Business support during COVID-19

In response to COVID-19, Council is working to ensure the local business community is supported, well informed and knows where to access advice and financial support. Council has established a COVID-19 business assistance support team focused on supporting local businesses. This team has developed a small business relief package which offers approximately $1 million per month in financial relief.

We are also liaising with the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce to understand business needs as the situation evolves. We encourage those who have  specific needs or practical ideas or suggestions to please email us at 

If you are wanting information about government assistance that's available for individuals and households, please see here.The Australian Government has also launched a COVID-19 app which provides a trusted source of information and updates on the developing situation. Updates from the government are also available via WhatsApp

Talk to us

As this situation evolves, we want to hear from you. Council wants to know what your issues or concerns are and if you have any ideas on how we can support small business in this time. Please email us at and we will get back to you.

Support from Waverley Council

To help businesses in Waverley, Council has developed a $1 million per month relief package with immediate short-term and medium-term support measures to assist small businesses operating in the local government area. The package has been extended until 31 March 2021.

Measures in the package include:

  1. Relaxed conditions of consent for restaurants to enable trade as takeaway-only services.
  2. From 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021, a 50% discount on footpath seating licenses will be introduced.
  3. Fee waivers will be applied to outdoor fitness permits.
  4. Discounted license fees for the Oxford Street Mall markets and the Roscoe Street markets of 50% from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
  5. Commercial waste fees and charges to be adjusted to level of service. Customers can also apply for extended credit terms during the pandemic period.
  6. Discounted rent for community tenants by 50% from 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021.
  7. Council will pay its small business suppliers promptly within 15 days payment terms.
  8. Extended credit on certain fees and charges small businesses owe to Council with a suspension of interest charges.
  9. The Business Support Program will consider applications for other forms of assistance, including deferred rate payments with no interest charge.
  10. Relaxed operating hours for all supermarkets and grocers to ensure a continual supply and restock of products.
  11. Continuation of Council’s current capital works program of over $50 million per annum through to June 2021 to support employment in the construction sector.
  12. Council procurement from local suppliers if consistent with statutory procurement regulations and prescribed delegations.

Please note:

  • Parking fees have been reinstated
  • Invoicing and payment has resumed for services related to health, hygiene, licensing and fire safety inspections
  • Fees for external hire of community venues and commercial, retail and stratums have been reinstated.
  • Mobile vendor licence fees have been reinstated.

Keep it Local campaign

Waverley Council and the Bondi & Districts Chamber of Commerce have launched a Keep it Local campaign to encourage the community to shop locally where possible. As part of this, the Chamber has created a dedicated database online for businesses to list information about what they're offering and how the community can support them. This webpage is free for businesses to register and each business will be able to manage their own listing for ongoing updates.

We’re strongly encouraging all local businesses in operation to register their details so that they can be part of this important initiative. It only takes a few minutes to register your business. Sign up and make sure your voice is heard by the community.

Business Support Program

Council has established a Business Support Program that provides financial relief to small businesses experiencing hardship. We're encouraging eligible small businesses operating in the Waverley Local Government Area to apply for assistance. The program is open to small businesses as defined by the Australian Tax Office. The COVID-19 Business Support Program provides assistance in the form of:

  • Extended credit terms
  • Commercial rent (small businesses only)
  • Residential leases
  • Licensed sporting groups (if pre-paid)
  • External hirers of Community Venues
  • Other forms of support not listed

For more information and to apply, please see here.

Support from the Federal Government

The Federal Government Economic Stimulus Package is focused on keeping Australians in jobs and helping small businesses stay in business.

JobTrainer skills package announced

The Australian Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19. Find out more about what this program will cover here.

JobMaker plan to restart Australia’s creative economy

Thousands of jobs across Australia’s arts industry will be backed with a new $250 million targeted package to help restart the creative economy and get the entertainment, arts and screen sectors back to work, as they rebuild from the impacts of COVID-19. Find out more about what’s to come here.

JobKeeper Payment for employers and employees

Under the JobKeeper Payment, businesses impacted by COVID-19 will be able to access a subsidy from the government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of 6 months. For information on eligibility and how to apply, see here.

Other measures of the government's stimulus package include:

  • Boosting cash flow for employers: Up to $100,000 (previously $25,000) to eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (including charities) that employ people, with a minimum payment of $20,000. Small and medium sized business entities with aggregated annual turnover under $50 million and that employ workers are eligible. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme: A guarantee of 50 per cent to small and medium enterprise (SME) lenders for new unsecured loans up to the value of $250,000 to be used for working capital. Click here for terms.
  • Supporting apprentices and trainees: If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of their wage paid. If you employ an apprentice or trainee you may be eligible for a wage subsidy of 50% of their wage paid from 1 January 2021 to March 2021. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Increasing the Instant Asset write-off: The instant asset write-off threshold has been increased from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanded access to include businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million). This applies from 12 March 2020 until 30 June 2021, and purchased by 31 December 2020. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Backing Business Investment: A time limited 15-month investment incentive to support business investment and economic growth over the short term, by accelerating depreciation deductions. This applies to eligible assets acquired from 12 March 2020 and first used or installed by 30 June 2021. Click here for eligibility criteria.
  • Temporary relief for financially distressed businesses: On 24 September 2020, the Government announced changes to Australia's insolvency framework to better serve Australian small businesses, their creditors and their employees. The changes, which commenced on 1 January 2021, introduce new insolvency processes suitable for small businesses by reducing the complexity, time and costs required. Click here for details of the package.

For more information about federal government support, please see here.

