Other Support

OTHER FORMS OF SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES AND INDIVIDUALS

Last updated 17 August 2020

Disclaimer: RDA Far West have taken every care to try and ensure the information provided on this page is accurate and relevant. A significant number of announcements have been made and RDA Far West accept no responsibility for this information and strongly suggest you speak with your financial experts and consider the individual circumstances of your business.

SUPPORT MEASURES

Various organisations have introduced measures that aim to provide support and maintain safety, these measures include:

AMAZON LAUNCHPAD INNOVATION GRANTS

Entry period open until 11:59pm, Monday 24 August 2020

Amazon Australia presents Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants, an initiative to recognise innovation by Australian startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs. Five grant packages will be awarded, each valued at more than $80,000 AUD.

The Amazon Launchpad Innovation Grants include:

  • $20,000 AUD cash grant
  • An exclusive Amazon SMB experience – exclusive access to Amazon leadership from Australia and HQ in Seattle, access to Amazon’s startup and entrepreneur experts, time with successful e-commerce savvy Australian SMBs, insights from angel investors in the Venture Capital community, and exclusive networking opportunities.
  • Amazon Advertising display credits – to promote the winning product on Amazon.com.au.
  • Credits through the AWS Activate program – which also provides access to technical support and training to help founders grow their business.
  • Seller Spotlight feature placement – on the Amazon Launchpad Homepage.

Click here to learn more.

BANKING HOTLINES

The Prime Minister and Treasurer have reaffirmed the Government’s expectation that the banks help assist businesses to secure finance to participate in the $130 billion JobKeeper program. Key actions and principles which the banks have agreed to implementing as a priority are:

    • Setting up dedicated hotlines for customers to call for assistance in securing bridging finance.
    • Expediting the processing of bridging finance applications from affected businesses.

For your reference, the banks have set up hotlines as follows:  

BROKEN HILL COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION

The Broken Hill Community Credit Union (BHCCU) have a range of support services available for people experiencing financial difficulty, including their COVID-19 Loan Relief Package.

The team at the BHCCU encourage customers to get in contact if they are experiencing any financial hardship, they are also happy to:

    • Consider applications to transfer mortgage loans to interest only.
    • Where possible, look through the COVID-19 cycle when assessing new loan applications.

BUDGET DIRECT SPONSORSHIP

Budget Direct are offering sponsorship of $1,000, $2,500, or $5,000 to groups that are striving to make a difference in their local community. They are open to sponsoring registered organisations or associations that:

    • Provide local or statewide community services.
    • Run community awareness and education programs.
    • Promote health and wellbeing (e.g. sports clubs).
    • Advocate for road safety.
    • Provide emergency services.
    • Support in need or at-risk Australians.
    • Help build strong, vibrant communities.

Click here for more information.

BUSINESS ADVISORS

Business Connect is a tailored NSW Government business advisory program that provides trusted advice for small business. Businesses can select their region or council area to search around 100 business advisors who can provide advice and support on a range of issues including managing cashflow, dealing with business disruption, developing a marketing strategy in a challenging environment and supply chain issues.

Over 60 free online workshops and webinars are available through Business Connect to support NSW small business to manage cashflow, change your business model, sell goods and services online and market your business in a challenging environment.

To book a webinar, visit business-connect-register.industry.nsw.gov.au.

ELECTRICITY AND GAS NETWORK RELIEF PACKAGE

Small businesses, small retailers and large retailers may be eligible for full electricity and gas tariff relief under a financial support package organised by Energy Networks Australia. Eligibility criteria applies, including usage figures and time limits. The Electricity and Gas Network Relief Package complements other initiatives across the gas and electricity sector and will take effect from 1 April 2020.

Read the COVID -19 Electricity and Gas Network Relief Package for more information.

FACEBOOK SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS PROGRAM

Facebook has announced a USD $100 million small business support scheme. The program includes cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible businesses in 30 countries, including Australia. Applications are not yet open in Australia, but you can register with Facebook to receive updates. Click here to learn more.

FAIRWORK

FairWork works with employees, employers and the community to educate and encourage compliance with Australia’s workplace laws, helping you understand your rights and responsibilities at work during the coronavirus outbreak. If you have questions or require more information head to FairWork’s Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws page.

FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS RELIEF

The Australian Banking Association has announced that banks will defer small business loan repayments for up to 6 months on business loans of up to $10 million. This support is available to landlords that opt in by contacting their banking institution directly. Landlords who organise loan repayment deferrals must agree not to terminate leases or evict current tenants for missed rental payments as a result of COVID-19. Click here for more information regarding the banking relief announcement.

For assistance from your bank for other financial obligations, visit the Australian Banking Associations’s COVID-19 support page.

LIFELINE BROKEN HILL COUNTRY TO COAST

We are currently living through one of the most unprecedented and uncertain times in history. As employers, we are facing daily challenges that less than 2 months ago we would have never imagined. As employers, we come to terms with the many new restrictions and limitations but also start to explore new ways of thinking and doing.

