Supporting local businesses

Young creative woman in a studio

Support from Council

Back Our Business - Shop Local campaign

State and Federal Government Assistance Packages

Other help options for business

Enhanced Outdoor Dining

Support from Council

Monash Council has made the unprecedented decision in its 2020/21 Budget to introduce a waiver on Council rates for the 2020/21 financial year as a gesture of support for the Monash community in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council has also already reduced the amount of fees for outdoor dining footpath trading permits in the adopted 2020/21 Budget, by around 50% ($210K) and in September 2020 also agreed to forgo the balance (another $210K) in footpath trading permits.

To date, the majority of footpath trading permits have been renewed, however no charge will be applied in 2020/21.

August 2020

Council made the decision to introduce a waiver on Council rates for the 2020/21 financial year at its August 2020 meeting on the grounds of financial hardship under section 171 of the Local Government Act 1989. This means that whilst rates will go up by an average of 2% all 81,000 ratepayers will  be provided with a 10% waiver.

Read more on the 10% waiver and the Budget.

At a Special Meeting of Council on 27 March, Council unanimously passed a set of principles to support our community, businesses and organisation during these challenging times.

Any ratepayer impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing hardship with paying rates and /or other charges can get assistance. The policy covers any remaining balance of rates this year (2019/20) and any continuing difficulty in meeting payment of rates in 2020/21. The assistance will be by way of a rates payment deferral, without any penalty interest being charged.

Examples of a charge where this applies includes fees paid for Council’s Home Care service, Meals on Wheels or pet registrations.

We've also launched a campaign to support local businesses who are adapting to trading under current restrictions. The Back Our Business - Shop Local campaign features a free register for businesses to share what they are doing and the innovative ways they've kept their businesses going. Council will promote the register to the wider community.

Enhanced Outdoor Dining

Monash has a proud and well-deserved reputation as a destination for great dining experiences, offering a diverse range of choices and dining precincts that attract visitors from all over.

Council is working with traders to bring these important precincts back to life following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions under the State Government’s Outdoor Dining and Entertainment Package. Information on the package is available at

Under this plan, food and dining trading will be very different, with a focus on dining outdoors. We believe it’s important we hear from businesses about how you think this will work in Monash. All ideas are welcome and everything is on the table for discussion.

Some ideas being considered are extending outdoor dining areas along the footpath or in some instances you may be able to make temporary use of parking bays outside your businesses. Temporary and partial road closures may also need to be considered where practical.

This is a time for us all to be creative about what this new phase of outdoor dining will look like. This is an opportunity to create something new and unique. Monash is renowned for its innovation and we’re confident our businesses will rise to this challenge.

Council will be setting a minimum standard for the increased outdoor dining during this period to ensure that all establishments are functional, accessible and safe. To ensure our hospitality businesses can open as soon as it is allowed outdoor dining and associated permits such as liquor licensing red line permits will be fast-tracked.

We want to work with you to ensure the process of reopening in the new COVID normal is as simple and seamless as possible. We all want to see our food precincts thriving and safely welcoming as many customers as possible. If a business has a liquor licence, this will need to be extended to accommodate additional outdoor dining and we are working closely with the Victorian Government to ensure these applications can be processed quickly through the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) once the Council approval has been given.

To put forward your ideas please email  If you would like to discuss any aspect of your business and getting ready for enhanced outdoor dining please contact Thalia Bennett on 9518 3539.

For more information and frequently asked questions visit 

Principles to guide Council during Coronavirus (pdf, 140KB)

Financial Hardship Policy and application form 

Back Our Businesses - Support Local campaign

First for Business enewsletters

Top Tips to help business

For the latest updates and advice on Coronavirus, visit Department of Health and Human Services  and the World Health Organisation

State and Federal Government assistance packages

Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund

The Victorian Government has launched the Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund in recognition of small, private landlords who may not have the capacity to provide rent reductions to their commercial tenants whose income has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Grants of up to $3,000 per tenancy are available to eligible small private, individual and joint-owner landlords, who are facing financial hardship after reducing rent for their tenants under Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme (CTRS) requirements.

This fund will be open for applications until 11.59pm 16 October 2020 or until funds are exhausted, whichever comes first.

Please find more information at the links below. 

Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund

Translated websites:

$87.5 million Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package announced by State Government (14 Sept)

The Victorian Government’s Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package will provide $87.5 million to councils and businesses outside of Melbourne’s CBD to make widespread outdoor dining safe, practical and a reality this summer.

$58 million will go towards grants of up to $5,000 to help hospitality businesses pay for the practical things that will make this plan work – umbrellas, outdoor furniture, screens and other equipment. There will also be investment in training, advertising, and the other supports businesses will need as we take our café culture outdoors.  

The grants will be available to licensed and unlicensed cafés, restaurants, takeaway food businesses, pubs, taverns, bars and clubs with a payroll of less than $3 million – with more than 11,000 businesses eligible to benefit.

Funding of $29.5 million will be provided to local councils to help them implement swift and streamlined permit, enforcement and monitoring processes to support expanded outdoor dining in the Third Step in the roadmap to reopening.  

