More support for businesses and workers this pandemic
Ever since Melbourne was declared a state of disaster, so many things have become a blur. Metropolitan Melbourne has moved to Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions, where there are tighter regulations implemented. While the building and construction industry will continue its operations, the priority is to keep everyone safe and slow down the spread of the virus. However, because the announcement was very sudden, it’s normal that there’s some confusion.
We have previously provided some clarifications about the questions raised. You may check out some of those here. We have all been going through a lot recently – and with the rising number of positive cases across the state, our mental health is inevitably going to be affected in more ways than you know.
Fortunately, the Victorian Government has pledged to continue helping those who need it. The initiative is to provide more help in dealing with the stress and the impact of this pandemic emotionally. On August 12, Minister for Small Business Jaala Pulford announced the $26 million program that addresses the mental health needs of sole traders, small to medium business owners, and their workers/employees. The program will provide mental health support training as per St John Ambulance to chambers of commerce across Victoria. This program will boost mental health capabilities within local business communities.
She adds, “This is an extremely difficult time for business owners and their workers and it’s important that we provide practical, accessible support across the board.”
“We encourage people to pick up the phone and use these services so as a community we can weather the coronavirus storm in the best shape possible – on all fronts.”
Partners from EACH, Neami National, and Australian Community Support Organization have been providing free Wellbeing telephone hotline. The program will be extending the services to 10pm seven days a week. Also, the services will be accessible for business advisers and financial counselors.
All the services will be available this month of August. Overall, the Victorian Government has provided $6.5 billion to support both businesses and workers during this difficult time.
The current business restrictions brought by the pandemic made so many businesses struggle with how they are going to continue. Good thing the Business support fund can accept grants until September 14th, 2020. The Business Support Fund – Expansion program grants $10,000 for eligible businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, and $5,000 in regional Victoria.
To avail of this grant, you may visit business.vic.gov.au.
The COVID-19 may be the most difficult enemy the world has faced in the last decade. The hardest part is the fact that the enemy is invisible, and can only be defeated if we all work together as one. Businesses will have to deal with it for a while but we are confident that through cooperation and harmony, we can win this battle.