Liverpool City Council recognises that many of our local businesses are facing challenging conditions as they adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also had to make changes to our services and facilities in the interest of public health and safety.
We want to assure you that Liverpool remains a city of opportunity and Council is doing all it can to help guide our community through these unprecedented times.
At an extraordinary Council meeting in April we adopted a comprehensive resilience package to keep businesses going, people in jobs and ensure community members receive financial assistance to get through to the other side.
As we continue discussions with businesses and source new information, we will make every effort to update this webpage as much as possible.
We prepared a business assistance document to help local businesses understand the support available from Council, other levels of government and those within our wider network. You can also subscribe to our Liverpool Business Connect e-newsletter for regular updates and opportunities direct to your inbox.
Throughout this period we are reaching out to local businesses to find out how we can help. If you haven’t yet heard from us and would like to talk to a business support officer, please call 1300 36 2170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Council has implemented a range of initiatives to support businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Financial and operational assistance measures include:
- A grants program to help small businesses adapt and build resilience. Applications for businesses to apply for up to $5000 each are closed and successful applicants have been notified;
- An amendment to our hardship provisions to allow residents, business and farmland properties to apply to delay rate payments. Anybody experiencing financial hardship regarding rates should contact Council on 1300 36 2170;
- Rent abatements for many Council tenants (respective tenants will be contacted by Council and made aware of these changes);
- Suspension of debt-recovery actions until further notice;
- Suspension of outdoor dining permit fees until further notice and the refund of any fees paid since 1 April 2020;
- Suspension of health inspection fees until 30 June 2020. Businesses experiencing financial hardship regarding fees should contact Council on 1300 36 2170;
- A discretionary approach to parking infringements, with a focus on protecting public health and safety;
- A free parking permit system (valid until 31 July 2020) for on-street parking to support essential workers and local businesses in the Liverpool city centre that continue to trade (excluding Westfield Liverpool);
- Development of a business-to-consumer program in response to disrupted supply chains (access the Liverpool Marketplace here);
- An option for developers to defer up to 50 per cent of Section 7.11 payments for all applications received or approved until December 2020; and
- Free assistance from Council's Planning Advisory team to seek any necessary Council approvals should you wish to operate your business from home or offer new products or services which has not been done before. Contact Council on 1300 36 2170 or email us to speak to the Planning Advisory team.
Jobs creation, business model and skills development initiatives include:
- Workshops to help businesses change their operating models to adapt and thrive (refer to Online Business Courses tab for previous and upcoming workshops);
- Development of a local jobs platform (access our Jobs in Liverpool portal here);
- Proposing to government a package of capital works projects for the Liverpool area worth close to $130 million that could be fast-tracked to provide local jobs, support the arts and cultural sector, improve community facilities and enhance public amenity; and
- Fast-tracking determination of existing and new applications to stimulate the regional economy and keep people working, prioritised by certain categories of development including:
o single dwellings, including alterations and additions;
o secondary dwellings;
o dual occupancies;
o affordable housing
o manufacturing, warehousing, freight and logistics;
o commercial change of use;
o health-related premises, including aged care; and
o all minor modification applications.
#LoveLivo Support Local campaign
In addition to the above initiatives, Council has developed a longer-term Support Local campaign to encourage members of the Liverpool community to purchase goods, services and gift vouchers from local businesses.
You should also use the hashtag #LoveLivo when sharing updates on social media about your trading hours and any offers the community may find of interest. Residents are also being encouraged to shop local and to use the #LoveLivo hashtag to help spread the local love.
Opportunities to do business with Council
Council regularly lists opportunities for suppliers, contractors, professional services and consultants to do business with Council through formal tenders. Businesses may also be able to get involved with Council events - please visit our event Expressions of Interest page for a list of current opportunities.
The Australian and NSW Governments have released economic packages to support employees and Australian businesses that require financial assistance due to temporary closures, downturns in trade and cash flow challenges.
Some ways that financial support is being provided include:
- Grants of up to $100,000 for not-for-profits, small and medium businesses;
- Increasing the instant asset write-off;
- Temporary cash-flow support of between $20,000 and $100,000 to eligible businesses. The cash flow boosts will be delivered as credits in the activity statement system;
- Placing evictions on hold over the next six months for commercial and residential tenants who are unable to meet their commitments; and
- JobKeeper payments for employees, designed to retain long-term casual, part-time and full-time employees – even if they have already been stood down. Employers are to apply for these payments.
For further detail of financial assistance available, please visit the Service NSW website. They can be contacted 24/7 on 13 77 88. For free help in your language, call Translating and Interpreting Services on 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the Service NSW team.
The NSW Small Business Commissioner website provides a wealth of information about your employer obligations, managing employee leave, business contingency planning and consumer rights. This website also provides detail of which ‘non-essential’ businesses have been restricted from trading by the Australian and NSW Governments to protect the community, with links to financial support.
Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website for specific information about COVID-19 and workplace laws, including information on stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, and pay and sick leave entitlements.
Austrade has important up-to-date information for exporters on international markets and logistics.
Business Connect advisory support
If you would like personal support, a Business Connect Advisor can help you strategise how best to navigate your business through this period. Advisors speak languages other than English including Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese. Download this document for information on the Business Connect service in English and Arabic.
Recruitment and talent
While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing their workforces, there are some areas of the economy which have an increased demand for workers. If you need help hiring someone during this period, visit the Jobs Hub website for information and assistance.
Business Resilience Development Program
Council's Resilience Development Program, running from 3 August to 30 September, will equip small business owners with tools to ensure they are agile and responsive during this challenging climate. Expressions of Interest to take part in this program closed on 27 July.
In mid-April Council hosted a free webinar series to help businesses get online quickly, cheaply and effectively so they can continue to reach existing and new customers. You can watch recordings of the webinar series on our YouTube channel.
TAFE NSW is offering fee-free online short courses to help the community make use of their time in isolation. You can learn practical administration or business skills, improve your leadership performance or enhance your digital impact.
Other organisations in our network running webinars and workshops to support businesses include:
Federal Government Apps and Tools
Council recommends you refer to the Federal Government’s online resources for up-to-date information relating to COVID-19.
Download the official Federal Government Coronavirus Australia App to stay up to date with official information, health advice, current data and links to Federal and State Government support.
The Federal Government’s COVIDSafe App has been developed to help speed up contacting people exposed to COVID-19. It is voluntary to use. Downloading the app is something you can do to protect you, your family and friends and save the lives of other Australians.
COVID-19 health data and resources
If your business is open, it is your duty to keep your employees and the community safe.
Visit the NSW Health website for up-to-date information about novel coronavirus (COVID-19). A range of posters are available for download here with facts and tips on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in English and other languages.
Mental health support
We know businesses are doing it tough. Please reach out to a mental health professional should you, your employees, family or anyone else you know require support.
Lifeline can be reached 24/7 on 13 11 14.