Support for your business during COVID-19

The following information was updated on Tuesday 20 October, 2020. Visit our COVID-19 information hub for information on all Yarra service changes.

Current restrictions

Metropolitan Melbourne is currently in Second Step restrictions under the Victorian Government's roadmap to reopening.

Only permitted workplaces are allowed to operate on-site, and must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

From 11.59pm on Sunday 18 October 2020 changes were made to restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne. For businesses, these changes include:

  • Hairdressers and barbers will be able to recommence work. This includes operating mobile businesses and at home businesses, if they are registered, have separate entrances, and COVIDSafe practices.
  • Allied health providers that are currently listed on the permitted work premised list will be able to return to delivering all routine care.

Further restrictions will ease at 11.59pm on Sunday 1 November 2020, including:

  • Retail can reopen (subject to density quotient).
  • Beauty and personal care can reopen (clients must wear face coverings at all times).
  • Hospitality can resume seated service indoors and outdoors (patron numbers and density quotients apply).

Read the summary of all changes from Sunday 18 October and Sunday 1 November.

Extend your outdoor dining

We have developed a new application process for hospitality businesses in Yarra to expand their outdoor dining space.

Read the guidelines and apply now.

Use our chatbot to create your COVIDSafe Plan

It is mandatory for every Victorian business to have a COVIDSafe Plan.

To make writing your COVIDSafe Plan easy, we have an exclusive chatbot for Yarra business owners to use.

We will ask you a series of questions and email your personalised COVIDSafe Plan to you in 15 minutes.

Create your COVIDSafe Plan

Victorian Government business grants

Commercial tenancy relief scheme

The Victorian Government's commercial tenancy relief scheme has been extended until 31 December 2020.

The Victorian Government will also provide land tax relief to commercial landlords that provide rent relief to their tenants.

If you're unable to reach a rental reduction agreement with your landlord, get free help from Consumer Affairs Victoria or the Victorian Small Business Commission.

Mental health support

It is important you know how to look after your own mental health, as well as that of your employees.

Free, confidential wellbeing and mental health support is now available to business owners, your employees and family members. The Partners in Wellbeing hotline provides one-on-one support to improve wellbeing, as well as free access to business advisers and financial counsellors. Call 1300 375 330 from 9am to 10pm weekdays.

Wellbeing and mental health support in languages other than English

Free mentoring

Book a free mentoring session with an experienced business mentor via the Small Business Bus. These mentoring appointments are now being delivered by phone and online.

Free workshops

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

Free training

Receive free training to help you prepare for a strong recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic via Upskill My Business. Topics include:

  • building resilience through COVID-19
  • managing cash flow
  • managing worker and employer mental health and wellbeing.

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 Saturday 31 October 2020.

Business recovery and resilience mentoring

The Victorian Government and the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry are delivering a business mentoring program to help you navigate the economic challenges posed by COVID-19 restrictions.

Eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help you make informed decisions about the future of your business.

Stay Home guide

During the first COVID-19 restrictions earlier this year, we made a map of over 300 local businesses still open for delivery and takeaway.

Now that we are entering another six weeks of restrictions, we're asking all businesses on the map to email us if your details need to be updated or removed from the map if you are closed.

If your business would like to be added to the map, email us with a brief description of what you're offering.

$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 have awarded more than $410,000 worth of quick-response funding to 106 local small businesses, providing support to our business community as they face the significant challenges caused by COVID-19.

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 was also $60,000 in grants for creative businesses, including live music venues, commercial galleries, rehearsal studios and sole-trader creatives.  

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.