In this edition, you will find information about support available for businesses impacted by the recent COVID-19 lockdown; free business mentoring and counselling sessions; a new round of the Business Facade Improvement Program; State and Federal funding programs; business tools, services, tips; a business profile and much more.

If you would like any further information on any of the articles or would like your business profiled, please contact the Economic Development and Tourism team on 1300 656 564.

From 11:59 pm on Tuesday 27 July 2021, restrictions have changed across the state. Facemasks are now mandatory both indoors and outdoors, while workplace attendance is capped and 25%. Further details can be found at the Coronavirus Victoria Website

All businesses are required to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service for record-keeping (unless an exemption applies). Get your free QR code here

For more information on the latest restriction or for information and advice for business and industry visit the DHHS website.

A new jointly funded package from the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will give small and medium Victorian businesses the extra support and confidence they need to recover from the recent lockdown.

The package includes a new $85 million Small Business COVID Hardship Fund and $156 million Business Continuity Fund, as well as delivering support for commercial tenants and landlords. It will also build on the  Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund and Round Two of the Business Costs Assistance Package. Businesses that received payments from these programs in the May/June lockdown will automatically qualify and be issued payments.

There are also COVID-19 Disaster Relief Payments available for micro-businesses not registered for GST.  To learn more about available business support, visit the Business Victoria website.

Applications to the 2021/22 Business Facade Improvement Program are now open!

Following the success of last year’s program, Council is again offering up to $5,000 to local businesses to upgrade their business shopfronts.

The grant program aims to improve streetscapes and encourage capital investment in Moyne’s town centres.
Whether it be a fresh coat of paint, new signage, or a new verandah and windows, we encourage all small business operators and property owners to invest in their building façade and access Council’s funding towards the project.  

The application form and further information on the program are on Council’s website at

Are you struggling with an aspect of running your business? The Business Adaptation Service (BAS) may help you overcome some of the small, and large, challenges you're facing.

Local businesses of all sizes, including sole traders, are encouraged to submit an application for the program. Successful applicants will receive personalised mentoring and support services. Find out how to submit your Expression of Interest to receive professional business development services up to the value of $1000.

Facilitated by professional business consultants with extensive and varied experience, the BAS program offers access to professional services across a broad range of areas including

  • Financial Advice
  • Business Planning
  • Strategic advice
  • Digital solutions
  • Marketing
  • COVID Safety
  • Succession Planning
  • Information Technology.

For more information call 1300 656 564 or visit our website

The Rural Financial Counselling Service is your local provider with counsellors working across Victoria’s western region.

Rural financial counsellors and small business financial counsellors are a great resource for your farm or small business operation. They’re based in the regions they work in and understand local conditions and communities.

Financial counsellors can help with:

  • Understanding your financial position
  • Identifying and exploring options
  • Accessing grants and government support
  • Negotiating with banks, creditors or insurance providers
  • Planning for the next months and for the future

RFCS WSW takes a holistic approach to financial counselling. A well-being counsellor is available to ensure anyone working with a financial counsellor is fully supported.

Appointments with a financial counsellor are always free of charge.

Get to know your local RFCS. Call 1300 735 578 or visit

The Solar for Business Program is a new initiative designed to support Victorian small businesses in reducing their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable resources.   

This initiative will reduce the upfront costs of installation of an approved small-scale solar PV system (up to 30kW).    

To support the economic recovery of Victorian small businesses and the broader solar sector, 15,000 solar PV rebates will be available over the next three years. 

Rebates cover up to 50 per cent of the cost of a rooftop solar system, with small businesses eligible for a maximum rebate of $3,500. 

To find out more, visit -

Grants between $50,000 and $2,000,000 is available for manufacturing businesses to establish or scale their capability, or a related activity, to address supply chain vulnerabilities. Funding can be used to build manufacturing capability through co-investing in new equipment, technology, skills and processes

Applicants should demonstrate how their project:

  • builds a better understanding of critical supply chains
  • works with industry to identify supply options 
  • address vulnerabilities by building capabilities through new equipment, technology, skills and processes

For more information, please click here

Applications close on 12 August 2021.