What we understand about the virus is that it’s invisible until we start to see the signs, it impacts people in different ways from mild symptoms to death. If we don’t implement the right safety measures, we know it can have devastating consequences as lives will be lost. But, we also know that we’ll get through this, and treatments and vaccines will protect us from future outbreaks.

Mental health and wellbeing is just like a virus – it can be invisible at times, it affects people in different ways, from mild symptoms to death by suicide and, if ignored, will have devastating consequences.

These parallels between physical and mental health are highlighted to bring to your attention there are two fronts to this pandemic. If we fail to acknowledge and respond to both, we will be facing a mental health pandemic like no other, that will have continued and lasting negative impacts on businesses across the world.

As employers, we need to address both physical and mental health challenges by putting our staff’s health and wellbeing at the forefront. This will ensure you are better equipped to deal with these challenging and unprecedented times. Now, more than ever, we should be asking for less and giving more. We now have a responsibility to each employee to better understand their personal lives and what supports they need in place to ensure we are part of their solution, not the problem.

These are uncharted grounds and what we do know is that a workplace where staff feel appreciated, cared for and supported through their physical and mental health… will be the people’s choice for future employment.

If you or someone you know needs support, or is finding it hard to cope, please reach out to us via phone on 13 11 14, on-line chat on www.lifeline.org.au or via text on 0477 131 114. You are not alone.

LIFELINE SOCIAL MEDIA ADVOCATE

    • Lifeline is now receiving over 3,000 calls a day, that’s a call from an Australian in crisis every 30 seconds.
    • Lifeline wants to remind anyone who is feeling overwhelmed across Australia that they are here to offer support.
    • They are inviting the public to help connect with as many people as possible by becoming a Social Media Advocate.
    • After a quick and simple sign up, a Social Media Advocate only needs a couple of minutes a day to help Lifeline Broken Hill Country to Coast save lives.
    • This is a new and exciting way that anyone, anywhere can help spread messaging related to mental health wellbeing, suicide prevention and have the opportunity to participate in campaigns and other social media activities.

MENTAL HEALTH GUARDING GUIDE

Click here for a guide about guarding mental health during the pandemic.

RESOURCES FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT NSW

The Recovery Village has resources to help anyone struggling with substance use, increased anxiety and depression or other mental health disorders cope with the unprecedented challenges that have emerged from the COVID-19 virus. One of these resources includes their new Teletherapy Program, those in need now have access to one-on-one counseling, group therapy, and various online services virtually with a licensed professional, improving their chances of a successful recovery. Click here for more information.

TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW are offering a number of free courses that may support the professional development plans for your business, build staff capacity and maintain engagement. Learn more about Free TAFE NSW courses on their COVID-19 Support page.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ADVICE

    • Many Australian telecommunications providers have made extra support available to help their customers.
    • The Government and major Australian telecommunications companies have agreed on a set of principles to help customers and small businesses experiencing financial hardship due to the impact of COVID-19, with many providers offering a financial hardship policy and increased data allowances at no extra cost.
    • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has also developed a list of COVID-19 Phone and internet tips, and is available to help you negotiate resolving an issue with your phone or internet provider. 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELIEF PACKAGE

NBN Co will provide $150 million in financial relief to internet providers to assist families and businesses to stay connected through the agreement of telecommunication hardship principles.

WOOLWORTHS BUSINESS SERVICE CHANGES

As a temporary solution to the present circumstances, Woolworths Business has partnered with PFD Food Services to provide business customers with food, groceries and other items, delivered to your door.

For more information, sign into your account on the Woolworths Business log in page and click on the PFD banner.

WORK HEALTH & SAFETY

What are the WHS requirements when there are alternative work arrangements, like working from home?

In Australia, the model WHS laws still apply if workers work somewhere other than their usual workplace, for example, from home. What an employer can do to minimise risks at a worker’s home will be different to what they can do at the usual workplace. However, if you can, you should:

    • Provide guidance on what is a safe home office environment, including what a good work station set up looks like and how to keep physically active.
    • Require workers to familiarise themselves and comply with good ergonomic practices, for example, by referring to a self-assessment checklist.
    • Maintain daily communication with workers.
    • Provide continued access to an employee assistance program.
    • Appoint a contact person in the business that workers can talk to about any concerns.

You should also think about how your existing policies and procedures apply when working from home, including:

    • Notification of incidents, injuries, hazards and changes in circumstances.
    • Consultation and review of work health and safety processes.
    • Attendance, timesheets, leave and other entitlements and arrangements.

Learn more about WHS requirements for staff working from home at Safe Work Australia.

Safe Work Information for Workplaces

Safe Work Australia has developed a website with guidelines and information across 23 industries so that businesses can return to work in a COVID safe environment.