22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110

Mandatory Code of Conduct for Commercial Tenancies – Landlords will be required to reduce rents proportionate to the reduction in trade experienced by their tenants (if they are small to medium-sized retail, office and industrial businesses in distress) due to COVID-19. Rental relief would be proportional to a tenant’s decline in turnover and provided in two parts: (at least) 50% as a waiver and 50% as a deferral for payment over the remaining term of the lease.

COVID-19 Job Hub – The Australian Government has released a COVID-19 Job Hub to help the many employees that have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and reducing workforces, to more easily access jobs in health and care sectors, transport and logistics, some areas of retail, mining and mining services, manufacturing, agriculture and government sectors, among others that are experiencing increases in demand.

Australian Business Continuity Online Resource Centre provides access to free business services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus Business Liaison Unit engages with business regularly and provides updates to government on crucial issues.

Export Market Development Grants – $49.8 million support package for Export Market Development Grants, allowing exporters and tourism businesses to get additional reimbursements for costs incurred in marketing their products and services.

Third economic stimulus package:

  • JobSeeker payments to people with partners who earn up to $80,000.
  • JobKeeper payments of up to $1500 per employee for businesses to keep staff on.

Second economic stimulus package:

  • temporary relief for financially distressed businesses
  • Coronavirus affected regions and sectors.
  • Boosting cash flow for employers to keep staff – Businesses and not-for-profits, with a turnover less than $50 million will receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them retain staff and continue operating. Under the enhanced scheme, employers will receive a payment equal to 100 per cent of their salary and wages withheld (up from 50 per cent), with the maximum payment being increased from $25,000 to $50,000. In addition, the minimum payment is being increased from $2,000 to $10,000. During July-October 2020 eligible entities will receive an additional payment equal to the total of all of the Boosting Cash Flow for Employers payments they have received. This means that eligible entities will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.
  • Apprentices and trainees – if you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. You can register for the subsidy from early April 2020.
  • Temporary relief bankruptcy – the government will make a number of changes to the personal insolvency system regulated by the Bankruptcy Act 1966. The threshold for the minimum amount of debt required for a creditor to initiate bankruptcy proceedings against a debtor will temporarily increase from its current level of $5000 to $20,000. This will apply for six months. Failure to respond to a bankruptcy notice is the most common act of bankruptcy. The time a debtor has to respond to a bankruptcy notice will be temporarily increased from 21 days to six months. The extension will give a debtor more time to consider repayment arrangements before they could be forced into bankruptcy. This will apply for six months.
  • Increasing the instant asset write-off – the 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 $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2020, for new or secondhand assets first used or installed ready for use in this timeframe.
  • Tax relief – If you are experiencing difficulties with tax obligations because of COVID-19, you can phone the Australian Taxation Office Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to your circumstances or email COVID-19Taxissues@ato.gov.au
  • Backing business investment – a time limited 15-month 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. Businesses with a turnover of less than $500 million will be able to deduct 50 per cent of the cost of an eligible asset on installation, with existing depreciation rules applying to the balance of the asset cost.

Visit the Australian Government business website for more information and support.

Training: 

Infection control training

The Department of Health has a free 30-minute online training module available to health care workers including doctors, nurses, care workers, allied health professionals, reception staff, cleaning staff and others, in all settings, such as hospitals, primary care, disability care, aged care, pharmacies, dental practices and more. It covers the fundamentals of infection protection and control for COVID-19. Register for the training with the Department of Health.

TAFE free online courses

TAFE NSW is offering a suite of 21 fee-free online short courses to assist job seekers and workers looking to diversify their skills, and businesses in hibernation to upskill their workers.

The 21 short courses include:

  •  eMarketing for Small Business
  • Engaging Customers Using Social Media
  • Writing and Presentation Skills
  • Computing Skills
  • Team Leader Skill Set
  • Administration Skills for Team Leaders.

For more information and to browse the courses, visit TAFE NSW.

