Help for businesses

COVID-19 resources and information for businesses.

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Regional Victorian restrictions

Latest business support

The Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery announced automatic cash grants jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments will provide regional Victorian businesses with the support they need following the extension of the Victorian lockdown to the whole of the state.

Grants to be paid through the new $146.6 million initiative will be made automatically without the need for businesses to apply.

Businesses not eligible for help previously can now apply for support

Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment arrangement will apply to workers and eligible sole-trader businesses in regional areas, as they do in metropolitan areas.

Business Victoria will have a concierge service to help micro businesses apply for  state and federal funding. 

Events such as live performances can apply for grants of up to $7,000.

Community sporting clubs can apply for a grant up to $2,000 to help cover costs of cancelled events.

Visit Business Victoria or call them on 13 22 15 for more information.


Victorian Dining and Entertainment Program

The Victorian State Government is offering a 25% rebate on eligible dining and entertainment purchases across the state. Residents can claim up to $125 in combined rebates on some dining and entertainment purchases.

The program begins at 10am on Tuesday 29 March for dining and 3pm on Tuesday 29 March for entertainment. 

Find out how to promote the program in your business or claim back on your dining or entertainment spend.

Outdoor dining 

We have waived outdoor dining permit fees to help hospitality businesses start outdoor dining options.

 An EOI process was completed in early 2021 to install umbrella sockets and wind barriers. This will support over 40 hospitality businesses across the city. 
These are scheduled to be installed in August 2021.

We are also working on more outdoor dining options through a state government and council funding partnership.

Outdoor dining support for hospitality businesses include: 

  • All new and existing permits will be valid until July 2023. Fees for Outdoor Dining applications (and associated signage) will be waived until the end of June 2022. Applications after this date will need to pay the full fee.
  • This is in addition to waivers and deferrals of fees and charges, including liquor licensing fees, offered by the Victorian Government as part of the recovery plan to get businesses operating again.
  • To apply for a free, temporary, limited outdoor liquor licence visit Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

Apply for an Outdoor Dining Permit.

Retail businesses

  • Waiving Display of Goods permit fees until 30 June 2022. 
    • In an effort to limit pedestrian congestion, please only use Paywave, Square (or similar) facilities outdoors. 
    • Please make sure your QR code is displayed outdoors so tracing is maintained outdoors for your business. 
    • Allow 1.8 metres clearance from your business shop front, giving clear access for pedestrians.
    • Allow access for pedestrians to move between a car park and the footpath.

Apply for an Outdoor Trading (Display of Goods) Permit.

So your outdoor trade is covered by the City of Ballarat’s public liability, please let us know in writing that you wish to operate outdoors, adjacent to your business, via email to

Financial hardship

Businesses facing financial hardship are encouraged to contact the City of Ballarat to discuss their options.

Looking for more grants and support? 

Reopening your business safely

To help keep our community healthy, it is important that you are familiar with the restrictions in place for your business. Together we can help to stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes having a COVIDSafe Plan for your businesses to protect your staff and patrons. 

What happens if I have confirmed cases in the workplace?

Confirmed cases in the workplace updated directions

Checklist for positive COVID cases 

Checklist for COVID contacts

Do I need a COVIDSafe Plan?
All businesses in Victoria that have five or more people working on any premises must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.

This is enforceable and the Victorian Government will be conducting random spot checks.

You may also need a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan, depending on what industry you are in.  

Do I need a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan? 
Maybe. If your business falls in one of the following sectors, you will need a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan

  • construction 
  • postal and distribution 
  • meat processing 
  • medical and pharmaceutical supply 
  • supermarkets and distribution centres
  • wholesale trade and warehousing 

Where do I start preparing a COVIDSafe plan? 
Information and resources to help you are available on the Victorian Government Coronavirus website.  

Is there a template I can use? 
Yes. A COVIDSafe Plan template is available on the Victorian Government Coronavirus website. Signage templates are available too. 

Do I need a QR code?
All businesses must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service (unless an exemption applies). Get your free QR code

I need signs and posters, where can I get them?
Signs, posters and stickers for your business are available at

Do you have more questions?
You can talk to our Environmental Health team about your operating obligations on 5320 5702 or

For more information on restrictions and for support to help form your workplace plan to respond to coronavirus, visit Business Victoria.

The Victorian Government has developed Industry Restart Guidelines with information applicable to each sector including hospitality and accommodation.


Creative industry support

City of Ballarat has resources to help artists and creatives in the region to navigate lockdown restrictions. 

Resources come from a range of organisations that support artists such as Creative Victoria, Arts Council Australia, NAVA and Arts+Law.

Visit Creative Ballarat for more information and to learn about working creatively with us

Australian Taxation Office

ATO Small Business Toolkit

ATO Deductions and Income for Business

When and how to register for GST

Register for an ABN

Ballarat Business Centre

Business Victoria

Regional Arts Victoria

Arts Law Centre of Australia

Further support

More support is available from the following organisations: 

  • Business Victoria 
    Business Victoria has a range of programs, grants and information about business support services.
  • Business Australia 
    Business Australia is a single entry point for the Australian business community to access information from all three levels of government

Need more help?

We have a dedicated team who can talk to you about how we can help and support you. Please call Customer Service and ask to talk to our Economic Development Business team on 5320 5500 or between 8:30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

General support

If you suspect you may have COVID-19, call the dedicated coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 – open 24 hours, 7 days. Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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