Metropolitan councils and regional city councils will be eligible for up to $500,000 in assistance, while rural councils will be eligible for up to $250,000. This money can also be passed on to businesses in the form of reducing or waiving permit fees or invested in infrastructure such as streetscaping and lighting.

Outdoor Eating and Entertainment Package Media Release

Business Victoria

State Government's business relief package outlined (13 September)

A new support package will see $3 billion in cash grants, tax relief and cashflow support delivered to Victorian businesses. 

Over $1.1 billion in cash grants will support small and medium sized businesses that are most affected by coronavirus restrictions including $822 million as part of the third round of the Business Support Fund. Around 75,000 eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size. More than 108,000 businesses have already shared in $1.47 billion from the first two rounds of Business Support Fund grants.

Supporting Victorian Businesses on our road to COVID normal

More survival support for Victorian businesses

The Victorian Government will provide more support to help businesses and workers through to the other side of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Government has announced a $534 million Business Support Package – the latest support measures on top of the $6 billion in economic relief already invested since the pandemic began.

The latest measures include cash grants for struggling businesses, mental health support for business owners, relief for tourism operators who can no longer welcome Melbourne-based visitors for holidays, and tailored and targeted advice for businesses to adapt, stay afloat and then bounce back on the other side.

More survival support for Victorian businesses

More than half a million to unlock infrastructure jobs in Victoria

The Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will support construction jobs across Victoria by jointly investing an additional $525 million to deliver shovel-ready infrastructure projects and urgent road safety upgrades.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said further investment in infrastructure would play a critical role in the Commonwealth’s JobMaker plan and help the Victorian economy as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

More than half a million to unlock infrastructure jobs in Victoria

New LaunchVic Board to boost startups, jobs and economic recovery

Four new board members including a new chair have been appointed to LaunchVic, bringing new skills and experience to Victoria’s startup agency.

Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced the appointment of Leigh Jasper, Ilona Charles, Teresa Engelhard and Aneetha de Silva for a term of three years – with Constantine Frantzeskos and Catriona Larritt reappointed to the board.

New LaunchVic Board to boost startups, jobs and economic recovery

Free TAFE expansion to boost skills and drive economic recovery

The Victorian Government will expand its signature Free TAFE program as part of a major new package of investments to boost skills, create jobs and drive the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Minister for Training and Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney today announced $163 million in targeted investments that will make it easier for people with pre-existing qualifications to retrain so they can get work in sectors that need more skilled workers.

It includes funding to get more Victorians impacted by coronavirus into training – particularly women and young people – in the second half of this year, for jobs in industries that will drive economic recovery.

Free TAFE expansion to boost skills and drive economic recovery

$250 million JobMaker plan for creative economy restart

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.

A range of new grant and loan programs will roll out over the next 12 months to different parts of the arts sector to support the $112 billion creative economy and the more than 600,000 Australians it employs.

$250 million JobMaker plan

Upskill My Business training

The Victorian Government is giving businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic free access to top online short courses and training events so they can plan for a stronger future and take advantage of new opportunities.

Providing the skills for businesses to emerge stronger

New Angel Groups provide lifeline to early stage start-ups

More than $10 million in private sector capital is set to be unlocked to help over 40 early-stage Victorian startups reach their economic potential, thanks to funding announced by the Andrews Labor Government today.

The $1.16 million investment made by the Government’s startup agency LaunchVic will provide a much-needed boost for many early-stage startups who are finding it difficult to secure seed investment to help them take the next step.

New Angel Group start-ups

$1.6 billion Childcare Package

The Federal Government announced changes to child care costs on 2 April in a temporary measure - for the next three months of the Coronavirus crisis -  that will allow parents free childcare.

Early Childhood and Relief Care Package

$130 billion Wage Subsidy Package Federal Government

The Federal Government has announced a Wage Subsidy Package to around 6 million workers who will receive a flat payment of $1,500 per fortnight through their employer, before tax.

The $130 billion JobKeeper payment will help keep Australians in jobs during the coronavirus pandemic

The payment will be open to eligible businesses that receive a significant financial hit caused by the coronavirus.

$130 billion Wage Subsidy Package

Commonwealth Government Services

Do you access Commonwealth government services through Centrelink or Medicare?

Access these service and up to date information about changes to the services during the Coronavirus /COVID-19 pandemic here

Economic Survival Package State Government

The Victorian Government has established an $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package to support Victorian businesses and workers through the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The package includes the following key programs.

  • Payroll Tax Refund 
  • Liquor license fees waived
  • Business Support Fund 
  • Working for Victoria Fund 
  • Land tax deferral 
  • Fast tracking outstanding supplier invoices 
  • Rent relief for commerical tenants in government buildings.

Economic Survival Package

Help for business

Both the Victorian and Australian Government have set up hotlines for businesses wanting more information or clarification:
-  AusIndustry contact centre 13 28 46.
-  Business Victoria hotline 13 22 15.

Victorian Government:

 Australian Government:

Other organisations:

Australian Banking Association

Victorian Chamber of Commerce

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (guide for small business)

Please email if you wish to:

  • Access up to 4 free mentoring sessions
  • Discuss assistance for your business
  • Sign up to receive our First 4 Business e-newsletters

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Last updated: 12 February 2021