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What do I need to do to reopen my business?

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Feeling overwhelmed?

This is a very tough time and it’s understandable if you are experiencing stress and anxiety as a result of the coronavirus outbreak and the impact it has had on your business.

It’s really important to look after yourself right now. Regular exercise, a healthy diet and getting enough sleep is a good start, but sometimes you need more support.

The good news is there is help available if you need it.

Find out more

It’s OK to not be OK

We know that small businesses are under enormous pressure in this rapidly changing environment.

If you aren’t sleeping, struggling to concentrate or are seeing other signs of anxiety or depression, Beyond Blue has a dedicated COVID-19 Mental Health Support Service including online resources.

Find out more

Struggling to cope?

Feelings of anxiety are a natural response to a period of uncertainty, like what we are experiencing now in this global pandemic.

It’s really important to be conscious of how you are feeling and to take care of yourself because your business depends on it.

This can be as simple as soaking up some sunshine in your backyard. Beyond Blue has developed good advice for coping amid COVID-19 with a dedicated Mental Health Support Service including online resources.

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Take this 5-min check-up

If you feel like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders, this 5 minute check-up developed by Ahead for Business can give you the tools you need to manage your stress levels.

Find out more

This is really tough, right?

At times, you may need help from professionals to work through concerns you have, whether they relate to anxiety you may be experiencing due to COVID-19 or the impact this health crisis is having on your business.

Beyond Blue has a dedicated COVID-19 Mental Health Support Service including online resources.

Find out more

Trouble sleeping?

We are living through extraordinary times and sole traders are facing huge challenges.

If you’re struggling to sleep, that can be an indicator that some of the worries you have are getting on top of you. Your business needs you, so seek some help if you need it.

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What do I need to do to reopen my business?

Check restrictions for your business

Restrictions on businesses are being lifted gradually. It is up to each state and territory to decide when and how far to relax the restrictions so it's important to keep up-to-date with current restictions in place for your industry. The following restrictions apply:

New South Wales

Tasmania

Queensland

Victoria

Northern Territory

South Australia

Australian Capital Territory

Western Australia

 

Create a COVID-Safe Plan

COVID‑19 will be with us for some time, so it’s important that your business has a plan - and continues to plan - to keep your workplace healthy, safe and virus-free.

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission has developed an online planning tool to help businesses reopen and be COVID safe.

There are templates and guidelines available through your relevant state or territory to create a COVID Safe Plan. 

South Australia

South Australian businesses on the 'Defined public activities' list must have a COVID Safe Plan in place. To create your COVID Safe Plan, fill out the form, print it out and make it available at your premises.

Tasmania

Businesses are expected to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. You need to be able to demonstrate that you are complying with the minimum standards.

COVID-19 Safety Plan templates are available through WorkSafe Tasmania and should be kept at your premises, you do not need to submit them to WorkSafe.

Business Tasmania has developed a video to help you navigate the process of developing your COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory businesses must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place to show how requirements will be met around the key principles of physical distancing and hygiene practices.

Businesses are required to complete an online COVID-19 Safety Plan checklist relevant to your business or organisation. If your business or organisation has multiple locations, you must apply for each premises.

Western Australia

Businesses need to ensure there is a COVID Safety Plan in place prior to reopening. Tailored templates have been developed for food businesses and licensed premises, sport and recreation, beauty and person care services.

Businesses must display a COVID Safety Plan Certificate (which is included in the plan template) in a visible location on the premises.

Queensland

From 1 June 2020, some businesses were able to start offering services to a larger number of customers if they are following an approved industry COVID Safe plan.

Industry COVID Safe plans are developed by an industry peak body or representative group for businesses within that industry to follow. The plan must clearly outline how businesses will operate and must satisfy Queensland's Chief Health Officer.

Individual businesses within an industry do not need to develop their own COVID Safe plan if they are following an industry COVID Safe plan.

Industries that are eligible to develop an industry COVID Safe plan include (but are not limited to):

  • fitness (e.g. gyms, health clubs and yoga studios)
  • hospitality (e.g. restaurants and cafes, pubs, clubs and hotels)
  • tourism experiences (e.g. charter fishing boats and 4WD experiences).

An industry COVID Safe plan guide has been created to help you develop your plan and understand what health authorities will be looking for when assessing your plan. There is no official template for the plan – you can determine the format while following the information in the guide.

In some limited cases, you can develop a site-specific plan if your business is larger in scale.

All completed industry COVID Safe plans must be submitted to Queensland Health for approval. Email your completed plan to COVID-19.Industryplans@health.qld.gov.au.

Approved industry COVID Safe plans available on the Queensland Government's COVID-19 website.

New South Wales

The NSW government has developed templates for specific industries. If your business doesn't fit within one of the specific industries, it is still recommended you have a plan to protect your staff, workers, customers and visitors. You can either use the general template or develop your own plan.

