COVID-19 RESOURCE CENTRE
Tourism Geelong & The Bellarine will be updating this page regularly with information provided by Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Department of Health, Tourism Australia, Victorian Tourism Industry Council VTIC and other government announcements as we receive them.
WHAT WE’RE doing
As a team, we’re making good use of technology to ensure work progresses on some of the important projects we’re planning. As the situation unfolds we’ll do what we can to provide support and information to our members.
As a directive from the City of Greater Geelong in the interests of minimising the spread of the virus, many of our team will be working remotely as appropriate to their roles in response to the social distancing measures suggested by health officials. Team Tourism is working and available should you have any questions or need additional support. These arrangements are in place until we receive advice that they should change.
03 5223 2588
Monday – Friday – 9:00am – 5:00pm
Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine
Our Approach to Visitor Servicing
We’ve transitioned all visitor information services across the region to phone and email services. Each site has clear instructions for how travellers can reach our team. The service will continue to be provided from 9am – 5pm, 7 days per week via 1800 755 611 or firstname.lastname@example.org
what you can be doing
From training opportunities and recommended reading, to suggestions about how we can contribute to the community or offers of support.
- Crisis Essentials and Tourism Crisis Management Planning
- Commercial Tenancies Code of Conduct Explained – Hospitality Magazine
- An Easy Guide to JobKeeper, Payroll Tax and Business Support – TGGB
- Quick Summary of the JobKeeper Payment – 9News
- Support for hospitality businesses affected by COVID-19 – Hospitality Magazine
- How to Capitalise on Delivery – Hospitality Magazine
- 6 Proactive Strategies for Tourism Businesses in the 2020 Economic Downturn – Tourism Tribe
- How to Make Your Work From Home Stint a Success – Mumbrella
Since we can’t catch up in person, we’ve been working on a series of webinars to keep you informed, teach you new skills and help in anyway we can during this time. These will be updated on a weekly basis, check out the upcoming webinar opportunities here. Here are some recordings of ones you may have missed:
- Practical Tips to Increase Brand Exposure on Google, Without Paying a Cent – Training session
- Tourism industry regroups through ATEC webinar
- Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine Executive Update – hosted on April 2
- The PM’s message of support for the tourism sector – hosted on April 3 by Tourism Australia
Government Support Available
Expanding on immediate initiatives, City of Greater Geelong council has fast-tracked a support package for businesses with the region. The Business Support Package includes the recently announced FREE program of expert professional advice in human resources, financial management and digital marketing, as well as business mentoring for operators within the region via Geelong Business Support. Further to this fabulous program, other measures are listed below…
- Refund of Alfresco Dining and A Frame permit fees for 12 months.
- Refund of food premises and health premises registration for 3 months (exact details being finalised).
- Free casual on and off street parking in the CBD until 30 June.
- Development of a financial hardship policy including consideration of rates.
- 50% reduction of rent for eligible commercial tenants in City owned buildings or land.
- Virtual events calendar for what’s on around the region.
CoGG has also created a Business Support Portal, and will develop additional support programs for local business, including a further medium-term package to be presented to the council by June. If you need help navigating these options, the Geelong business concierge service is available to help on 5272 5272.
Golden Plains Shire has announced a range of Business Support measures to help businesses within the region.
Find out more details, and apply for any relevant packages here.
As part of a $1.7 billion economic survival package, the Victorian Government has announced a $500 million Business Support Fund to assist small to medium businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Economic Survival and Jobs Package – Register your interest
Key highights for Tourism operators include:
- Grants up to $10k for SMEs with turnover of more than $75k and payroll under $650k. Check elegibility and apply here.
- Payroll Tax Relief for businesses under $3 million. Importantly, this is a refund of paid tax, not a loan.
- Cash allocations of $113k for SMEs, depending on elegibility.
- Displaced worker register to assist stood down employees in finding new gigs.
- Waiving of liquor licensing fees.
- Land Tax relief.
Looking for forms or application requirements? The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has compiled a range of offical paperwork for download – relating to Jobkeeper, redundancy, working from home and updated awards. They’re also waiving fees for new members (some major savings)!
The Australian Government has announced an Economic Response to the coronavirus totalling $17.6 billion, and a further $66 billion across the forward estimates, this includes a special fund to support sectors that have been hit hardest, such as tourism. Specific information on financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support can be found on business.gov.au. In addition to this, the JobKeeper subsidy is aimed at helping businesses retain staff, in order to be best prepared to rebound once the situation improves – info and sign up via the ATO.
Key highights for Tourism operators include:
- Changes have been made to the Commercial Tenancies Code of Conduct – currently leasing? See what options you have.
- JobKeeper payment gives businesses access to a subsidy of up to $1500 per fortnight to retain employees.
- Cash payments between $20k-$100k for SMEs.
- The Commonwealth to guarantee unsecured loans of up to $350k with generous loan structures.
- New Wage Subsidies for workers, sole traders and partnerships.
- Increase to Newstart and Jobseeker payments ($750 payment) and waiving of asset test and waiting periods.
- A dedicated Whatsapp account which the public can follow for all the latest info direct to your mobile.
More information can be found here.
For more information on what support is available you can call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.
There is also financial support for businesses from the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), and can be found here.
Your one stop shop for all the latest announcements and advice from Government and official bodies.
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Will I be fined if I accept a holiday booking during the period of the State of Emergency? No, accommodation providers (unless they are a caravan park or camping ground operator that has been instructed to close) cannot be fined for accepting a booking. However, under...
Build your own Website Store for beginners Exclusive to Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine members, this course will teach you how to build a website store so you can start selling physical products, gift vouchers, or virtual products online! You do not need...
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