Support for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The Australian and NSW Governments have announced a number of stimulus packages, initiatives, programs and resources to support businesses through the impacts of COVID-19. Information regarding COVID-19 is constantly evolving, and Council will make every effort to keep this information updated. To ensure that you are receiving the most updated information, we recommend that you go straight to the sources provided.

Camden Business Directory

Camden Council is supporting local businesses in the Camden area by featuring them in an online directory. If you would like to include your business in this directory, register here.

For general assistance regarding support for businesses impacted by COVID-19, contact mail@camden.nsw.gov.au or 4654 7777

 

How can my business operate?

From 5pm Thursday 6 May to 12:01am Monday 17 May, rules around household visitors, face masks, singing, dancing and restrictions in aged care facilities will be tightened in Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains). To get up-to-date information regarding this matter, visit the NSW Government Public Health Orders page.

Read the latest on what you can do in NSW and see the COVID-19 Safety Plans for businesses, organisations and events.

Square Metres Rule 

For more information on how to apply the square metres rules click here.

Working from home 

From Monday 14 December 2020 the requirement for an employer to allow an employee to work from home if it is reasonably practicable to do so no longer applies.

See the guidance for employees and for employers.

COVID-19 Safety Plans

From Monday 29 March, there will be changes and improvements to the COVID-19 Safety Plans. The existing Safety Plans will be consolidated into industry categories. This will help improve the Safety Plan process to make it quicker and easier for NSW businesses and organisations. Check the COVID-19 Safety Plan that applies to your business for guidance on

If changes have been introduced for your industry since you last prepared a COVID-19 Safety Plan, see the latest version for new requirements.

Learn more about electronic recordkeeping if your business or organisation needs to collect customer details. 

CategoryIndustry
  All other industries
Accommodation, holidays and tourism Caravan parks and camping grounds
Hotels and accommodation
Tours
Arts, entertainment and venues Cinemas, theatres, concert halls, drive-in cinemas
Community centres and halls (indoor recreation)
Outdoor events 
Hospitality
Libraries
Markets: artisan, clothing, craft (non-food)
Museums and galleries
Outdoor events
Theme parks and amusement centres
Ceremonies and events Funerals, memorial services and wakes
Significant events and related businesses (more than 100 people)
Places of worship and religious gatherings
Outdoor protests
Outdoor events
School formals
School graduation ceremonies
Wedding ceremonies and receptions
Health services General practice and other primary health service providers
Hospitality Pubs, clubs, bars, breweries and casinos
Restaurants, cafes and food courts
Manufacturing, warehouses and offices Manufacturing and warehousing
Office environment (including call centres)
Personal services Beauty and other services
Sex on premises venues
Sex services
Strip clubs
Food services and agriculture Abattoirs and meat processing
Agriculture
Food processing
Retail and grocery
Property and construction Auctions and open houses
Construction and tradespeople
Sport and recreation Betting agencies
Community sporting competitions and full training activities
Gyms
Indoor recreation, yoga, pilates and dance studios, martial arts training facilities
Major recreation facilities, stadiums, showgrounds, racecourses
Regional agricultural shows
Swimming pools, saunas and spas
Zoos, reptile parks and aquariums
Transport and boating Commercial vessels
Maritime operations
Party buses
Taxis, hire cars and ride share services
Transport freight and logistics operations

I need advice and guidance on how to get my business through the crisis.

Introducing your local Mobile Business Concierge

The Business Concierge team at Service NSW provides free, personalised support to small business owners as they start, run and grow their businesses, and as they adapt and recover in times of crisis. If you own a small business in the Camden area, your local Mobile Business Concierge can help you find the support you need. 

Look out for Julie Lewis from the Service NSW Mobile Business Concierge team, who will hit the road in Camden, offering a range of support in person on all things small business. Julie can help you navigate government requirements at local, state and federal levels, including applying for grants, licences and permits, understanding government regulations and more.

Julie is based in our community and brings expert local knowledge and connections across our Council, business chambers and other government agencies to work with you one-on-one. She will continue to offer support and answer any questions as your dedicated case manager. 

Julie will also be available at at Oran Park Library on the second Monday of every month from 10am- 12:30pm. Local businesses are invited to pop in for free business advice to navigate government requirements to grow and expand your business.

If you miss Julie visiting your area, call Service NSW on 13 77 88 or visit the Service NSW website to request a call-back.

Coronavirus information and support for businesses

This is a one-stop-shop from the Australian Government, which includes information regarding:

  • Restrictions on services: find out which businesses are impacted by the current restrictions on social gatherings.

  • Keeping you and your employees safe.

  • Refusing service: find out when you can and cannot refuse service to customers.

  • Mental health and wellbeing support for business.

  • Cyber threats.

