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.

Economic Development Strategy 2020-2025

We’ve prepared a draft 5 year strategy to:

  • grow Yarra’s economy,
  • boost employment and investment, and
  • capitalise on our city’s unique advantages.

We invite you to read the draft strategy online and tell us what you think before Monday 27 July.

Have your say

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The following information was updated on Thursday 2 July, 2020.

Details on restrictions in Victoria to slow the spread of  COVID-19. 

Guidelines for reopening

The Victorian Government has released guidelines, resources, fact sheets, checklists and signage to help you safely reopen your business:

Business recovery survey

We have allocated $300,000 for COVID-19 business recovery, and we’re inviting all business owners to tell us what future support you would like from Yarra Council. Your feedback will help determine what projects and support initiatives we invest in.

Begin 2 minute survey

$7.46 million support package

Yarra City Council is providing more than $7.4 million dollars of funding and other relief measures to ensure local businesses are supported during COVID-19 and the recovery that follows.

Small business grants

We are providing grants of up to $5,000 to help businesses and sole traders:

  • transition online and to have an e-commerce platform,
  • adapt shopfronts,
  • update marketing and business plans, and
  • acquire vital training. 

Applications are now closed and were assessed by an independent panel.

The response to these grants was enormous and we received 493 applications. 106 successful small businesses will share in grants totalling $410,861. 

In addition to this, there are also $60,000 in grants for creative businesses, including live music venues, commercial galleries, rehearsal studios and sole-trader creatives.  

There will be more business grants to come in the new financial year.

Permit refunds

As part of our support package, we have provided an automatic six-month refund (April to September 2020) on the following permits:

These refunds have returned over $600,000 to our local business owners. 

In addition to these refunds, we are also waiving fees for new applications of these permits.

No fees for business parking permits

Until 31 March 2021, all eligible businesses under the Parking permit policy will not be charged for business parking permits.

If you have an existing business parking permit due to expire before 31 March 2021, your permit will be renewed automatically at no cost. Your new permit will be valid for 12 months.

If you don't currently have a business parking permit and would like to apply for one before 31 March 2021, you will not be charged for this permit. Your permit will be valid for 12 months.

Extend your footpath trading

If the business next to you isn't using their footpath trading area, you can apply to use this space for your own tables and chairs, for free!

Commercial tenancy relief scheme

The Victorian Government has announced a commercial tenancy relief scheme to alleviate financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of COVID-19. This includes:

  • a six-month moratorium on commercial tenancy evictions,
  • a six-month freeze on rent increases for commercial tenants,
  • a rental payment waiver or deferral, to be negotiated between tenant and landlord, and
  • a mediation service for commercial tenants and landlords to support fair tenancy negotiations.

Visit the Victorian Small Business Commission for further support.

Free mentoring

Book a free mentoring session with an experienced business mentor on the Small Business Bus (virtually or in-person).

Free workshops

Small Business Victoria are now delivering their workshops all online and for free.

Victorian Chamber of Commerce

Free membership (up to $700 value)

Free promotion for tourism businesses

The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse is Australia's national platform for digital tourism information. They are offering tourism businesses a free 12-month listing (usually $295) if you sign up before Monday 31 August.


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