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Business Q&A - Ask us a question

Have your business questions answered about the impact of COVID-19 on your business.

We have been receiving many enquiries from business owners who are understandably concerned about COVID-19 and its potential effect on their business.

Both the Commonwealth Government and SA Government have announced COVID-19 stimulus packages for business, including tax rebates, wage subsidies and grants.
If you would like to discuss your business situation, contact us.

Explore the following categories for FAQs

  • Business support and financial assistance

    As a business owner, how can I keep up with the latest COVID-19 updates?
    The Department for Innovation and Skills sends out regular newsletters tailored towards the South Australian business community. Subscribe now

    We also encourage you to regularly check for information on South Australia's COVID-19 response, including information on current restrictions.
    I’m struggling to pay my rent. What support is available?
    The South Australian Government has introduced new regulations for commercial leases to protect tenants from eviction and provide greater certainty around dispute resolution and rent relief.
    The introduction of COVID-19 Emergency Response (Commercial Leases No 2) Regulations 2020 means no affected commercial tenant can be evicted for non-payment of rent or for reducing their hours of business. These regulations under the Act have been extended to 3 January 2021.
    The Small Business Commissioner of South Australia can help you with the negotiation, mediation and resolution of rent disputes.

    Is there financial support available for South Australian workers impacted by COVID-19?
    The Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment provides up to $1,500 to those who have been instructed to self-isolate or quarantine at home due to a public health direction or a positive COVID-19 test. It is designed to support people (like casual workers) who do not have access to other paid leave entitlements.

    The SA COVID-19 Cluster Isolation Payment is a one-off $300 payment for workers in South Australia who are required to self-isolate and undergo mandatory COVID-19 testing because of a public health direction from SA Health, and do not have access to paid leave or other income support.

    For more information and eligibility requirements, visit Financial support for individuals.

    Can I access my superannuation?
    Early access to your superannuation is one of the measures in place to help people significantly affected by COVID-19 access capital.
    Eligible Australians can withdraw up to $10,000 in 2019-20, and a further $10,000 in 2020-21, without impacting social security payments. This scheme can be accessed through the MyGov web portal.
  • Getting back to business

    What COVID-19 business restrictions are currently in place?

    Business, travel and activity restrictions continue to ease in South Australia, meaning a return to operation for many South Australian businesses, while still adhering to certain COVID-19 safety measures that limit patron numbers and social interaction.

    For up to date information about current restrictions, see COVID-19 response.

    How do I know if I am an essential worker?
    During current restrictions, a person may leave the home if they are identified as an essential worker with a list of current essential services that can continue to remain operational available at Recovery from COVID-19.

    Essential operations are to ensure continued operation of distribution centres and other essential businesses is permitted. Continued operations at sites must be essential and all non-essential personnel must not attend until restrictions begin to be eased.

    For more information about stay at home requirements for South Australians, including the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Stay at home) Direction 2020, visit Stay at home and Stay at home Q&A.

    Do I need to complete a COVID-Safe Plan?
    If your business conducts any of the Defined public activities outlined by SA Police, you must complete a COVID-Safe plan before opening. 

    A more comprehensive COVID Management Plan, approved by SA Health, will be required for:
    • any activity of more than 1000 people
    • venues wishing to offer both dancing and consumption of alcohol.

    Learn more and complete your COVID-Safe Plan.

    Does my business need a trained COVID Marshal?
    Businesses that require a COVID Marshal include gyms and sporting clubs, cafes, bars and restaurants, supermarkets, social and religious groups, and more

    For venues with a capacity of fewer than 200 people, businesses can nominate an existing staff member to perform the duties of a COVID Marshal in addition to their regular role.

    If more than 200 people are reasonably expected to participate in your business activity, then a dedicated COVID Marshal must be appointed.

    Learn more and access COVID Marshal Training.

    What measures should I be taking to keep my staff and customers safe?
    It’s important that all businesses are maintaining safe work practices even as the threat of COVID-19 seems to lessen.
    Employers must continue to provide access to proper hygiene equipment, like hand sanitiser and soap, and encourage social distancing where possible.

    To see advice, visit SafeWork Australia.

    Does my employee need a COVID-19 test?
    SA Health asks South Australians experiencing one or more symptoms of COVID-19 to seek testing. Symptoms may include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath and loss of taste or smell.

    This is especially important for those who have been in the vicinity of a confirmed COVID-19 case recently.

    While most of us endeavour to work from home, encouraging a sick employee to get tested is a good way to promote healthy workplace practices and help stop the spread.

    More information about COVID-19 testing, including test locations, is available from the SA Health website.

  • Border restrictions

    Am I allowed to travel within South Australia?

    Travel within most of South Australia is unrestricted, although people are advised to avoid unnecessary travel.

    Some restrictions are currently in place in Aboriginal communities.

    Am I allowed to travel to South Australia?
    Restrictions under the Emergency Management (COVID-19) (Stay at home) Direction 2020 are in place in South Australia and may override conditions of travel under the current cross border travel direction.

    All travellers intending to enter South Australia must register their intention to travel with SAPOL two weeks before arriving at the border to speed up border crossing process. The only people currently allowed to travel from Victoria to South Australia are essential travellers.

    For up to date more information, including definitions of an essential traveller, view current Travel Restrictions.

    I have freight coming from interstate, can it still enter South Australia?
    Transport and freight services are still operating into South Australia. Please note that transport workers are required to complete a Cross Border Pre-Approval form prior to travel and must prove their status as an essential traveller at the border.
  • Workforce and training

    How can I keep on my apprentice or trainee if my business is struggling?
    Registrations are now open for eligible employers to apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of an apprentice’s or trainee’s wage from 1 January 2020 to 31 March 2021.

    Your Apprenticeship Network Provider can help you access this subsidy. You can also talk to your apprenticeship network provider about the choices you have in terms of continuing or suspending the apprentice or trainee should your business no longer be operational.

    For more information, visit Supporting apprentices and trainees or call the Skills Information Line on 1800 673 097.

    I’m winding down my business or temporarily closing, what can I do for my apprentice?
    There are a number of options to consider to keep your apprentice or trainee engaged in their learning, including using online learning for their off-job training, flexible rostering, suspending their training contract, asking them to take leave, or guiding them to another business that is in a position to offer them on-job experience.
    For more information, see Supporting staff.