Eco Dev Update - Monday 11 May 2020

To: Alison O'Connor, Mitchell Shire Council 

With a range of  information around Covid-19 and support services we have created the Covid-19 Business Support Page for our business community to access a central location.  This page includes a list of information for businesses, including the different forms of support, tools and resources available during this time. Please find attached a helpful summary guide of business assistance from the Victorian Government.  As the situation and advice continues to change, we ask all businesses to continue to monitor State and Federal Government announcements. For assistance or advice call the Economic Development Team on 5734 6200.

Latest Update on Restrictions

Last Friday the Federal Government announced the 3 stage plan for lifting restrictions, the plan can be found here.  However the decision as to when these stages are implemented will be dependent on each State Government.

This morning the Victorian State Government announced that from 11:59pm Tue 12 May, Victorians will be allowed to have 5 visitors to their home. No changes to work from home at the moment so if you can work from home, you should. Weddings will now be able to have ten guests and up to 20 people will be able to attend funerals held indoors and up to 30 if they’re outdoors. Also allowed will be walking groups, fishing, hiking and golf.  Groups of 10 people are allowed for outdoor activities.  Restaurant and cafe restrictions are still in place, that is, takeaway only. Social distancing still applies. These changes will be in place until 11:59pm Sunday 31 May. Read more here.

Small Business Bus

Get sound business advice thanks to the Victorian Government's Online Small Business Bus. Delivered by experts from the Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS), the mentoring sessions can help you to identify a clear direction for your business, discuss key issues and priorities, and develop an action plan to achieve your goals. Sessions are 45 mins and free of charge. Due to current restrictions, these sessions will now take place over the phone. Businesses who book will be contacted by Small Business Victoria to arrange their call. There are still places available for the below four locations. Visit our website to book.

  • Wallan - Tuesday 12 May
  • Kilmore – Wednesday 13 May
  • Broadford – Thursday 14 May
  • Seymour – Monday 18 May


If you are a local café, restaurant, bistro, catering service or takeaway business that is currently offering takeaway or delivery, please visit MitchellEats to submit your details so we can promote your offering. Our local Mitchell Shire food businesses are continuing to update their services and offerings during the Covid-19 restrictions. We can all help our local hospitality business at this time by safely purchasing takeaway and/or delivery meals during Covid-19. Supporting our local businesses by buying meals, means we are supporting the businesses and in turn supporting jobs and our towns futures.

Business Support Fund

The Victorian Government have expanded the criteria to include businesses with a wages bill less than the payroll tax threshold of $650,000 who are participating in the Commonwealth JobKeeper program, regardless of the sector they operate in. This includes some small food manufacturers and distributors. Eligibility for the fund will not be expanded to include sole traders, who are covered by JobKeeper. Businesses who applied for Business Support Fund payments but were initially not eligible based on their sector classification will be contacted by the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions and do not have to submit a new application. Businesses that have not previously applied for a grant due to their sector classification are encouraged to make an application for a grant at when applications for the expanded group open in coming days.  Visit the Business Support Fund to read about the expanded fund.

Saving Jobs and Reducing the Burden

The Victorian Government have announced that businesses participating in the JobKeeper scheme in Victoria will be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium on payments to their employees if their staff are currently stood down. The announcement means the $1,500 fortnightly payment paid to staff who are currently stood down will be free from all state government taxes and charges – meaning more money in the pockets of businesses, and more incentive to keep workers on throughout the crisis. Payments above a part-time employee’s usual salary, due to JobKeeper being a minimum $1500 fortnightly payment, will also be exempt from payroll tax and the WorkCover premium. Read the Media Release.

Making Workplaces Covid-19 Safe

The Federal Government, in cooperation with State Premiers, is developing guidelines on how to make Australian businesses 'Covid-19 safe' workplaces. While more guidance is expected to be released shortly, Safe Work Australia now has an additional 1,300 different webpages for 23 different industry sectors. To see how your workplace can be made 'Covid-19 Safe', go to Safe Work Australia.


Tue 12 May - Confident communication with staff and customers during a crisis - Register Here
From Wed 13 May, various sessions - Melbourne Innovation Centre Business Resilence Workshops - Read more

Upskilling the Next Generation of Victorian Farmers

The Upskill and Invest Young Farmers Scholarships allow successful applicants to access study and training, as well as invest in on-farm initiatives and further professional development. The program provides scholarships of up to $10,000 to support training and study in areas such as business and risk management, genetics and pasture management development. Applications for this year’s round of scholarships are now open to farmers aged 35 or under who have been working in farm businesses for at least three days a week for the past three months, with at least two years total experience on-farm. To find out more about the program and to apply for a scholarship, visit Applications close on Sunday 14 June.


Puckapunyal Military Area - Trade and contract roles

NB. Broadspectrum were having problems receiving emails. These errors have now been fixed - please send any queries to

Local businesses and tradespeople are being encouraged to register for possible contract roles across the Puckapunyal Military Area. This is an opportunity that is open to all businesses across Mitchell Shire as well as neighbouring Council areas associated with the base to apply to join a panel of providers to assist with a variety of works across the military area. The purpose of this stimulus program is to quickly engage smaller local business that may be already feeling the downturn effects from the impact of COVID-19 and assist them through this challenging time. Defence’s Base Support contractor ‘Broadspectrum’ is coordinating the program.

A panel of vendors will be established across seven areas:

  • Air conditioning and HVAC services  (general works)
  • Hydraulic and plumbing  (general works)
  • Civil services  (roads, footpaths, kerbing, bitumen)
  • Interior specialists  (joinery and painting)
  • Electrical  (general low voltage to RC replacements)
  • Land Management  (landscaping, bird proofing, fencing)

Businesses can register their interest here.

Free VCCI Membership

The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) are offering free membership.
See attached document for further information.


Claire Hahnel
Business Development and Engagement Officer
Mitchell Shire Council
03 5734 6260 or


This email was sent by Mitchell Shire Council and is intended for Alison O'Connor of Mitchell Shire Council.

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