Regional Growth Project is working in partnership with the State government to activate and promote Free regionally-specific events as part of the  Digital Innovation Festival (DIF). Confirmed Flagship Events, with a regional focus in the 2021 Digital Innovation Festival include:

The Victorian Regional Growth Summit - Wednesday 1 September

This one-day event brings together business leaders from across regional, rural and outer metro communities to share stories of inspiration combined with practical actions that you can implement immediately to help your business grow.

The Victorian Regional Growth Showcase - Monday 6 September

A half-day event to build awareness and celebrate the key digital and innovation projects happening across Victoria. Sharing how the Regional Digital Fund is supporting local communities based on four themes - Connectivity, Digital Hubs, Digital Health and Digital Inclusion.

Binary Shift - Tuesday 7 September

Binary Shift 2021 is an interactive virtual event bringing together regional innovators thought leaders and business leaders to solve regional problems, showcase stories of regional innovation, and inspire regional leaders to collaborate to address the biggest challenges of our time - climate change, energy transition, sustainable agriculture and others.

Share Your Story
The team are looking for real, relatable stories of digital transformations to be used as examples in the upcoming summit, including:

  • Digital transformations - using digital to support and/or grow your business
  • How digital has enabled connections - for example, with partners and opened new channels to market
  • Digital marketing - having developed a strategy and implemented it to great success
  • How you have worked together with the local community using digital to support each other

Please follow the link to submit your story and highlight what you've achieved in your business. Everyone is welcome!

As a small business owner, you can sink a huge amount of time and money into marketing your business. But without an effective website, you might not be realising your full potential. Digital Business Consultant and Chromatix Founder Irwin Hau tells you how to optimise your website to close sales – and convert every visitor into a customer. Learn more at: Why your website is your best salesperson.

R&CA, in collaboration with Business Victoria, is giving Victorian’s the opportunity to access 6 Micro-Credential Courses free of charge. As one of the leading educational specialists in the hospitality and catering sector, R&CA is focused on using our industry and training expertise to deliver hospitality specific micro-credentialing and vocational education that strengthens and equips the industry with the tools they need to be successful. Simply click on the link next to the course you wish to complete, when you are at the checkout, type in the code BUSVIC and it will make it FREE for you to undertake.
A list of free courses can be found below:
  1. Communication & Administration Techniques   
  2. COVID-19 Hospitality Best Practice
  3. Getting your rosters right
  4. Emotional Awareness in Leadership
  5. Managing Customer Expectations
  6. COVID-19 HBP + Managing Customer Expectations

The Creative Ventures Program supports creative organisations/businesses/collectives to generate content, work and opportunities. It provides two years of funding to support a diverse cohort of Victorian creative entities (i.e. micro to small organisations/businesses and legally constituted or auspiced collectives) that reflect contemporary creative practices.

This program is open to the full spectrum of creative practice, content and outputs and a range of activities within the creative industries. The program is focused on investing in creative products and services and increasing their availability, supporting collaboration and new ways of working that can create employment opportunities.

For further information please click here

Applications are on 12 August and close on 16 September 2021

Down Under UGG Boots is a family-owned business that started over 50 years ago in Carrum Downs in Melbourne. 

The owners,
Paul and Karen Hutchings, were holidaying in the South West region when they realised a wonderful opportunity existed to expand their sheepskin business in Killarney.

on 1164 Princes Highway, Killarney, the business stocks a variety of UGG boots, moccasins, sheepskin rugs, baby rugs, car seat covers, cow hides, handbags, wallets and much more.

To learn more about the business, check out the video on the Port Fairy Tourism Facebook page

Phone:03 5568 7385

For further information about our service or if you need help with accessing any of the resources provided, please contact Council's Economic Development and Tourism Team on 1300 656 564 or general inquiries can be emailed to