Commercial tenancies code of conduct to help businesses and landlords

The Australian Government has released a Commonwealth Code of Conduct to help businesses and landlords manage commercial tenancies through “good faith leasing principals” during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Code, agreed by all states and territories, came into effect on 7 April and provides a guide to help all parties share the financial risk and cashflow impact of COVID-19 in a proportionate, measured manner.

The Code applies to all commercial tenancies that are:

  • Suffering financial stress or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Eligible for the JobKeeper program
  • Have an annual turnover of up to $50 million

Key principles of the Code include:

  • A proportionality to rent reductions based on the tenant’s decline in turnover
  • Tenants and landlords can agree on tailored, bespoke and appropriate temporary arrangements that take account of their particular circumstances and to equally share the burden
  • Australian and foreign banks and financial institutions are expected to support landlords and tenants with appropriate flexibility
  • The Rent Relief Policy will include a mutual obligation requirement on the small and medium sized enterprises and not-for-profit tenants to continue to engage their employees through the JobKeeper initiative where eligible, and if applicable, provide rent relief to their subtenants
  • Where landlords and tenants cannot reach agreement on COVID-19 leasing arrangements the matter should be referred to the NSW Small Business Commission.

For more information see here.

Support from the State Government

Free mental health programs for your workplace

Training and advice is available for workers, managers and business owners of private sector businesses with less than 200 employees. Develop the mental health capability of your workplace with these resources:

  • A three-hour online workshop delivered by a clinical psychologist to assist you in identifying the signs of mental ill-health among your staff
  • A one-hour online training session to help you develop techniques that improve wellbeing, and better support your team
  • Work health and safety advice specific to your business provided by an organisational psychologist. Learn how to better manage teams remotely and strategies to ensure wellness while staff return to work

Find out more here.

Apply for COVID-19 Land Tax Relief

If you’re a commercial or residential landlord who has reduced your tenants’ rent due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for land tax relief which provides up to 25% of your 2020 land tax liability and a 3 month deferment on paying your land tax. This relief applies to landlords who agreed to a rent reduction without any requirement for it to be paid back later. See eligibility and apply online here.

COVID-19: What you can and can't do as restrictions ease

With COVID-19 restrictions slowly being lifted, many businesses are now back in operation. Please check out this webpage from the NSW Government which outlines what restrictions or guidelines are in place that may impact your business operations.

COVID-19 health and hygiene guidelines for workplaces

To keep workers, visitors and customers safe, and to give them the confidence to keep coming back, businesses and organisations will need to follow health and hygiene requirements designed to keep COVID-19 out of workplaces. To find out more and to read the guidelines, see here.

Relief measures introduced by the NSW Government to support small businesses

To support those affected by the COVID-19 crisis, the NSW Government is offering a wide range of assistance measures to strengthen our health system, protect jobs, help businesses of all sizes, and provide security for the most vulnerable members of the community. Please click here for information on all the current support measures on offer.

Business Connect

Business Connect is supporting businesses through webinars, advice and other resources. To find out more and access resources click here.

Free TAFE NSW short course

Following an overwhelming response to the initial suite of free short courses announced by TAFE earlier this month,13 new fee-free short courses are available online to assist anyone across the state who wants to upskill during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NSW Government will use these new courses to replace those which have reached enrolment capacity to ensure there are still 21 accredited courses available for people to study through TAFE NSW.

The 13 new short courses include:

  • Leading Teams
  • Digital Security Basics
  • Build your Digital Literacy with Coding
  • Create a Brand Presentation
  • Undertaking Projects and Managing Risk

For further information, please see here.

Support from non-private and non-governmental organisations

Business Council of Australia

The Business Council of Australia has listed how some of their members are assisting small businesses and individuals. Find their support here.

For FAQs on consumer and business rights during COVID-19:

  • Event cancellations
  • Travel cancellations
  • Pricing and price gouging
  • Availability of ordered and/or stock items
  • Rental issues overseas students
  • Health and travel advice

For more information, click here.

New Business Assistance with NEIS

The Federal Government self-employment initiative, New Business Assistance with NEIS, helps eligible individuals setup and run their own small business. This opportunity is open to everyone, people curious about business, looking for guidance with their business idea, those that are not in employment, education or training, everyone.

NEIS can help them create a business plan, provide them with accredited training in small business, and business advice and mentoring for the first 12 months. All of the training at Sydney Business is at NO COST, and they'll also provide them with access to training materialsSydney Business is an approved NEIS provider with specialist trainers, advisors and mentors who ensure that your business has the very best chance of success.

Mental health support

The COVID-19 situation may cause heightened stress and anxiety for employers and employees. It is important for employers to provide a mentally healthy work environment for their employees, as well as for themselves. Below are federal and state government resources to help you and your staff with mental health and wellbeing.

Federal Government

Safe Work Australia

Safe Work Australia provides a number of resources on managing stress, staff dynamics and resources to help staff through these difficult times. To access their resources, please click here and select your relevant employment status, your industry of work and click 'mental health' when asked what you need information on.

My Business Health

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman has set up My Business Health to support small businesses with their business-related problems and issues, including mental wellbeing. More information about this is available here

State Government

The NSW Government is providing free mental health programs for your workplace. Training and advice is available for workers, managers and business owners of private sector businesses with less than 200 employees. Develop the mental health capability of your workplace with these resources:

  • Three-hour online workshop delivered by a clinical psychologist to assist you in identifying the signs of mental ill-health among your staff
  • One-hour online training session to help you develop techniques that improve wellbeing, and better support your team
  • Work health and safety advice specific to your business provided by an organisational psychologist

Learn how to better manage teams remotely and strategies to ensure wellness while staff return to work. Find out more here

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