COVID-19 Business Support

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We will keep this page updated with support available to local businesses.

You can see updates in the News Feed below or ask our staff a question in the Q&A.

Council is committed to supporting our local business community through the COVID-19 crisis and maintaining essential services. Please follow all advice from the Federal Government and NSW Government in regards to healthy hygiene practices and social distancing.

For more information about support available to businesses at this time, please read the fact sheets provided or go to the websites listed below.

Council assistance for local businesses

Councillors adopted a range of emergency measures to assist local businesses at an extraordinary Council meeting on 26 March 2020.

These measures include the waiving of some fees and charges.

Read the full details here.

Council is also running a special advertising campaign encouraging community members to support local businesses during this time.


Government support for businesses

The Federal Government is providing stimulus packages and support for businesses and staff.

To access the most up-to-date information regarding assistance, please ensure you visit reliable sources such as the following government websites:

Australian Government Coronavirus Advice: www.australia.gov.au

Australian Government Business Support: business.gov.au

If you're a business owner who needs help online to keep your business viable, visit the Australian Government's website digitalbusinesssolutions.org.au.

There is also a Business Hotline open seven days per week from 7am to 11pm for businesses who need advice and support at this time. Phone 13 28 46 or visit www.business.gov.au.


The NSW Government is providing grants and changing some regulations to make it easier for businesses to operate in a COVID-19 environment.

To access information about small business grants go to: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-small-businesses

To find changes in regulations and public order notices go to: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/Orders


Service NSW also has dedicated Business Concierges available to assist small businesses with any questions and/or concerns they have around obligations and financial assistance available. Call them now on 13 77 88 or request a call for later at: https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge

Reporting breaches

If you wish to report a breach of the Public Health Order please contact NSW Crime Stoppers so it can be investigated by NSW Police. Phone 1800 333 000 or visit nsw.crimestoppers.com.au



We will keep this page updated with support available to local businesses.

You can see updates in the News Feed below or ask our staff a question in the Q&A.

Council is committed to supporting our local business community through the COVID-19 crisis and maintaining essential services. Please follow all advice from the Federal Government and NSW Government in regards to healthy hygiene practices and social distancing.

For more information about support available to businesses at this time, please read the fact sheets provided or go to the websites listed below.

Council assistance for local businesses

Councillors adopted a range of emergency measures to assist local businesses at an extraordinary Council meeting on 26 March 2020.

These measures include the waiving of some fees and charges.

Read the full details here.

Council is also running a special advertising campaign encouraging community members to support local businesses during this time.


Government support for businesses

The Federal Government is providing stimulus packages and support for businesses and staff.

To access the most up-to-date information regarding assistance, please ensure you visit reliable sources such as the following government websites:

Australian Government Coronavirus Advice: www.australia.gov.au

Australian Government Business Support: business.gov.au

If you're a business owner who needs help online to keep your business viable, visit the Australian Government's website digitalbusinesssolutions.org.au.

There is also a Business Hotline open seven days per week from 7am to 11pm for businesses who need advice and support at this time. Phone 13 28 46 or visit www.business.gov.au.


The NSW Government is providing grants and changing some regulations to make it easier for businesses to operate in a COVID-19 environment.

To access information about small business grants go to: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/covid-19-help-small-businesses

To find changes in regulations and public order notices go to: https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/Orders


Service NSW also has dedicated Business Concierges available to assist small businesses with any questions and/or concerns they have around obligations and financial assistance available. Call them now on 13 77 88 or request a call for later at: https://mybusiness.service.nsw.gov.au/concierge

Reporting breaches

If you wish to report a breach of the Public Health Order please contact NSW Crime Stoppers so it can be investigated by NSW Police. Phone 1800 333 000 or visit nsw.crimestoppers.com.au


  • 20 May: Funds for small business to revive and thrive

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    20 May 2020
    supporting image

    New factsheet added regarding small businesses struggling as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic can apply for much needed funding from Monday 25 May through COSBOA’s Small Business Relief Fund.

    To find out more check out the factsheets to the right of the screen.
  • 22 April: Rates reduced for inner-CBD businesses

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    22 Apr 2020

    Lismore City Council has resolved to support inner-CBD businesses by cutting Council rates by 20 per cent.

    Council will also freeze future rate rises for these businesses until they fall into parity with other Lismore businesses.

    “This is something Council has been working on for a long time, which has been made more urgent by the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected so many of our local businesses,” Mayor Isaac Smith said.

    “This is not only great news for our CBD businesses, but also for the hundreds of local people they employ.

    “It is crucial that Council and our community support our local businesses, particularly now, and I urge everyone to shop local whenever they can.”

    Council voted to offset the costs against all rating categories, excluding farmland. New rates will be effective from 1 July this year.

    Below is the per annum rate rise for each rating category (excluding farmland) in the 2020/21 financial year.

