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.
Free financial counselling
Collins SBA has been contracted by the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania and Tasmanian Hospitality Association, through support from the Tasmanian Government, to provide free financial counselling for tourism and hospitality businesses. A Collins SBA advisor will be able to guide you through the business support packages available from the Tasmanian and Australian government’s and assist with other financial advice.
Tasmanian Government social and economic support
An extensive social and economic support package has been announced to support health services, households and individuals, the community and Tasmanian businesses.
Support for businesses include the following grants and schemes:
- Business continuity and grants (applications closed)
- Business support loan scheme (applications closed)
- Small business emergency support grant (applications closed)
- Small business hardship grant (applications closed)
- Business vehicle registration relief
Please visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au for more information on the stimulus and support package.
Other organisations such as TasWater, Aurora and TasNetworks 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 new JobKeeper subsidy
The JobKeeper initiative is a wage subsidy for workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their registered employer, whether the business is still operating or closed due to the impact of coronavirus.
Find out more about the JobKeeper payment here.
Still have questions about JobKeeper?
Collins SBA has started to compile a frequently asked questions sheet in response to some of the questions they are receiving from local clients about the JobKeeper package, available here. It’s important to also refer to the Australian Government’s fact sheets for employees and employers here.
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.
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
If your business has been impacted due to the coronavirus, you are encouraged to contact Business Tasmania on 1800 440 026 to discuss your situation and register your impact. You can also find more information here.
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.
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.
Business mentoring is available at an individual level with mentors matched to your particular circumstance and who provide guidance, support, introductions and constructive feedback to support your development as a business leader. See Mentoring for businesses.
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 support response. This includes offering a free consultation service for operators with an experienced financial advisor. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tasmanian Hospitality Association (THA)
The THA is offering free expert business advice for hospitality operations with Collins SBA through support from the Tasmanian Government. Collins SBA can assess individual business situations, the external support needed and help navigate the government assistance options available to business. Click here or 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 is available to provide support to you at any time via telephone, text and webchat services.
The 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
Call Lifeline on 13 11 14, they also have a number of resources for businesses.
Further resources are available to support the mental health and wellbeing of the community:
One Door Mental Health Emotional Support in Mandarin and English
Headspace Free Support for 12 - 25 Year Olds
Embrace Mental Health Multicultural Mental Health Site (many languages available)
Ask Izzy COVID-19 Support Resource
Migrant Resource Centre MRC
Multicultural Council of Tasmania MCOT
Information current as at 14:00 on 25 May 2020