  • Taxation for your business.

  • Guide to continuing your business: learn steps you can take to help keep your business running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Pausing or closing your business due to COVID-19.

  • Supporting small businesses during coronavirus.

COVID-19 help for small businesses

This is a one-stop-shop by Service NSW for information on support and financial relief for businesses, employees and jobseekers, to help manage the impact of COVID-19. Information includes:

  • Personalised business support - request a call from a Business Concierge.

  • COVID Safe Check for NSW businesses: develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan specific to your industry, and register so customers know your business is COVID Safe.

  • Export assistance grant

  • Dine & Discover NSW vouchers

  • Changes to business trading
  • Fee waivers and tax assistance

  • Grants, loans and financial assistance

  • Your employees and apprentices

  • Mental health and general wellbeing

  • Training and education

  • Information for primary producers

  • General business support

  • Events and webinars

  • Commercial lease support

  • Small business COVID-19 case studies

FAQs for small business owners

The NSW Small Business Commissioner has provided tips and resources to help you manage your small business during the crisis and into the recovery phase. Visit this website if you have the following questions:

  • What businesses are restricted from trading?

  • My business is experiencing lost trade and cashflow problems – can I get help with my bills?

  • What financial support is available from the government?

  • I’m struggling with my rent.

  • I need advice on consumer rights (e.g. event cancellations, refunds, delayed orders)

  • How can I prepare my business if I get sick?

  • What are my employer obligations?

  • I need advice on managing employee leave.

  • How do I make my business COVID Safe?

  • I’m having a dispute.
  • I need business advice.

  • Who can I speak to about other issues such as red tape?

  • I need mental health support.

  • Access to free online events and training.

  • Other useful business resources.

COVID-19 and mental health at work

It’s important for businesses to provide a mentally healthy work environment, ensuring workers stay physically and mentally healthy during this time.

Information on this page includes:

  • Workplace mental ill-health during COVID-19 recovery

  • Supporting a return to the workplace

  • Working remotely, or from home, during COVID-19

  • Resources to stay mentally healthy during COVID-19

  • Resources for staying mentally healthy when you are out of work

Self-employment - New Business Assistance with NEIS (New Enterprise Incentive Scheme)

Individuals not in employment, education or training who are interested in running their own business may be eligible for New Business Assistance with NEIS. New Business Assistance can help by providing:

  • Accredited small business training;

  • Personalised mentoring and support form a NEIS provider in the first year of the new business to help the individual put their business idea into practice; and

  • NEIS Allowance for up to 39 weeks and NEIS Rental Assistance for up to 26 weeks (if eligible).

My Business Health

My Business Health is an initiative of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. It provides easy access to tools, templates and tips to manage stress and proactively engage with running your business.

Business Connect

Business Connect is a free service that will provide business advice and support on any matter. Advice is provided in six different languages, including English, Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese.

Food Authority advice for food businesses

Webinars & Training

Training Services NSW

The NSW Government is supporting industries and communities impacted by COVID-19 through funding various training courses such as:

  • Health & First Aid

  • Job seeking skills

  • Personal services / community services

  • Plan Skills Development

  • Safe work practices

Visit this page for information about eligibility, cost and how to apply. Note that some qualifications are fee-free.

Western Sydney Business Centre

The Western Sydney Business Centre has a range of low cost and free online workshops on fundamental topics for running a small business. There are also specific free seminars related to coping with the COVID-19 crisis. Visit the website for a full calendar of workshops and seminars.

Business Connect webinars

Business Connect has a range of free webinars regarding general business operations. Visit the website for full calendar of workshops and seminars.

AusIndustry webinars

AusIndustry is delivering a 10-part webinar series to help businesses to respond to COVID-19.

ATO free small business webinars

The ATO is offering a range of webinars to assist small businesses.

COVID-19 Infection Control Training

This 30-minute online training module is for health care workers in all settings. It covers the fundamentals of infection prevention and control for COVID-19.

Resources

Prepare your business for disasters in five simple steps

This guide from the NSW Small Business Commissioner outlines a five-step plan to prepare your business for disasters.

Get back to business: a guide for recovering from disaster

This guide from the NSW Small Business Commissioner contains five phases of disaster recovery you would generally expect - from the moment the disaster has hit, to the actions you could take over the days, weeks and months ahead.

What are my obligations in dealing with COVID-19 in my business?

As a business owner and employer, you have obligations to keep your place of business, employees and yourself safe during the COVID-19 crisis.

Steps to become a COVID Safe business

To keep workers, visitors and customers safe, and to give them the confidence to keep coming back, businesses and organisations will need to follow health and hygiene requirements designed to keep COVID-19 out of workplaces. These steps include:

  1. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan

  2. Register as a COVID Safe business

  3. Show that you're COVID Safe 

COVID-19 Safety Plans

COVID-19 Safety Plans are comprehensive checklists designed by NSW Health and approved by the Chief Health Officer.