    Business (Urban): $79 per annum

    Business (Nimbin): $41

    Business (Other): $30

    Rural Residential: $26

    Urban Residential (including village): $21


  • 15 April: Free TAFE NSW Courses

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    15 Apr 2020

    TAFE NSW is offering fee-free accredited courses to anyone over the age of 17 who lives and works in NSW. Grow your skills in website design, eMarketing, social media, leadership, administration and more. To find out more visit: https://www.tafensw.edu.au/fee-free-short-courses

  • 15 April: Apply for the small business COVID-19 support grant

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    15 Apr 2020

    The NSW Government is providing financial support to ease the pressures on small business as a result of COVID-19. If your small business or non-profit organisation has experienced a significant decline in revenue as a result of COVID-19, you may be eligible for the small business support grant of up to $10,000. This grant supports the ongoing operations of small businesses highly impacted from the COVID-19 pandemic following the NSW Public Health Order of 31 March 2020.

    Funds may only be used for unavoidable business expenses that are not supported by other government funding. These expenses include, but are not limited to: utilities council rates telecommunication charges insurance payments professional advice wages for an employee not eligible for JobKeeper payments franchise fees paying creditors, if your business is closing.

    For more information or to apply online please visit: https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-small-business-covid-19-support-grant#eligibility

    As the application process is online, it is important you have all your documentation, evidence and proof of identity ready for uploading before you commence your application. A MyServiceNSW Account is essential for this application.

  • 3 April: Council implements COVID-19 relief measures

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    09 Apr 2020

    Lismore City Council will reduce fees and defer the commencement of interest on overdue payments by 60 days as part of a range of measures to help residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Council will also hold a workshop next week on the financial impact of deferring interest charged on overdue rates for a period of up to 15 months.

    Council voted unanimously at an extraordinary on 27 March to implement the following measures:

    • Extend the commencement of interest accruals on overdue notices by 60 days.
    • Halt all legal action on overdue rates except those already before the courts.
    • Reduce the minimum per week repayment for overdue rates to $25.

    Council will also reduce the following fees:

    • Community facility hire fees – full refunds for cancelled bookings.
    • Commercial use of footpaths – no fees for a period of 15 months from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021 to allow businesses to re-establish.
    • Community group tenancy rentals – fees waived for community groups that rent Council-owned buildings.
    • Market fees – no fees from 1 April to 30 September 2020.
    • Building owner fire certificate – no processing fees for one year.

    Lismore Mayor Isaac Smith said Council had chosen not to borrow funds at this stage to provide rate relief with Council acknowledging that it is not in a position to increase borrowings.

    The Mayor said Council would lobby state and federal governments to provide much-needed funding.

    “Council will seek support from the state and federal governments to provide relief to residents and businesses. Council does not have sufficient cash reserves to waive or defer rates and we must continue delivering essential services,” he said.

    “Council understands that the current COVID-19 crisis is having devastating impacts on businesses and families, and we have implemented measures to ensure we do not further disadvantage those who are already struggling.

    “We are eager to hear the announcements by the Federal Government around further support for businesses including measures to protect commercial tenants.”


  • 3 April: Changes announced for food trucks and dark kitchens

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    09 Apr 2020

    The NSW Government has issued new orders to support the food and beverage industry, which has been one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Environmental Planning and Assessment (COVID-19 Development – Takeaway Food and Beverages) Order 2020 can be viewed in our 'Fact Sheets' section on this page.

    Under the changes, food trucks will be now be able to operate on any land, at any time, providing they have the landowner’s consent. This overrides regular development approval processes for food trucks that specify when and where they can operate.

    In addition, it is now easier for people to set up and operate a dark kitchen in any existing commercial kitchen, providing they can abide by social distancing rules. These businesses could offer additional food delivery options for the increasing number of people working from home, or they could be used to produce greater quantities of meals for people in quarantine, or in medical, health or aged care facilities.

    Please read the Ministerial Order in our 'Fact Sheets' section and if you have questions, please call us on 1300 87 83 87.

  • 30 March: Support Lismore backs local businesses amid COVID-19

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    09 Apr 2020

    Lismore City Council is encouraging people to get behind an online campaign aimed at supporting local small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The Support Lismore website and Facebook group are the brainchild of Lismore businesswoman Sally Flannery, a ceramic artist with a professional background in marketing and business development.

    Her aim is to rally support for local enterprises forced to diversify or change their business model by the COVID-19 crisis.

    Lismore City Council’s Economic Development Manager Tina Irish said Council was 100% behind the idea.

    “The idea is to help businesses that are adapting to the challenges presented by COVID-19 by showcasing how they are doing things differently, and what they are continuing to offer the public,” Ms Irish said.

    “The online platform developed by Support Lismore is a professional approach to backing the business community during this challenging time, and gives customers a ‘one-stop’ site to find out about any changes.

    “There has already been a good uptake from the business community, especially from cafes and restaurants who are adapting to a takeaway and delivery service, and the model is a sound one for other types of business.

    “I would encourage local business people to get on board.”

    To find out more visit supportlismore.com or go to ‘Supporting Lismore Small Business’ on Facebook.