March 25, 2020

We understand that many of our local businesses are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and Australia is currently undergoing rapid and radical changes in an attempt to control the virus.

Council is encouraging our local community to support one another during this time, particularly as you, our local businesses, are adapting services to comply with the fast changing regulations and to meet consumer needs. Ways customers can support local businesses are listed here.

As a business owner it is extremely important to keep up to date with the rapidly shifting situation, and to arm yourself with as much information as possible to see yourself (and your staff) through this challenging period.

Some tips in this tough time include:

  1. Keep up to date with the latest information and advice. NSW Government information and advice can be found here.
  2. Prepare a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ahead of time to ensure that your business can remain operating or viable should a disaster strike. CPA Australia have a COVID-19 Contingency Plan checklist that’s quick and easy to use.
  3. Keep your marketing going. There are cheap ways to continue marketing, such as social media engagement. Keep your presence up to ensure you are showing up on news feeds.
  4. Think of innovative ways to continue to serve your customers such as creating online shopping capacity and/or retooling for takeaway
  5. Establish a remote work option if possible. Look into technology and tools to keep you and your team connected like chat tools, video conferencing, and project management tools.
  6. Have a list of your key contacts and a handover notes prepared and easily accessible in case someone needs to run your business on your behalf
  7. Keep an eye out for Government support packages and speak to your accountant ASAP as to what you are eligible for.
  8. Update your business plan and financial documents. These will be required if you find yourself needing to apply for a business loan.
  9. Set a long-term plan for “survival” and “recovery”.
  10. Hold a sale or promotion: A sale or promotion which offers some great deals is an effective way to encourage customers into your store.
  11. Ask for help if you need it!

Business Australia has a great website that provides resources and practical tools. This includes advice on how to have conversations with your employees about ongoing working-from-home arrangements, leave and the temporary shut-down of parts of your business (if required) – click here

Retail and Home Business Operating Hours (as at 25 Mar 20)

Retail premises such as supermarkets, pharmacies and corner stores are permitted to trade 24 hours per day. Waste disposal from retail premises can also be undertaken at any time.

Home businesses can now operate 24 hours per day subject to certain conditions.

Authority has been granted under the Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Extended Operation) Order 2020. To obtain a copy click here

Physical Copies of Planning Documents No Longer Required

The COVID-19 Legislation Amendment (Emergency Measures) Bill 2020 removed the requirement for planning decisions makers including Councils to display physical copies of some documents.

These documents will now be made available online via the NSW Planning Portal and local government websites (Bathurst Regional Council)

Additional Resources

Further information can be found at the following locations:

The Grants and Funding section of this webpage will also be updated with Federal and State Government initiatives during this period.

If you need help or would like to talk to someone visit headsup.org.au or call Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

 

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