support you to get trading.
  • Step Three: Submit your application! To enable trade as soon as possible we are committed to prioritising all outdoor dining applications.

We understand outdoor dining may look a little different from business to business so please reach out to our Business Support Service who will assist with getting you started.


Checklist for Outdoor Trading

Council has developed a simple checklist for businesses to get started:

  • You have read and understand the requirements set out for your business by the Victorian Government. For further information on these guidelines visit Department Health and Human Services.
  • You have developed and and implemented a COVID Safe Plan for your business to protect your staff, customers, and visitors. For assistance preparing a COVID Safe Plan Business Victoria has some great resources you can find at www.business.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19/covid-safe-business/covid-safe-plan, if you would like any further support please reach out to our Business Support Service on 1300 BAW BAW
  • Think about your business and how many customers you can accommodate and the resources you will need to support them. Any decision to undertake outdoor trading will impact (hopefully positively!) on your business and ensuring you have the staff; physical resources and the financial viability will set you up for success. Please note, we can only allow outdoor trading up to your business’ permitted number of patrons.
  • Have a think about your neighbours, if you would like to extend your outdoor trade be sure to have a chat with them, we encourage our community to keep working together throughout these times.
  • Consider your customers – Council has a responsibility to ensure the safety and amenity of our community. Access to and around your business should be considered and accommodate the needs of all members of our community. For information on the Footpath Trading Zone please visit www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/Your-Business/Footpath-Trading-and-Signs
  • Get out a pen and paper and draw your site plan, your application can be processed faster with a clear plan of your outdoor trading. Having a perfect drawing is not a requirement, however if you can indicate your current area of trade, where you would like to extend to and if you are required to increase your red line, be sure to include that as well.
  • Council will also ask you to nominate a start and end date for the temporary permit to be applied for. Consider what the next step looks like for your business and apply for a permit to support your business until trade starts to look normal again. Council will be providing extension of outdoor dining approvals until June 2022.
  • You are required to provide a current Certificate of Liability for up to $10 million with your application. We would also suggest contacting your insurer to make sure the extension of trade is still covered by your policy. 
  • And last, but probably the most important step in the process is to get in touch with our Business Support Service to discuss your proposal. We can take you through the form, answer any questions you may have and support you through the process of commencing outdoor trade.

Can I temporarily extend my liquor licence?

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Licencing (VCGLR) have introduced a streamlined approach to help existing licensees temporarily use outdoor areas to supply liquor as outlined in the Coronavirus (COVID-19) roadmap to reopening.

Existing licensees will first need written permission from their local Council to use public external/outdoor areas that are not currently authorised under the licensee’s existing permanent liquor licence.

Once you have Council permission to use the outdoor area, and you subsequently apply for a temporary limited licence (outdoor area temp licence) this may be granted and a licence issued to you that allows the supply of liquor in the outdoor area

There is no fee associated with applying for an outdoor area temp licence from the VCGLR.

When completing your application you will be asked if you are seeking to obtain an extension to your existing liquor licence if you answer yes and you have provided the required information Council will supply you with a letter of support with your approved permit.

This letter can then be sent to the VCGLR for consideration to increase your liquor licence.

For more information please visit www.vcglr.vic.gov.au/covid-19


Waiver of Fees and Charges

Baw Baw Shire Council has removed all fees associated with footpath trading and outdoor eating to support our local business community to continue to operate during the impacts of COVID-19.

Additional support for current permit holders will also be offered.


Application to Temporarily Extend Footpath Trading

If you would like to extend your footpath trading permit, please complete the form below. 

COVIDSafe Plan – Mandatory for every Victorian Business

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020, it is mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Your COVIDSafe Plan must:

  • Set out the actions required to prevent the introduction of coronavirus in your business
  • Outline the level of face covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for you and your staff
  • Detail how you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of coronavirus in your workplace
  • Demonstrate how you will meet all the requirements set out by the Victorian Government. Some higher-risk industries or workplaces have additional requirements of employers and employees.

COVIDSafe Plans are not difficult to develop with plenty of templates to help get you started. However, they are important and designed to protect not only your business but our economy.

To get you started or support you as you develop your COVID Safe Plan head to COVIDSafe Plan Business Victoria.

Baw Baw Shire Council Business Support

Baw Baw Business Support Service 

Throughout the impacts of COVID-19 our Baw Baw Business Support Service is available to all businesses. 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 economic.development@bawbawshire.vic.gov.au  or call us on 1300 BAW BAW.

COVID-19 Funding Support for Business

To support businesses to identify funding opportunities for your business we have developed a list of the available opportunities for businesses and community groups.

Please visit, https://bawbaw.grantguru.com.au/coronavirus-funding/

COVID-19 Business Support Resources

With an abundance of information available to businesses, we have put together the ultimate ‘hit list’ of resources to support you finding the information you need. Below is a list of just a few of our favourite resources.

If you have any questions or would like to know more don’t hesitate to reach out to our Business Support Service on 1300 BAW BAW.

  •  Keep up to date with advice from the Department of Health and Human Services. The requirements for safely operating your business can be different depending on your industry, location and several other factors. Checking this link regularly will help ensure you stay up to date with the latest information.
  • Make sure you have a COVIDSafe Plan it is a requirement for every Victorian business. These plans can be fairly simple to set up and will protect your business, your staff and our community, a great resource (and a template for you to fill in) can be found at Creating a COVIDSafe workplace.
  • The Victorian Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) have developed an Industry Support Hub. It has a variety of resources for tourism business including guidelines for reopening, signage, creating a safe workplace, managing an outbreak and much more. This information is customised to each industry and is a valuable resource to support you on your journey to reopening and beyond.
  • 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.

 

Mental Health for Business Owners

Being a business owner is challenging at the best of times, and with the impacts of COVID-19 every business has faced disruption, increasing stress levels and impacting mental health.

It is important to know how to look after your mental health, as well as that of your employees, here are a few tips from us:

  • Stay connected: call your staff, your friends and your family, get online and and use video chat where possible.
  • Stay active: get outside and enjoy some exercise each day, marathon running not required, even a walk around the block each day will work wonders.
  • Eat well: while a little chocolate is good for the soul try and eat regular, healthy meals.
  • Take a break: Find a moment to do something you enjoy, whether it's dancing in the kitchen, or sewing, or gardening, take the time to enjoy your hobbies.
  • Get support: you may have to pivot your business, or let go of staff, access resources from Council to help you build a plan on how to shift, or how to allow yourself and your business to have hope for the future.

And if you are struggling, or a staff member is facing challenges, reach out and speak to a friend or a professional. You can contact your GP and set up a mental health plan to get access to professional services or contact Lifeline on 13 11 14. 

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.