The plans provide clear directions on how businesses and organisations should fulfil their obligations under Public Health Orders to minimise risk of transmission of COVID-19 on their premises. 

Businesses and organisations should review the COVID-19 Safety Plan for their industry to see if completing a plan and registering is compulsory under Public Health Orders.

All other businesses and organisations are encouraged to complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan voluntarily.

Guidance for businesses with linked COVID-19 cases

This page provides information on what you need to do if a COVID-19 case has been linked to your business or organisation. Information includes:

  • If a business is linked to a COVID-19 case

  • Finding out that a COVID-19 case has been linked to your organisation

  • What you need to do if a confirmed COVID-19 case has been linked to your organisation

  • Cleaning guidance

  • Employees returning to work

  • Related information

National guide for safe workplaces

This guide is to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking meet their work health and safety duties in relation to COVID-19. This document provides guidance to assist businesses determine how best to manage the risk of COVID-19 in the workplace. It provides a framework that complements and links to the Safe Work Australia detailed COVID-19 Information for workplaces

Information for employers

This website contains an information sheet which answers the following FAQs:

  • What employers should do to reduce the risk of COVID-19

  • Vulnerable employees

  • Precautions for cleaning staff

  • Can food and water spread coronavirus?

  • How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

  • Can staff go to work?

  • Return to work following quarantine

  • Return to work following recovery from COVID-19

  • Reducing stigma in the workplace

  • Planning considerations

  • Support for small business

Coronavirus and Australian workplace law

Fair Work Australia answers frequently asked questions about workplace obligations and entitlements for both employers and employees. It includes information about:

  • Returning to work and the workplace

  • Pay and leave during coronavirus

  • JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme

  • Temporary changes to workplace laws

  • Health and safety in the workplace

  • Alternative working arrangements

  • Stand downs

  • Ending employment and redundancy

Unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave changes to awards

On 8 April 2020, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) made determinations varying 99 awards. The determinations inserted a temporary new schedule into these awards. The schedule provides employees with:

  • 2 weeks of unpaid pandemic leave

  • the ability to take twice as much annual leave at half their normal pay if their employer agrees

Resolving workplace issues during coronavirus

This page includes information to help employers and employees understand and follow Australian workplace laws, including:

  • What you can do to help resolve workplace issues

  • Disputes about directions, requests or certificates under the JobKeeper scheme

  • Enforcement of the JobKeeper scheme: what Fair Work Ombudsman can help with

Returning to work and the workplace

As coronavirus restrictions start easing, a number of industries and businesses are starting to operate again. This means that many employers and employees are planning their return to work or to the workplace. Visit this page for information about:

  • Changes to restrictions
  • Planning the return to work

  • Resolving issues when returning to work

  • Managing the return to work

  • Directions to return to work and the workplace

Visit the Returning to the workplace – interactive employer tool to help employers get their businesses back up and running during coronavirus.

The tool gives tailored information to employers on returning to the workplace, scaling up operations and adapting to workplace changes. It can help to find the information you need when:

  • transitioning employees back to the workplace, including lifting a stand down

  • changing employees’ hours, duties or work location

  • introducing alternative working options for staff

  • keeping up to date with changes to workplace laws.

Health and safety in the workplace during coronavirus

Employers and workers need to follow the rules about health and safety in the workplace. Visit this page for information about:

  • Workplace health and safety resources

  • Safe Work Australia online toolkit

  • COVIDSafe app

  • Beyond Blue

  • Going to work during coronavirus

  • Protecting employees and customers during coronavirus

  • Work-related travel during coronavirus

Safe Work Australia COVID-19 business resource kit

This website includes a range or resources for business to download and display in their workplaces, including checklists and infographics. The page also includes fact sheets regarding:

  • Small business planning tool

  • How to keep workers safe

  • Workplace checklist

  • Working from home: workstation setup guide

  • Physical distancing checklist

  • Cleaning checklist

  • How to clean and disinfect your workplace

  • Health, hygiene and facilities checklist

Coronavirus advice and guidance for NSW workplaces

This guide is to help businesses comply with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This website includes information about:

  • Assess the risk

  • Notify SafeWork NSW

  • Fee waivers during COVID-19: SafeWork NSW is waiving fees for a range of 12-month licences and permits, as well as reducing the cost of three and five year ones.

