Programs and resources to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19
It is a difficult and uncertain time for many in Tasmania’s visitor economy, with tourism and hospitality businesses impacted by the continued evolving response to COVID-19.
Tasmania’s T21 visitor economy partners across government and industry have a wide range of programs and resources that may assist you and your business. A directory and links to a range of resources are listed below.
Tasmanian Government social and economic support
An extensive social and economic support package has been implemented to support health services, households and individuals, the community and Tasmanian businesses. Continuing support for businesses includes the following:
- Event Infrastructure and Critical Support Small Business Grant Program – applications close 13 November 2020
- Business Growth Loan scheme – applications close 14 September 2020 or when funding is exhausted
- Tourism Industry Market Support Program applications close 30 October 2020 or when funding is exhausted
- Landlord Support Fund - applications close 1 December 2020
- COVID-19 Small Business Energy Support Grant Program - applications close 26 October 2020
- Business vehicle registration relief
- Payroll Tax Relief
- Relief for commercial property owners and tenants – land tax for 2020-21 waived
- Government leases – rental waived for six months from 1 March 2020
Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information on the stimulus and support package.
Other organisations such as TasWater and Aurora are also providing support to businesses. These organisations are listed on the Business Tasmania website.
Australian Government’s economic response
The Australian Government has announced a number of initiatives to mitigate impact of the coronavirus by supporting investment and keeping people in jobs.
Click here for more information on the Australian Government’s support for business.
Apply for the JobKeeper subsidy
The JobKeeper initiative is a wage subsidy that eligible workers can receive through their registered employer.
The Government is extending the JobKeeper payment by a further six months to March 2021, targeted to businesses that continue to be significantly impacted by COVID-19 and with adjusted eligibility criteria to apply.
Find out more about the JobKeeper payment for:
Cash flow support for small and medium businesses
The Australian Government will provide tax-free cash flow boosts of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses, delivered through credits when eligible businesses lodge their activity statements. Further information on eligibility is available here.
Need advice on refunds and cancellations?
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued guidance for small businesses on refunds and cancellations due to COVID-19. The guidance provides information on rights and obligations under the Australian Consumer Law relating to issues such as cancelled functions and events, cancelled bookings and pricing of goods and services, available here.
Wage subsidy to retain apprentices and trainees
Employers can register to receive a 50 percent subsidy of the wages paid to apprentices or trainees during the 9 months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020. Further information is available here.
JobTrainer skills package
The Australian Government has announced a $2 billion JobTrainer skills package, to reform the Vocational Education and Training sector and keep apprentices in jobs.
The Tasmanian Government will match a $10.5 million investment from the Commonwealth, meaning a total of $21 million will be available in Tasmania to support thousands of new low or no-fee training places for job seekers and young people. See the media release here.
Temporary early release of superannuation
If you have been financially affected by COVID-19, you may be able to access some of your superannuation early. Further information is available here.
Other business advice services
Business Tasmania can help you with information for your business regarding practical or financial support, Tasmanian Government programs, current restrictions, COVID-19 Safety Plans and access to free business advice. www.business.tas.gov.au is the central point for Tasmanian industry-wide business information. Contact the team on 1800 440 026 or email email@example.com.
Subscribe to the newsletter to receive the latest updates.
Worksafe Tasmania has a webpage dedicated to COVID-19, which provides guidance and resources for workplaces and employers covering work health and safety, workers compensation, and industry-specific guidance relevant to COVID-19. See https://www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/topics/Health-and-Safety/safety-alerts/coronavirus.
You must have prepared your business to be COVID Safe and have read the guidelines for the tourism industry and hospitality industry. If you need additional information or support to develop your COVID-19 Safety Plan, contact the Worksafe Tasmania Advisory Service on 1300 366 322.
Enterprise Centres Tasmania
Longer term business advice and support can be accessed through the Enterprise Centres Tasmania services, see https://www.enterprisecentres.tas.gov.au/.
Skllls Tasmania is providing support for retrenched and redundant workers through the Rapid Response Skills Initiative. The initiative provides up to $3,000 for individuals to gain skills or licenses to help them into a new role. The Rapid Response Skills Matching Service is available to match displaced workers with businesses seeking work-ready employees. See Skills Tasmania.
Digital Ready Tasmania
If you would like to explore digital solutions to refocus your business processes and online marketing, see https://digitalready.tas.gov.au/.
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT)
TICT is working with its membership and broader industry to inform the policy and program response to the COVID crisis.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA)
The Tasmanian Hospitality Association is the peak industry body for hotels, restaurants, pubs and clubs in Tasmania. It provides workforce development and other programs for the hospitality sector.
For further information email enquiries@THA.asn.au.
Non-essential gatherings and events
There are currently restrictions on public gatherings. Please see www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information. For further advice, please call the Events Hotline on 1300 880 634.
Regional Tourism Organisations
Tasmania’s four regional tourism organisations are able to provide information and advice. Depending on where your business is located please contact:
Tourism Australia has collated information about Federal, State and Territory Government funding and relief assistance for businesses impacted by coronavirus. They will continue to update the information as more support measures are announced and details confirmed.
Tourism Australia is also updating the existing travel alert page on Australia.com regularly with information for travellers.
Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC)
ATEC is supporting the wider tourism industry through informative weekly webinars. The webinars draw on the experience and knowledge of ATEC members, industry and other experts and government agencies. To learn more about the webinars, join ATEC’s mailing list here.
The ATEC website also hosts an extensive library of resources and information including details of the various government support packages and previous webinars.
Mental health support and community services
You or someone you know may be feeling afraid, worried, anxious or overwhelmed. Lifeline and Lifeline Tasmania are available to provide support to you at any time via telephone, text and webchat services.
The Australia Government’s digital mental health portal, Head to Health, is also a source of authoritative information and guidance on how to maintain good mental health during the coronavirus pandemic and in self-isolation, how to support children and loved ones, and how to access further mental health services and care.
For mental health support phone Tasmanian Lifeline on 1800 984 434
Beyond Blue and Heads Up also have a number of resources for businesses.
Further resources are available to support the mental health and wellbeing of the community:
- Mental health support for small business owners Ahead for Business
- Red Cross Looking After your Mental Wellbeing during COVID-19
- One Door Mental Health Emotional Support in Mandarin and English
- Headspace Free Support for 12 - 25 Year Olds
- Beyond Blue National Help Lines and Websites Mental Health During the COVID-19 Outbreak
- Embrace Mental Health Multicultural Mental Health Site (many languages available)
- Migrant Resource Centre MRC