Once you have completed your COVID-19 Safety Plan, you can register your business as COVID Safe.

Australian Capital Territory

The ACT government has developed guidelines for businesses that need to create a COVID Safety Plan.

The COVID Safety Plan must be in writing and available to be produced on request by compliance and enforcement officers, but it does not need to be submitted for approval.

Victoria

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

Businesses must review and update their COVIDSafe Plans regularly, especially when restrictions or public health advice changes. Organisations with multiple worksites must complete a COVIDSafe Plan for each worksite.

If you own a business in a high-risk industry, you must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

High-risk industries include: poultry processing facilities, abattoirs and meat processing facilities, seafood processing facilities, supermarket, medical supply, pharmaceutical supply and personal protective equipment supply facilities, warehousing and distribution centres, construction sites, manufacturing facilities and wholesale facilities.

Download the COVIDSafe app

While the use of the COVIDSafe app is voluntary, all Australians are encouraged to download it to support contact tracing if required.

Small businesses should make staff aware of the app and the benefits, but cannot exclude them if they don't download the app.

Find out more

Talk to your trusted adviser

It is very important to talk to your trusted advisor about the health of your business, particularly the viability of your business once the government stimulus measures cease.

Display posters and signage

Safe Work Australia has developed COVID-19 posters and signage for businesses to print and display to show customers and employees what actions are being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The following states and territories have made branded posters and signage available:

New South Wales

Queensland

Tasmania

Australian Capital Territory

Northern Territory

South Australia

Victoria

Keep your workplace safe

Safe Work Australia has developed a number of checklists and fact sheets to help businesses keep workplaces, staff and customers safe during COVID-19 including:

Workplace checklist

Working from home guide

Physical distancing checklist

Cleaning checklist

How to clean your workplace guide

Health, hygiene and facilities checklist

Collect customer data

To reopen, some businesses may be required to collect and store customer, employee and contractor information to assist with contact tracing if required. 

Here are links to your state government contactless check-in options:

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Please note that the following contact tracing resources are not endorsed by ASBFEO. Small business owners are advised to do their research before signing up to any contactless check-in options.

GuestTrack

GuestTrack is a free browser-based application to help businesses collect and store data of customers entering their premises. The app requires businesses to print out a QR code with guest instructions for your business and display it at the entrance or on each table. Visitors will need to scan the QR code and enter their contact details. The information collected and stored must comply with privacy laws and time limits. 

Brisk Table

Brisk Table is a free browser-based application that allows businesses to create a contact form on any digital device for patrons to fill in when entering the venue. The app also automatically creates a QR code for customers to scan and check-in on their device for contactless data collection.

Apply for grants

Some state and territory governments have grants available to help small businesses affected by COVID-19 to get back on their feet.

Northern Territory

Business Rebound and Adaptation Grant

The Business Rebound and Adaptation Grant is designed to help Northern Territory small businesses affected by COVID-19 build their capacity and adapt to the new economic environment.

Grants of up to $10,000 on a co-contribution basis are available to small businesses to carry out works that will enhance customer experience and improve business performance. This can include new technology, skilling of workers, structural works to business premises and major purchases and installations for the business. Two vouchers can be issued per business.

You can apply if you are a business or enterprise that meets all of the following:

  • is a legal entity and holds a valid ABN as at 29 July 2020
  • is a Territory enterprise
  • has 199 officers and employees or fewer (including a sole trader where the only employee is the proprietor of the business)
  • had a minimum turnover of $75,000.00 for the 2018/2019 financial year, and would have expected to have turnover equal to that amount for the 2019/2020 financial year but for the effect of COVID-19 on its business
  • can demonstrate a reduction in turnover of at least 30% due to COVID-19.

To apply for the grant, businesses need to get quotes from registered tradies and contractors for the work and then apply online at the Smartygrants website.

Victoria

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Business Grants

The Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package business grants help businesses adapt their operations to outdoor dining. Grants are available to licensed and unlicensed hospitality businesses, including restaurants, cafes, pubs/taverns, bars, clubs and takeaway food venues.

Eligible businesses can apply for a grant of $5,000. Funds can be used to pay for practical things like umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment, or training, marketing and other costs associated with new, expanded or enhanced outdoor dining.

Applications are open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 11 December 2020, whichever is earlier.

Eligible businesses can apply online.

Queensland

COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program

Eligible businesses located in regional Queensland that have been affected by COVID-19 can apply for a grant between $2,000 and $10,000 through the Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant Program. Businesses can check if they're eligible through the eligibility tool.

Businesses can apply online.

New South Wales

Business Connect Progam

The Business Connect program will provide free advisory services and skills training until 30 June 2021 for businesses affected by COVID-19.

Business Connect aims to support small businesses to startup, create jobs through growth, help established SMEs become sustainable and increase business confidence across NSW.

Businesses can register for Business Connect and book a session with a local advisor.