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Support for Australian businesses

Last updated 20/08/2021

  • Information on support available to businesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is regularly updated on business.gov.au.
  • The Australian Government is offering a temporary COVID-19 Disaster Payment to workers adversely affected by a state public health order.
  • The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has set reasonable expectations of energy companies to protect householders and small business customers during the pandemic.
    • The AER standby Statement of Expectations will now automatically be applied to any Local Government Area (LGA) in a NSW, QLD, SA, ACT and TAS when the LGA is subject to stay-at-home orders that last for 7 days or more. The standby Statement of Expectations will continue to apply for 14 days after stay-at-home orders are lifted.
    • All state and territory governments have measures relating to electricity bills in their COVID-19 stimulus packages.
  • For the latest news and information about COVID-19 vaccines in Australia, see the health.gov.au website.
  • For information on your rights and obligations as an employer related to COVID-19 vaccines, see the safe work australia website.
  • To get the latest information on COVID-19:
    • Download the 'COVIDSafe' government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This app enables public health workers to notify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 more quickly and effectively.
    • Download the 'Coronavirus Australia' government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. This app includes essential information on government actions, a symptom checker, news and contact information.
    • Join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android
  • The Australian Government's business hotline supports small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19. Call the contact centre on 13 28 46 from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

Billing and payment help

  • If your business is having trouble paying its energy bill you should call your electricity or gas provider. Their phone number is on your bill.
  • Ask about what hardship support they can offer you. They have staff trained to assist.
  • Ask to go on a payment plan to pay your bill over a longer period or make small regular payments.
  • Stay on the plan to protect yourself from disconnection, interest payments and late fees.
  • Ask if there are government concessions or rebates to help you. You can also check for government energy efficiency and sustainability rebates and assistance in your state or territory.
  • Ask if they can offer you a better deal. If they can’t give you more help you can switch providers to save
  • If your energy bill seems wrong, your retailer must review it if requested.
  • If you receive a disconnection notice from your retailer, contact them immediately to discuss your options. You should not be disconnected during a protected period, such as a weekend or public holiday.
  • If you're still not satisfied, contact the energy ombudsman in your state or territory. An ombudsman is a free and independent dispute resolution service. See further below for contact details.

Support for businesses

Australian Government

Australian Government COVID-19 assistance is on the business.gov.au website.

Advice on navigating your business through COVID-19 is on the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman’s My Business Health portal.

Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can call the Australian Taxation Office’s Emergency Support Hotline on 1800 806 218 for help tailored to their circumstances.

State and territory governments

State and territory governments are providing a range of measures to assist businesses during the pandemic. See below for support that is available in your state or territory.

ACT

NSW

Northern Territory

Queensland

South Australia

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

Read more

COVID-19 advice and support

Coronavirus information and support for business (business.gov.au) Australian Government

COVID-19 (Australian Taxation Office) Australian Government

COVID-19 domestic travel restrictions and remote area access (Department of Health) Australian Government

COVID-19 infection training (Department of Health) Australian Government - Free training for workers across all health care settings.

COVID-19 vaccination and Australian workplace laws (Fair Work Ombudsman) Australian Government

e-learning modules on the principles of infection prevention and control. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care

Helping your business through COVID-19 Google

Information on COVID-19 and work, health and safety (safe work australia) Australian Government

My Business Health (Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman) Australian Government

Energy advice and assistance

AER Statement of Expectations of energy businesses: Protecting customers and the energy market during COVID-19 (Australian Energy Regulator) Australian Government

Business information on how to manage and save energy in various industries and grants and funding available for energy efficiency investment.

Business Energy Advice Program provides free services for eligible small businesses to get better energy deals and reduce their energy spend.

Financial support for small business customers in NSW, South Australia and Victoria Energy Networks Australia

Financial difficulty Australian Banking Association - Membership comprises 22 banks from across Australia.

Home-based business guide

Rebates and assistance is a searchable database of energy and sustainability rebates and assistance from the Australian Government and state and territory governments.

Retailers confirm support for energy customers Australian Energy Council

Your rights as an energy customer

Energy and water ombudsman (for small businesses)

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Australian Government

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman COVID-19 Australian Government

ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal - Call 02 6207 7740

Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW - Call 1800 246 545

Ombudsman NT - Call 1800 806 380

Energy & Water Ombudsman Queensland - Call 1800 662 837

Energy & Water Ombudsman SA - Call 1800 665 565

Ombudsman Tasmania - Call 1800 001 170

Energy and Water Ombudsman Victoria - Call 1800 500 509

Energy and Water Ombudsman Western Australia - Call 1800 754 004