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
We are following advice from the Australian and Victorian governments as we respond to the outbreak of coronavirus.
This information was last updated on Wednesday 1 April at 12.30pm.
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.
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.
A decision around how business permits will be refunded, such as health registrations and footpath trading permits, will be made by Tuesday 7 April 2020.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.