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Support for Australian businesses

The Australian Government has announced its economic response to novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A series of administrative measures to assist Australians experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the outbreak will be implemented. Measures include:

The Australian Government's business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations at the business.gov.au 13 28 46 Contact Centre will increase from 5 days per week to 7 days per week, and provide additional hours of support outside standard operating hours for the first month, answering calls from 7am to 11pm AEST.

Information for businesses is regularly updated on business.gov.au Coronavirus information and support for business.

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.

The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) has set reasonable expectations of energy companies to protect householders and small business customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AER’s Statement of Expectations sets out a range measures, including:

  • waiving any disconnection, re-connection and/or contract break fees for small businesses which have gone into hibernation, along with daily supply charges to retailers, during any period of disconnection until at least 31 July 2020
  • offering all households and small businesses who indicate they may be in financial stress a payment plan or hardship arrangement
  • not disconnecting customers who may be in financial stress, without their agreement before 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond
  • deferring referral of any customer to a debt collection agency for recovery actions, or credit default listing until at least 31 July 2020 and potentially beyond
  • minimising the frequency and duration of planned outages for critical works, and providing as much notice as possible to assist households and businesses to manage during any outage

More information

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

COVID-19 (Australian Taxation Office) Australian Government

Download the “Coronavirus Australia” government app in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

Join the WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android

Rebates and assistance 

Your rights as an energy customer

Home-based business guide

Retailers confirm support for energy customers Australian Energy Council (membership comprises 23 major electricity and downstream natural gas businesses, covering 10 million homes and businesses)

Financial difficulty Australian Banking Association (membership comprises 22 banks from across Australia)

Energy and water ombudsman (for small businesses)

Australian Government Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman 

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

ACT Energy and water. ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Call 02 6207 7740

NSW Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW. Call 1800 246 545

NT Ombudsman NT. Call 1800 806 380

Qld Energy & Water Ombudsman. Call 1800 662 837

SA Energy & Water Ombudsman SA. Call 1800 665 565

Tas Ombudsman Tasmania. Call 1800 001 170

Tas Energy Ombudsman Tasmania. Call 1800 001 170

Vic Energy and Water Ombudsman. Call 1800 500 509

WA Energy and Water Ombudsman. Call 1800 754 004