Business in Yarra


There are more than 16,600 businesses operating in Yarra, making us home to one of the largest economies in metropolitan Melbourne.

Our vision is for Yarra to be recognised as a smart and sustainable city, with vibrant and thriving precincts and an engaged local business community.

Coronavirus: information for businesses

This information was last updated on Monday 6 April at 1pm.

$7.46 million support package from Yarra City Council

We’re providing more than $7.4 million dollars of funding and other relief measures which include redirection of existing funding and grants, refunds and waivers for local businesses to ensure that they are supported during this unparalleled COVID-19 pandemic and through the recovery phase.

More information.

Do I need to close my business?

The Victorian Government has ordered:

  • the closure of non-essential businesses
  • limitations on certain activities
  • closure of a range of venues, attractions and facilities where large numbers of people would otherwise be in close proximity.

Read the full list of businesses and activities that must cease.

What's open in Yarra?

Check out our map of local businesses still open during this difficult time. Show your support by purchasing products and services from these businesses.

If your business would like to be added to the map, contact us and tell us your hours and what you are offering to customers.

Permit refunds

As part of our new $7.46 million support package, we will be providing a six month refund (April to September) on the following permits:

  • footpath trading
  • food registrations
  • health registrations

You do not need to contact us to cancel your permit or apply for a refund. You will automatically receive a refund, and can continue trading as per state and federal government guidelines during this time.

We are anticipating refunds may take up to 6 weeks to process, keeping in mind the upcoming public holidays. We are working on your refunds as a priority and appreciate your patience.

Support from the Australia Government

The Australian Government has announced a $320 billion economic plan to support businesses.

Boosting cash flow for employers

Eligible small and medium businesses and not-for-profits (including charities) will automatically receive a payment of between $10,000 and $50,000 via their business activity statements (BAS) or instalment activity statement (for PAYG) from 28 April 2020, with refunds to be paid within 14 days. This payment will be equal to 100% of the business's salary and wages withheld.

In the July – October 2020 period, eligible businesses will receive an additional payment equal to the total of the first support payment they received. This means that eligible businesses will receive at least $20,000 up to a total of $100,000 under both payments.

More information.

JobKeeper Payment 

If your business has been significantly impacted by coronavirus you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees. The Australian Government will provide $1,500 per fortnight per employee for up to 6 months.

More information.

A hold on evictions

The Prime Minister has announced new measures to help renters. Evictions will be put on hold over the next 6 months for commercial and residential tenancies in financial distress, who are unable to meet their commitments due to the impact of the coronavirus.

More information.

Support from the Victorian Government 

The Victorian Government has established a $1.7 billion economic survival package to support Victorian businesses and workers.

Business Support Fund

Eligible small and medium businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

More information and apply now.

Payroll Tax Refund

Businesses with annual taxable wages up to $3 million will have their payroll tax for the 2019-20 financial year waived. The State Revenue Office will directly contact eligible businesses to reimburse them for payroll tax already paid in the financial year. Eligible businesses must continue to lodge returns but do not need to make further payments for this financial year. These businesses can also defer paying payroll tax for the first quarter of the 2020-21 financial year. More information about these relief measures will be sent directly to eligible businesses.

Liquor licence fees waived

Renewable liquor licence fees for 2020 will be waived. Businesses that have already paid will be reimbursed. The State Revenue Office (SRO) will administer the reimbursement, regardless of whether the licence fee was paid to the SRO or the Victorian Commission for Gaming and Liquor Regulation.


Businesses dealing with the significant challenges posed by the coronavirus can call 13 22 15 for  support services and the latest information on how to access financial support available through the national stimulus package.

Other support

All banks will defer small business loan repayments for six months

Any small business who has not already been contacted should contact their bank to apply.

More information

Free mentoring

If you run a small business in Yarra, you can book a free, one-hour, one-on-one mentoring session valued at $100 from the Small Business Mentoring Service. Contact us for a special voucher code to book your free session.

Free membership to the Victorian Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber is an independent voice for Victorian business and supports businesses towards growth and prosperity. For the first time ever, the Chamber will waive membership fees for one year for all Victorian businesses (up to $700 value). Existing members will receive an additional $500 credit.

Join today

Support from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO)

The ATO is offering new relief measures to help your business, such as deferring payments and due dates of your activity statement (including PAYG instalments).

Trouble paying rent?

The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) have developed information to help tenants having difficulty paying rent, including steps you can take now, and how the VSBC's mediation service can help resolve lease disputes.

Inner North Community Foundation grant applications now open

Local community groups and charities looking for critical funding can now apply for grants of $1,000 and $1,500.

Find out more and apply now.

Electricity relief from CitiPower and Powercor

CitiPower and Powercor have announced that network charges from 1 April to 30 June will be rebated for small businesses experiencing financial stress and who have temporarily ceased trading.

Eligible small business customers are those consuming less than 40MWh per year (based on 2019 consumption) and use less than 25% of historical averages during the three months from 1 April.

If you're eligible, you don’t need to do anything to receive the rebate. It will be automatically administered through your existing electricity retailer.

More information.

Some ideas you can try

Encourage online sales
With more of our population working from home and self-isolating, consider different marketing strategies to boost your online sales. You could offer discount codes or free delivery to domestic customers. Promote the sale of your merchandise and gift vouchers, instead of your primary product or service. 

Level up with technology
Richmond yoga studio Jessica Dewar Yoga will now be live streaming all of their regular yoga classes for customers to attend online. How can you use technology in new and different ways to connect with your customers? Remember to post regularly on your social media pages and update your website so your customers know if you are still open for business and what extra health measures your business is taking.

Be flexible
If you're a hospitality business, you could focus on offering takeaway options to your customers. If you add pick up and/or delivery options to your business, you can add yourself to Broadsheet's new directory.

How to support your local small businesses

We know that a little support goes a long way, so we encourage you to support other local businesses over coming months, either online or in person (where safe). We'll be doing the same.

Gift vouchers
Buy gift vouchers from local businesses. This way, the small business can use your valuable financial support immediately, and you can redeem your gift card once the global pandemic has settled down. Or gift it to someone for a birthday or Christmas!

Buy tote bags, t-shirts, cook books, stickers, posters, or any other merchandise from a local business to show your support!

Order takeaway
Instead of ordering via Uber Eats or Deliveroo, call your local business and order directly.

Yarra business handbook

Download our free Yarra business handbook, containing useful information and resources to help you run your business in the City of Yarra.

Starting a business 

  • Before you start

    Read about what permits you may need before you open your business.

    Read more
  • Ready to enquire?

    Tell us about your business idea and we'll help you apply for the right permits.

    Send us an enquiry

How we support businesses in Yarra

  • Economic research

    Valuable, local data from our annual audits and the Australian and Victorian governments.

    Read more
  • Events and training

    Free training and networking events for local businesses.

    Read more
  • Communities and forums

    Join a networking group, business forum or advisory group.

    Read more
  • E-newsletter

    Subscribe to receive the latest business news, event invitations and business tips.

    Read more
  • Retail directories

    Explore interactive maps of some of our iconic shopping precincts.

  • Mentoring

    Free consultation and mentoring for new and existing businesses in Yarra.

    Read more
  • Business sustainability

    Tips to deal with business waste sustainably and improve your energy efficiency.

    Read more
  • Employment

    Assistance hiring and working in Yarra.

    Read more