 

From Beyond Blue:

Practical tips to help run your small business from home

We’re all facing unprecedented challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic and the impact on small business owners is significant. Here’s some practical advice to help you navigate this tricky time.

We’re working in ways we’ve likely never had to before.

Pressure on revenue, employee management issues including staffing levels, working from home arrangements for short or extended periods, and planning for the future while dealing with the present, are all weighty issues that need to be addressed.

Looking after your own mental health as well as that of your staff is equally important.

It’s important that you seek support – this will not only be good for your mental health but good for your business too.

Beyond Blue has previously developed a  opens in a new window guide for small business owners  that may be useful.

This is also a good time to re-visit or, if you haven’t already, develop a wellbeing plan to help you adjust to your new working situation.

If you know a small business owner who is struggling, please visit the Supporting small businesses page of our website for information about how you can help them improve their mental health and wellbeing.

Supporting employees

If you’re a manager, it’s important to think about how you can support your employees during these uncertain times.

  • Maintain regular communication with your employees
  • Keep staff up to date about your business’ response to the coronavirus outbreak
  • Make sure your staff are aware of the support that is available to them (for example, if you have an Employee Assistance Program [EAP] in place)
  • If you’re concerned about a workmate, make sure to check in,  opens in a new windowhave a conversation with them and encourage them to get the support they need
  • Consider some of our  opens in a new windowtips for managers to help you maintain a mentally healthy workplace
  • Don’t forget to take time to look after yourself

Working from home safely and productively

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people are either already working from home, or are likely to have to work from home for a period of time. With this in mind, here are some tips for employees and managers that will help support everyone’s mental health.

If you need to work from home, you should:

  • maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting time limits
  • create a separate office or workspace, if possible
  • move around every hour, and go outside once a day (if it’s responsible to do so)
  • choose a good chair and set up your computer properly
  • keep connected to colleagues and communicate daily with your manager
  • set a work schedule for the day and stick to it
  • shower, and dress comfortably, as if you’re going to the office
  • keep the kitchen stocked with healthy snacks and meals.

If you are a small business owner, or a manager with a team working from home, you should:

  • ensure employees are aware of resources to support their mental health and wellbeing
  • be aware that individual circumstances vary and consider options to support each team member’s needs
  • provide strong IT support and guidelines for remote working so employees can be fully productive
  • be mindful of the disruption that potential school closures may cause to families
  • agree on working hours that employees know they are not expected to work beyond
  • touch base with each team member daily and have regular longer one-to-one meetings
  • remind employees to work in ways that are kind to their mind and body
  • maintain regular virtual team meetings; advise teams to stay as connected as possible
  • remember that being a manager doesn’t make you immune to the same stresses as your employees and that you need to look after yourself too.

Accessing support

Beyond Blue Support Services

If you need assistance please visit the dedicated Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service. Trained mental health professionals are available to talk to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, via phone.

Financial support for those who have lost their job

The Australian Government is providing  opens in a new windowfinancial assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs to support themselves and their families.

If you are experiencing financial hardship

If you are experiencing financial hardship, the  opens in a new windowNational Debt Helpline offers free financial counselling.

Strategic Planning Meeting

Businesses are encouraged to sign up to councils eNews for up to date information on how local, state and federal governments are working together to support businesses through this pandemic.

Evictions moratorium

National Cabinet has agreed to a moratorium on evictions over the next six months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of coronavirus.  Read the Cabinet statement – 29 March here

Advice from the Small Business Commissioner

https://www.smallbusiness.nsw.gov.au/get-help/covid-19-coronavirus-information-small-business-owners

Rates relief for property owners

Businesses suffering financial hardship are urged to apply to Council for rates relief, such as tailored payment plans. Refer to council’s financial hardship policy

Open for Business

Council wants to understand which businesses are Open for Business. If you are a local business in the Hunters Hill LGA, and you want the community to know your new hours, services or simply that you are open for business, please add your details on this Google Map:

Please mark your business as open on this Google Map

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Hunter’s Hill Council

22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400