Visit Sunshine Coast COVID-19 Resources

Support available for tourism operators and small businesses

Right now, Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) is focused on doing everything we can to provide practical support and information around COVID-19 to our members and local operators. We understand the sheer volume of information available can be overwhelming, and our priority is to assist you in navigating the options available for your business. As well as this page, we encourage you to stay across our Visit Sunshine Coast Corporate facebook and weekly newsletters, and if you have any additional questions or thoughts, get in touch with our Industry and Membership Development Manager Andrew Fairbairn.

For the latest information on coronavirus, visit the Australian Government website or download the official government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

If you have any health concerns please call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website.

Helplines for business

  • 13 28 46 – The Federal Government’s Business Hotline – 13 28 46 – provides support for small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • 1300 654 687 – The Queensland Government has also set up a dedicated small business hotline accessible via 1300 654 687, or visit www.business.qld.gov.au for more.

Latest COVID-19 News and Updates

For the latest public health directions and coronavirus measures, visit:

2 April 2020

  • Queensland Government announces the closure of a number of locations such as picnic areas, toilet facilities, lookouts, popular walking tracks, swimming areas and four-wheel drive beach recreation areas in National Parks across Queensland.

1 April 2020

30 March 2020

  • Australian Government announces Job Keeper Payment. Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of six months.

29 March, 2020

  • New Coronavirus measures – Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced further actions to slow the spread of coronavirus in Australia, including limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, further social distancing measures and advice for senior Australians.
  • Social gatherings reduced to two people both inside and outside, unless immediate family members living together
  • Hotels, convention centres and mining camps being considered by Queensland Government as temporary hospitals.

28 March 2020

27 March 2020

26 March 2020

25 March 2020

24 March 2020

Government Business Support Programs

Helplines for businesses

  • 13 28 46 – The Federal Government’s Business Hotline – 13 28 46 – provides support for small and medium businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • 1300 654 687 – The Queensland Government has also set up a dedicated small business hotline accessible via 1300 654 687, or visit business.qld.gov.aufor more.
  • (07) 4622 5500 – Any small business impacted by COVID19 can now contact the Rural Financial Counselling Service. For Southern Queensland – phone (07) 4622 5500.

Queensland Government Support Packages

State Government support packages – are available, visit the Business Queensland webpage for more information, with some key initiatives outlined below:

Australian Government Support Packages

Federal Government support for businesses – a range of assistance is available to support sole traders, employers and employees. Some key initiatives outlined below:

  • Job Keeper Payment – Businesses impacted by the coronavirus will be able to access a subsidy from the Government to continue paying their employees. Affected employers will be able to claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020, for a maximum period of six months. The first payments will be received by employers in the first week of May, and paid monthly in arrears.
  • Cash Flow Support– Not-for-profits and small businesses with a turnover under $50 million will receive a tax-free cash payment of up to $100,000 to help them retain staff and continue operating. Provides up to $100,000 back to small and medium-sized businesses, with a minimum payment of $20,000 for eligible businesses.
  • Increasing instant Asset Write-Off– The Government is increasing the instant asset write-off threshold from $30,000 to $150,000 and expanding access to include all businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $500 million (up from $50 million) until 30 June 2020.
  • Sole Trader Support– The Australian Government has announced measures to support businesses impacted by the coronavirus, including Increased instant asset write off and accelerated depreciation measures for sole traders, as well as increased and accelerated income support payments for sole traders and employees.
  • Wage subsidy for apprentices and trainees – The government has pledged $1.3 billion to keep 117,000 apprentices and trainees employed at small businesses. The government will offer SMEs up to $21,000 per apprentice– $7,000 per quarter for the first three quarters of 2020. The payouts will be equal to 50% of the apprentices’ wages.

Local Council Business Support pages:

Sunshine Coast Council, Noosa Council and Gympie Regional Council each have dedicated COVID-19 business support pages providing access to the latest news and updates, government support programs and industry support available.

Support from Banks:

Support from Banks – Australian banks will defer loan repayments for small businesses affected by COVID-19 for six months.

All the banks are offering assistance packages. These measures include:

  • Deferring loan repayments for 6 months. Note that the interest is deferred not forgiven and has to be repaid at some point;
  • Waiving fees and charges in certain circumstances;
  • Debt consolidation;
  • Waiving penalties for early termination of term deposits;
  • Deferring upcoming credit card payments and an increase in emergency limits.

Note – all banks have different policies, please check with individual banks for specific details.

Fair Work Australia –workplace obligations and entitlements

Fair Work Australia –workplace obligations and entitlements – Help and advice for employers and employees with entitlements during this time.

Please note: all information outlined above is general advice, not financial advice. Please refer to your accountant or financial advisor to discuss any specific factors relating to your own or your business’  financial situation.

 

Tourism News, Support and Resources

Visit Sunshine Coast

Visit Sunshine Coast (VSC) will continue to provide practical support for our members, including liaising daily with Sunshine Coast Council, State and Federal authorities on the latest stimulus packages and concessions on costs available which we will share through our Newsletters and VSC corporate social media channels.

Visit Sunshine Coast newsletters:

Tourism and Events Queensland

To stay up-to-date on the latest industry updates from Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ):

Information for Queensland’s tourism and events industry can be found on TEQ’s COVID-19 update webpage.

Tourism Australia

To stay up-to-date with the latest industry updates from Tourism Australia:

Resources for the Travel Industry during and post COVID-19:

Travel advice:

Queensland Health has also issued a Home Confinement Directive instructing people in Queensland to remain in their home unless undertaking essential tasks.

Health FAQs and Advice

If you have any health concerns please call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or find up-to-date reliable information on the Queensland Health website.  

Health information:

It is important to access the official advice from the Australian and Queensland Governments during this crisis to help inform your business and personal decisions:

For tourism Operators

COVID-19 information specific to hotels, tourism operators, event organisers and workplaces:

The Australian Government has produced a large range of resources to businesses to respond. This includes information on:

  • Fact sheets for travel, transport and hotel industries
  • Isolation advice
  • Information on social distancing (including advice for workplaces)
  • Various information posters that can be used throughout businesses

Access the resources

Looking after your Mental Health

There are several resources available to support you and your staff during this difficult time.

Mental health support services:

Lifeline (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 13 11 14

Beyondblue (Mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1300 224 636

Headspace  (Youth mental health and wellbeing) – phone 1800 650 890

VSC Marketing Update

Our team at VSC is working behind the scenes on our marketing plans for the future so when the upturn of this crisis inevitably comes, we will be fully prepared. Right now this includes continuing to share inspirational destination imagery from across the Sunshine Coast on our social media pages to help plant the seed for future holiday plans, so when it is safe to travel again, the Sunshine Coast will be front of mind for visitors. This is complemented by our message to ‘#Visit Sunshine Coast Later’. It is encouraging to see visitors backing the initiative and pledging to visit or return to the Sunshine Coast again when it is safe to do so.

We’re here to help

VSC are committed to delivering the best possible information, resources and support to Sunshine Coast Operators. Our Industry Development and Membership Manager Andrew Fairbairn remains VSC’s primary contact for operators, and we encourage anyone who is experiencing an impact on their business as a direct result of COVID-19 or who has any feedback about forward bookings to email Andrew at [email protected].