  • Managing occupational violence

  • Converting production lines

  • Managing COVID-19 in different workplaces

  • Pandemic planning advice

  • Working from home during COVID-19

  • Mental health at work during COVID-19

Getting back to work in a COVID safe way

Guidance from the NSW government for businesses, employers and workers to make their workplaces safe. Information includes:

  • Complete a COVID Safe Check for your business

  • Working from home guidance for employers

  • Occupational violence and customer aggression

NSW Government flexible long service leave changes

On 25 March 2020, the NSW Parliament passed changes to long service leave, which will create greater flexibility for employers and employees to access leave during the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation will have effect for six months, with the possibility of an extension to one year. Key amendments are:

  • waiving the one-month notice period for taking leave (by mutual agreement between employee and employer)

  • greater flexibility for employees to take this leave in shorter blocks if they wish (rather than traditional monthly blocks)

Consumer and business rights

Some consumer and business rights have changed under COVID-19. Visit this NSW Fair Trading website to find out about consumer and business rights relating to:

  • Fee waivers

  • Renting and property

  • Strata and community schemes

  • Event and travel cancellations

  • Shopping and subscription services

  • Weddings

  • Retirement villages and residential land lease communities

  • Associations and co-operatives

  • Electrical safety at home

  • COVID-19 information for certifiers

What support is available for the Cultural and Creative Sector?

Job Maker Plan

Thousands of jobs across Australia's arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19.

Resources for entertainment, live performance, arts and cultural activities

Visit this website for guidelines and responsibilities for venues and arts practice.

ArtsHub

ArtsHub is providing up to date information and news about COVID-19 and its impact on the arts. Visit this website to find out about:

  • Non-member access to resources

  • Relevant podcasts

  • Creative solutions to maintain your business whilst social distancing.

Australia Council

Australia Council has announced a $5 million Resilience Fund for artists and arts organisations to support their livelihoods, practice and operations during COVID-19 pandemic. Visit this website to find out about:

  • Quick response funding

  • Changes to grant conditions

  • Webinars and podcasts

  • Arts and creative industry: digital support 

  • Contribute to surveys capturing COVID-19 impact data for performers, crew, venues, events, visual artists and organisations, CALD creatives, the literature sector, media and entertainment, and dance. 

RE-IGNITE: a framework for the arts and cultural sectors in a COVID-19 environment 

Visit this website to access a practical, user-friendly guide for independent artists and organisations. It outlines how to confidently comply with government guidelines to recommence practice and open doors to welcome audiences, visitors and customers. It complies with the existing requirements of steps 2 and 3 of the Australian Government's 3-Step Framework for a COVIDSafe Australia.

Create NSW

Visit this website for information about reopening the Arts and Culture sector. Information includes:

  • Drafting a COVID-19 Safety Plan for reopening
  • NSW Government Industry Resources including guidelines for galleries and museums, dance studios, cinemas, theatres, concert halls and drive-in cinemas

  • Sector-developed resources

Small Project Grants (Quick Response)

This program is to support the creation, development and presentation of new work and professional development or promotion FOR NSW-based professional artists and arts and cultural workers. This quick response grant mechanism offers grants from $500 to $5,000 towards projects. It currently has no closing date.

Ausdance NSW COVID-19 resources

Visit this website to access:

  • Information, advice and advocacy about dance programs 

  • Information about the impact of COVID-19 on the dance sector

  • Regulation and guidance notes about delivering dance programs

Creative Business Plus

Creative Business Plus is providing information, training and support for those working within the creative and cultural industries. Visit this website to find out about:

  • A range of free resources

  • Advice sessions

  • Workshops

FBi Radio

FBi Radio is providing support to the Creative and Cultural Sector through establishment of the In-It-Together Community Relief Directory, promoting cultural initiatives. Visit this website to register and find out more.

Support Act

Support Act is providing wellbeing support for musicians and music industry professionals. Visit this website to find out about:

  • Crisis relief for those directly affected in the arts and music industry.

  • Wellbeing Helpline

  • Assistance

I Lost My Gig Survey

Bushfires and Coronavirus have led to the cancellation and postponement of hundreds of concerts, conferences, events and festivals across Australia and the rest of the world - with many more events still vulnerable. Many performers, businesses and contractors have lost vital income. The Australian Music Industry Network and the Australian Festival Association have joined with industry partners to tally the impact of these impacts on Australians - and hear your stories. Take the survey to share your experience and contribute to valuable data-gathering regarding the impacts of these disasters.

 

Live Performance Australia resources

Regional Arts NSW Quick Response Grants

This grant offers funding of up to $2,000 to assist regional artists, arts organisations and communities to take up professional or skills development, or small project opportunities. Applications are open from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021. All Quick Response Grants projects must be completed by 1 January 2022.

1000x1000 Crisis Cash for Artists Campaign

This campaign offers one-off emergency payments to support independent artists in the performing arts who have been significantly affected by COVID-19. Applcications close on 21 August 2020.