Eco Dev Update - Friday 11 September 2020

To: Claire Hahnel, Mitchell Shire Council

Roadmap for Businesses

The Victorian Government has released a roadmap for re-opening due to the COVID pandemic. The roadmap is based on the premise of safe and steady steps to help re-open and then stay open as we drive COVID-19 numbers down.
Under the roadmap, Mitchell Shire remains within regional Victoria. This roadmap to reopening web page includes details on what restrictions mean for regional Victoria across different industry settings.

How can Mitchell Shire Council help?

Council has the following to assist Mitchell Shire businesses to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic and navigate through the roadmap for recovery:

Specialist advice to support businesses

Businesses in Mitchell Shire have access to free specialist advice until January 21 to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic with accountancy, tax, business strategy and human relations advice available through Council’s Jobs and Investments team. Eligible businesses can access a free 60-minute session with extra sessions available. Businesses can request advice in more than one area. Session availability may be limited due to high demand.
For more information and to request a session visit Business Advice Service.

Outdoor dining and signage fees waived 

Mitchell Shire Council has waived the cost of permit fees associated with outdoor dining and signage for this financial year.
In anticipation of the shift towards outdoor dining for businesses throughout regional Victoria over the next few months, Council is encouraging all businesses that currently do not have an existing permit for the use of outdoor furniture on footpaths, kurbsides and other outdoor spaces to apply as soon as possible.
Approvals will be granted with expediency to help businesses capitalise upon extra dining space. To apply complete this form and submit to
Please note, any business requiring outdoor liquor consumption beyond their 'redline', will be required to apply through Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and granted approval after Council's permission for this activity.
If you have further queries, please contact our Business Concierge service on 5734 6446.

Contactless thermometers available to local businesses

The Victorian Government has provided Council with a limited number of contactless thermometers for local businesses. These thermometers are a further preventative measure you can use in your COVID safe working plan. They are available free of charge to eligible Mitchell Shire businesses with at least five staff members who work concurrently at the same premise and have not been able to procure a contactless thermometer from suppliers. Limits apply, including one thermometer per business site per 20 employees; so get in while stocks last. Please contact confirming eligibility and Council will contact you to arrange collection.

Grant application assistance

Until February 2021, Mitchell Shire Council is ready to assist and support businesses with preparing and submitting grant applications to relevant State and Federal Government bodies. Council can assist by providing advice or review submissions for grants as well as identifying relevant grants to your business, such as:

To access this service please email your details to

COVID general business support

A reminder that with a range of  information around COVID pandemic and support services Council has created the Covid-19 Business Support page As the situation and advice continues to change, we ask all businesses to continue to monitor State and Federal Government announcements and Business Victoria. Note that the Business Victoria’s Business Support Fund Expansion applications has been extended until 14 September 2020

Mitchell Shire-based COVID testing locations

A reminder staff with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of sense of smell or taste) can be tested at shire-based testing places here

Support to go Online for Food Businesses

The Click For Vic is a new campaign to connect Victorians with local producers, creators and businesses to online offerings including the Victorian Country Market - a digital version of your favourite country market. To find out how to create your own stall and financial support to set it up, please refer to the FAQs.

Alongside the Click for Vic initiative, Agriculture Victoria announced a $1.5 million E-commerce and New Marketplace Transition Package to help the sector go online. For more information visit the Agriculture Workforce Plan website to register your interest or email

Operating a food business from home?

Mitchell Shire council supports and encourages all types of businesses provided they comply with all legislative requirements. Premises where storing, cooking, transporting or preparing food for sale must be registered with Council. It is in the best interests of our community to know a home business is registered and food is safe to be consumed and prepared and the premises complies with health standards. It’s not too late to call Council and have your business registered.
For more information go to Food Businesses in Mitchell Shire.

Digital Marketing Series

Join the upcoming online webinars hosted by Mitchell Shire Council designed to help your business navigate marketing in an online world. The final two webinars are:

  • How to use Instagram for your Business  |  Tue 15 Sep |  Free  |  Book here 
  • Using Mailchimp to communicate with your audience |  Thurs 17 Sep |  Free  |  Book here 
The workshops will be recorded so you can watch them at any time.
View previous workshops about Google, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at our  Online Marketing Vimeo page.

On-Farm Stories and Advice Podcast Series

Victorian farmers will be able to hear stories from fellow producers around the state, along with advice and information with the launch of a new podcast from the Victorian Government. Ag Vic Talk is a pilot series that will cover problems and solutions for managing bushfire recovery, drought and dry seasonal conditions, weather and climate, as well inspiring stories from young farmers.

The series will include Agriculture Victoria industry development officers and farmers providing useful advice on topics such as pasture recovery after fire, and how farmers can support their neighbours during challenging times and how to use technology to manage seasonal risk. Ag Vic Talk will be available on multiple podcasts platforms.

Regional Connectivity Program

The Australian Government has committed up to $53 million to a new Regional Connectivity Program to improve access to and participation in the digital economy in regional, rural and remote Australia. The program will provide targeted, place-based investment in telecommunications infrastructure projects which facilitate economic and social opportunities in communities that are not classified as in a Major Urban area and that are outside the existing NBN fixed-line footprint.
Local businesses, community organisations and other interested parties can view, upload and share potential projects at the program noticeboard.

Creative Industries Business Incubator program

Emporium Creative Hub is introducing a new 12-session business incubation program for the creatives of Regional Victoria. Based in Bendigo, the incubator is tailored specifically for creative enterprises. Get help kickstarting that new business idea or grow your existing creative enterprise. Limited places. Check their website for details.


Economic Development Department
Mitchell Shire Council
03 5734 6260 or


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