The latest coronavirus outbreaks across Australia have caused several states to enforce restrictions, with many areas going into lockdown.
These restrictions may mean that some small businesses will be operating at reduced capacity, altering their services, or closing until restrictions ease. With different rules across and within states, keeping up with what you should and should not be doing can be challenging. To help navigate the restriction information, the COVID-19 Restriction Checker by healthdirect helps you check what regulations are in place in your state to make sure you’re doing the right thing.
With the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, it’s easy to become worried about what will happen next, both in your personal and business life, including your financial situation. Restrictions may be extended or return at a later date, and it’s important that we are mentally prepared for this to happen.
What support is available?
The Australian Government is continuing to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. There are many federal initiatives designed to help businesses, as well as supports specific to each state. You may be eligible for something that can help you through the current lockdowns. For example:
- Australia wide: Eligible businesses who employ staff can receive a cash flow boost equivalent to the amount withheld from wages paid to employees. Businesses are also eligible for JobMaker Hiring Credit if they employ job seekers aged 16-35.
- NSW: Under the latest support packages, businesses may be eligible for grants of up to $15,000 to cover losses during recent lockdowns. There is also cash flow support available to help retain employees.
- QLD: Small and micro businesses can apply for funding of up to $10,000 to help them adapt and sustain their operations.
- WA: Eligible businesses can apply for payroll tax support and a one-off grant of $17,500.
For mental health support, you can visit Beyond Blue or call their Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service on 1800 512 348 if you’re struggling during the pandemic. Beyond Blue has also launched their NewAccess for Small Business Owners program, connecting you with a trained small business coach who can offer you advice and support. You can also visit or call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for mental health support.
Make sure you are looking after yourself and looking out for others in these challenging times.
Coping with feelings of uncertainty
The uncertainty around how long restrictions will last can be one of the more stressful factors surrounding lockdowns and restrictions. Although many of the recent lockdowns and restrictions are set to last a few days, it is unknown if they will be extended. While you can’t control the pandemic, you can control how you respond to it. While waiting for information, it's important that you are doing what you can to look after your mental health and wellbeing. Ahead for Business has developed several resources that may help you cope during these uncertain times.