COVID-19 business support
To help businesses during COVID-19, we have established a business support service to provide information on government support, advice and professional services.
Help to operate your business safely
Here are some frequently asked questions for businesses operating during COVID-19.
Create a COVIDSafe plan.
- calculate the area of the room (length of room in metres x width of room in metres = area of room in square metres)
- divide the area of the room by 4.
Where people can't physically distance, consider wearing a mask.
Employers and business operators may become aware a case has been linked to them by:
- being notified by public health authorities
- an employee or other contractor notifying them that they have been diagnosed.
The NSW Government has advice on what to do if your business has been linked to a COVID-19 case.
Isolate them and seek help.
- Isolate the person to prevent the spread.
- Call the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080 for advice.
- Ensure the person has transport either home or to a medical facility, if necessary.
- Clean and disinfect.
- Identify and tell close contacts.
- Review risk management controls in consultation with your workers.
- Visit Safe Work Australia for in-depth information on what to do if you reasonably suspect someone at work has COVID-19.
Disinfecting kills germs.
Cleaning physically removes germs (bacteria and viruses), dirt and grime using a detergent and water solution.
Disinfecting chemically kills germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting to ensure it’s effective. Disinfectants contain more than 70% alcohol.
Find out more about proper cleaning and disinfecting for businesses from Safe Work Australia.
Free course — Demystify your business finances during COVID-19
This 4 day intensive course has been created as a direct response to business owner requests during a time of immense disruption. Demystify Your Business Finances is a practical course which empowers business owners to understand and plan the next 12 months of business from a financial perspective. This accredited course is fully subsidised by NSW Government, meaning it is free for business owners. It is led by Peter Hollingsworth — one of our most experienced Business Advisors.
If you're experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, please contact your bank or creditors immediately. Most will to proactively work with you towards a solution.
- Business.gov.au has information about reviewing your finances, business continuity plans, marketing your business and other ways to keep your business going during COVID-19.
- Australian Government financial assistance, including Jobkeeper
- Advice and assistance from the NSW Government
- Fee waivers and tax assistance from the NSW Government
- How Australian banks are helping small business
- Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme offers cash flow relief
- Access resources for the public and industry about COVID-19 — including home isolation and care, information for travellers, parents, aged care residents, employers, transport and hotel industries.
- Access information about masks — when to wear a mask, how to wear a mask, how to make a mask and more.
Need some inspiration? COVID-19 has impacted small businesses in different ways, and many have re-invented or re-launched their products and services to reach new markets and take advantage of new opportunities. In a series of interviews, small businesses share how they shifted the way they work to reach new customers while facing the challenges of COVID-19.
The Business Centre in Newcastle is running a free Business Disruption webcast series providing practical support and information for businesses. You can watch the following webcasts online:
The Business Centre also provides 4 hours of free advice with a dedicated business expert who will work with you on specific challenges.
The University of Newcastle's Business School discusses How Industry Placement 'Works' in this 1 hour webinar.
Introduced by Mayor Ryan Palmer and featuring Dr Paul Stolk on what’s required from businesses, the types of projects students can work in during their 100 hour placement and the opportunities this creates for businesses.
Jan Dobbie (Varley), Mel Rowe (Newcastle Airport) and Naomi Farrelly (Lighthouse Tourism) shared their experiences from an employer perspective.
Hints, tips and ideas
- 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, please think about spending or investing that money within the region where you can.
- Can you deliver your services online? Learn how to host an online event or webinar that live event attendees will love.
- If staff are underutilised, can they take advantage of an online learning or professional development opportunity while away from the office? Learn something new online for free — try FutureLearn and EDX and University of Newcastle.
- Check out the myriad of podcasts on offer. Try The Company You Keep.
- AusIndustry — Tim Cotter (Regional Manager) firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Business Centre, Newcastle Region — Melissa Archer (Business Advisor) email@example.com
- AusTrade — Sharon Foster (Senior Export/Tradestart Advisor Central Coast & Hunter) firstname.lastname@example.org
- Running a Home Business This information has been developed as part of the NSW Government's Easy to Do Business initiative and is provided to help you start and run a flourishing business. It will also assist with transitioning when your business outgrows your home.
- Industry Capability Network contact Dusko Bajic (Business Development Hunter) DBajic@icnnsw.org.au
- Regional Development Australia (RDA) – Hunter
- Hunter Research Foundation
- Newcastle Innovation - Industry Development Centre
- HunterNet Co-operative Limited
- Federal Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
- Federal Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development
- Federal Fair Work Commission
- Hunter Local Land Services
- Intellectual Property Australia
- NSW Environment Protection Agency
- NSW Department of Industry
- NSW Small Business Commissioner
- Safe Work NSW
- Hunter River High (Heatherbrae) 4987 2306
- Mick Lee email@example.com
- Irrawang High School (Raymond Terrace) 4987 4687
- Justin Tonks firstname.lastname@example.org
- Medowie Christian School (Medowie) 4981 7177
- Ruth Neville email@example.com
- St Phillips' Christian College (Salamander Bay) 4919 5400
- Rachel Hall firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tomaree High School (Salamander Bay) 4981 1444
- Kyle McElwain email@example.com