On this page
- Financial advice and support
- Business advice and support
- Emotional advice and support
In the confusion and chaos following a crisis event, there's bound to be a number of tough issues that come up – and some of these issues will inevitably require you to seek support and advice.
Financial advice and support
Talk to your accountant about the financial position of your business.
Australian Taxation Office
Contact your financial institution to discuss your financial situation and possible emergency relief and support measures. The Australian Banking Association (ABA) has prepared a factsheet on assistance banks can provide if you are experiencing financial difficulties.
A major crisis event may prompt some financial support from the government that could assist you through a time of low turnover. However, this depends largely on the size and impact of the event on your region.
Government financial assistance is generally made available to those businesses directly destroyed or damaged. Those indirectly impacted are not typically eligible for such assistance.
- Check what grants, support services and disaster assistance may be available by viewing the Grant Finder, and visiting the Grants Victoria website.
- For general tips on making the most of your money, visit the Australian Security and Investments Commission (ASIC) MoneySmart website.
Industry associations can often assist with information on employment contracts, alternative suppliers, and consultants who may be able to help you manage the crisis.
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has established the Victorian Chamber Business Relief Fund to provide short-term emergency financial support for businesses adversely impacted by natural disaster. Upon declaration from the State Government that a natural disaster has occurred, the Chief Executive of Victorian Chamber will determine whether to activate the fund. The Chief Executive may at their discretion determine to activate the fund under circumstances where a natural disaster has not been declared and business is experiencing hardship as a result of extreme weather conditions.
Specific guidelines will be prepared for each natural disaster for which the Fund is activated.
The Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC) may also lobby government for resources to assist regions and businesses affected by a crisis event.
Business advice and support
Examine your legal responsibilities with a solicitor. They can help interpret employment contracts, leases, contracts of supply, insurance policies, and give advice on your legal options.
Tip: If you don't have an existing solicitor, you can find one near you through the Law Institute of Victoria's Legal Referral Service. All law firms included in the Legal Referral Service provide a free 30-minute interview.
You can discuss your position in the new market and decide whether it's possible for you to continue your business and the capacity in which you can do so.
Small Business Mentoring Service
The Small Business Mentoring Service (SBMS) is a not-for-profit association providing small business operators with the opportunity to learn from experienced mentors. All mentors are volunteers, and have either owned their own small business or worked in an organisation with strong links to small business.
For a minimal cost, Victorian small businesses can access the wisdom and experience of the SBMS mentors.
Company fees and records
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) may be able to assist if your business is finding it difficult to meet company obligations due to a crisis event.
Victorian Small Business Commissioner
The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has information on a range of small business issues.
It also offers a dispute resolution service for businesses in dispute with other businesses or with the government, often at no cost to either party. Businesses with certain disputes (for example, over retail leases) may be required to use this service before they can go to court.
Industrial and workplace relations
The Fair Work Ombudsman has published a factsheet on employment entitlements during disasters or emergencies. You can phone the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
Industry associations such as the Victorian Chamber can provide advice on workplace relations.
For more information on employee advice, visit our managing staff page.
Insurer or insurance broker
If you have questions about your insurance policy or need to find out who your insurer is, you can call the Insurance Council of Australia's disaster hotline on 1800 734 621.
The Financial Ombudsman Service offers a free service that aims to resolve disputes between consumers and participating insurance companies.
If you're having a dispute with your insurance company, you can call the Financial Ombudsman on 1300 780 808 or visit the Financial Ombudsman Service website.
For more information on insurance during a crisis event, visit our protect your investments page.
Lifeline offers confidential emotional and crisis support 24 hours a day. Call 13 11 14 or visit the Lifeline website.
Beyondblue can also help people suffering from depression or anxiety. To learn more, visit the Beyondblue website.
Family, friends or community members
Seek help from family or friends. You could also consider talking to other affected businesses in your local community to find an arrangement that will benefit both of you.
- For more information on looking after yourself during a crisis event, visit our protect your investments page.