Here's the latest collection of resources we've compiled for your convenience since our last member's newsletter. For members, information about the following can also be found in Chamber's Member Information Centre (MIC) online.
The Queensland Government has released STAGE 4 Roadmap to Easing Restrictions across the state, effective 1 October 2020, with 1 November and 1 December highlighted as key dates for next stages.
The future roadmap is subject to COVID Safe Check Points, and also outlines what restrictions would be reintroduced to affected regions if an outbreak were to occur within the state.
If there is no unlinked community transmission in NSW for 28 days, the roadmap highlights 1 November as the beginning of Stage 5 easing of restrictions that would see Queensland’s borders reopen to all of New South Wales. Stage 6, anticipated from 1 December, will see public gatherings increase to 50 people, increased attendances at outdoor events and no restrictions on people dancing at weddings.
Borders with Victoria will remain closed until community transmission is under control.
Source Credit: Visit Sunshine Coast Update, October 7, 2020
From 1 October, changes have been made to outdoor venue capacity. Outdoor venues with a COVID Safe Plan are permitted to increase their number of patrons from one per four square metres to one per two square metres. This includes businesses like outdoor dining, theme parks, zoos and boat tours.
To learn more about what classifies as an outdoor business and what you need to do to make your venue COVID Safe, see Tourism and Events Queensland’s newsletter. Restrictions are formally detailed in the Restrictions on Business, Activities and Undertakings Public Health Direction (No. 7).
Furthermore, seated capacity at outdoor stadiums, amphitheatres and outdoor performance venues has increased from up to 50 per cent to up to 75 per cent. The threshold for outdoor events operating under a COVID Safe Checklist has also increased from 500 to 1,000 people.
Source Credit: Visit Sunshine Coast, October 7, 2020 Newsletter
As part of its $800 million JobMaker Digital Business Plan, the Morrison Government is encouraging and supporting more Australian small businesses to digitise, so they are in a better position to compete, succeed and create employment opportunities. This includes an expansion of the Australian Small Business Advisory Service Digital Solutions (ASBAS) program.
The ASBAS Digital Solutions program supports businesses through low cost, independent, expert and tailored advice to small business, helping them to develop and grow their digital capabilities.
The expansion of this service means a further 10,000 Australian businesses will be able to use these services.
Businesses are able to receive information and advice about:
- Websites and selling online
- Social media and digital marketing
- Using small business software
- Online security and data privacy
- Business crisis management and business continuity planning
- Finance management and boosting cash flow
- Staff management and creating a safe work environment
- Retaining and staying connected to customers
- Resilience and wellbeing.
The Australian Small Business Advisory Service – Digital Solutions program is available to small businesses with fewer than 20 full time (or equivalent) employees, as well as sole traders.
The JobKeeper scheme has been extended from 28 September 2020 until 28 March 2021.
There are two separate extension periods, which are split into two rates.
For each extension period, an additional actual decline in turnover test applies and the rate of the JobKeeper payment is different.
- Extension 1: from 28 September 2020 to 3 January 2021
- Extension 2: from 4 January 2021 to 28 March 2021
The rates of JobKeeper payment also changes in each extension period, dependent on the number of hours an eligible employee works, or an eligible business participant is actively engaged in the business.
Protecting your business online may have slipped down the to-do list considering everything else you have had to deal with over the last year.
These new step-by-step guides from the Federal Government’s Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) are a quick and easy read, and help demystify the common pitfalls.
A new Grant Program has been recently announced by the Queensland State Development, Tourism and Innovation (DSTDI) as part of Queensland Economic Recovery Strategy: Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs to help accelerate the State’s recovery from COVID-19.
Grants from a minimum of $2,000 to a maximum of $10,000 (excluding GST) are available to tourism businesses in regional Queensland who can demonstrate they have suffered losses of income because of the international travel restrictions.
To be eligible the tourism business headquarters must be located in Queensland and primarily operate outside the Greater Brisbane Area of Brisbane City Council, Redlands City Council, Logan City Council, Ipswich City Council and Moreton Bay Regional Council boundaries.
The key objectives of this program are to assist tourism businesses to:
- pivot their product, service and/or marketing to a domestic tourism market
- meet operating costs while the business hibernates until international markets reopen.
Applications are now open to support Queensland’s tourism businesses to pivot to a domestic market or hibernate until international markets reopen.
As at October 15, 2020 15% of funding has been allocated, with the program to close once all funding has been allocated.