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Update on COVID-19- The safety of our communities, customers and staff is our top priority. We are continuing to monitor daily developments in response to COVID-19. Find out the latest.

COVID-19 Business Support

In response to the issues facing our local business community as a result of COVID-19 (coronavirus), Council has established a Business Support Service to connect business with information on government support, advice and professional services.

Call our Small Business Support Hotline on 02 4988 0255 or email ed@portstephens.nsw.gov.au and our team will help connect you with the advice you need.

Financial support

Help for business

If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, or think this is likely, please contact your bank or creditors immediately. Most will to proactively work with you towards a solution.

Help for displaced staff

The Australian Government has now announced more payments and streamlined claims for permanent employees affected by COVID-19. Likewise, if you are a sole trader, self employed, a casual or contract worker whose income has reduced, you are likely to be able to access job seeker payments, with asset testing waived for 6 months.

Practical advice

Small Business Commissioner
  • Access advice on managing COVID-19 — including employer obligations, managing leave, keeping staff and customers safe, lost trade and cash flow issues, Australian and NSW Government financial support, rent struggles, consumer rights, business advice and disputes.
Department of Health
Safe Work NSW
Fair Work Ombudsman
Australian Tax Office

The ATO is administering the following new government measures:

NBN Co
  • Working from home tips and FAQs — digital connectivity is fast becoming the main way people work, stay in touch and entertain themselves, creating increased internet usage.
CPA Australia

Business advice

The Business Centre

The Business Centre in Newcastle is running a free Business Disruption webcast series providing practical support and information for businesses.

The Business Centre also provides 4 hours of free advice with a dedicated business expert who will work with you on specific challenges.

Destination Port Stephens

Destination Port Stephens is committed to supporting the tourism sector during this difficult time. DPS will host a 30 to 45 minute forum via Zoom each week to provide support to industry and allow operators to collaborate through the obstacles we're facing.

Access Destination Port Stephens' resources for local businesses.

Hunter Futurepreneurs
Hunter Hunter

Hints, tips and ideas

  • How can you continue to service customers who might be in isolation or practising social distancing? Can you implement home deliveries rather than over-the-counter transactions? See what others are doing.
  • Can you deliver your services online? Learn how to host an online event or webinar that live event attendees will love.
  • Can your staff work from home or stagger their start and finish times to limit the number of people on site at any one time?
  • If staff can’t work from home, can they take advantage of an online learning or professional development opportunity while away from the office?
  • Can you step up provision of goods or services that remain in demand, while easing back on those that customer and clients may not consider essential at this time?
  • Try and keep it local as much as possible. If you are shopping online, consider buying from local businesses before you use the big online platforms. Similarly, if your household or business will benefit from the economic stimulus package announced last week, please think about spending or investing that money within the region where you can.
  • Practical advice on how to survive a recession and turn things around as quickly as possible.

Training and education

Wellbeing support

Helpful links

Are you interested in business in Port Stephens? Join the BizLink network and keep your finger on the pulse of your local economy.

Joining the BizLink network subscribes you to our e-newsletter which features the latest business news, events, support programs, and other useful information.

View the most recent BizLink newsletter and previous editions.

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