Home News & Publications We’re here to help: message from the Acting Commissioner

We’re here to help: message from the Acting Commissioner

We know many Victorians in small business are doing it tough under the circuit breaker restrictions announced on 27 May 2021, which have since been extended. Our team is here to support small business owners and commercial landlords through these necessary public health measures.

Help to resolve disputes

We’re continuing to offer guidance in having fair rent relief negotiations and a suggested process to follow. Where an agreement can’t be reached between a retail tenant and landlord or two businesses, we’re offering free mediations to help resolve rent relief disputes. Please note, we are no longer resolving disputes under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, which expired on 28 March 2021.

We’re also here to help resolve disputes over small business matters – from undelivered goods or substandard services to unpaid invoices.

Small business owners and commercial landlords can apply for our help via our application forms web page.

Victorian Government support

I encourage small business owners who haven’t been able to run their business under the current restrictions to access Victorian Government supports, including the $460 million Circuit Breaker Business Support Package. The program aims to assist small to medium businesses and sole traders, and includes targeted support for the events industry.

The $32.2 million Regional Tourism Support Package includes regional travel vouchers to encourage Victorians to support attractions and accommodation providers across the state once it is safe to do so. It also includes grant top-ups for eligible businesses and support for alpine businesses to help them provide a COVIDSafe ski season.

COVID Disaster Payment

Victorian workers who have had their hours and income significantly affected due to the restrictions will be eligible for a temporary Australian Government COVID Disaster Payment. Eligible recipients can receive up to $500 per week and payments can be claimed via myGov from Tuesday 8 June 2021.

Being COVIDSafe

If parts of your business are permitted to operate during the current circuit breaker restrictions, I urge you to make sure you have an active, up to date COVIDSafe Plan and that customers check in with the Victorian Government QR Code Service and wear a face mask. To check what applies to your business, go to the Victorian Government’s coronavirus website.

Looking after your mental health

If you are feeling like it’s all too much and struggling to cope, I can promise you’re not alone. If you are feeling stressed, low, anxious or overwhelmed, call the Partners in Wellbeing helpline on 1300 375 330 for free, confidential and one-on-one mental health and financial counselling. The helpline is available seven days a week – from 9am to 10pm on weekdays and 9am to 5pm on weekends.

For updates on our supports, see our latest website news and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

– Acting Commissioner Mark Schramm