News

MEMBERS ANNUAL RENEWAL REPORT 2019 – 2020

The ongoing viability of this organisation is due to so many people, our members, sponsors, staff, volunteers and Board members. I thank each and every person that has contributed to our ability to deliver to this amazing business community. I must acknowledge the incredibly difficult year that you have had to date in 2020. The resilience and strength that has been displayed by our local business people is humbling to witness, time and again you have been challenged like never before and have responded with such courage and grace. The team at Commerce Ballarat are small in numbers but large in their dedication and commitment, we believe and celebrate in our business community and we know that you make this city a better place to live, work and play. I can't express enough how grateful I am for the amazing team around me, I give heartfelt thanks to Michelle, Zoe, Leah, Deb and Claire for all their efforts. I would also like to thank the entire Board with special acknowledgement to Chair Nick Thurlbeck, Vice Chair Hayley Coates, Treasurer Jamie Lockett and retiring member Graham McMahon. We have gathered as much data as possible to give a clear overview of the past year, I encourage you to take a look through this report to ensure you are taking advantage of all that is available to your business. If your business has been financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic but you would like to continue as a member please make contact with me when you receive your renewal notice and we will have a solution that will enable you to continue accessing our services. Stay strong Ballarat, together we will get to the other side. Read more »

IMPORTANT CORONA-VIRUS RESTRICTIONS UPDATE

No changes to Ballarat & Regional Victoria restrictions.Metropolitan Melbourne areas to go back into Stage 3 -Stay at Home- restrictions from 11.59pm Wed 8 July 2020. Stay at home except for 4 reasons to leave for 6 weeks from tomorrow evening. Only reasons to leave home: To go to work, shopping, study, give care or get care. Cannot leave metropolitan Melbourne for daily exercise. Read the statement from the Premier Read more »

GETTING BEHIND REGIONAL TOURISM BUSINESSES

The Victorian Government is backing regional accommodation businesses affected by the lockdown on some metropolitan suburbs with a fund to assist operators who will lose income due to cancelled bookings. Minister for Industry Support and Recovery Martin Pakula announced that payments from a $5 million fund would be made available to regional businesses including motels, caravan parks and short-term rentals such as Airbnb properties that could demonstrate losses due to the new restrictions required to slow the spread of coronavirus. Payments of up to $225 per cancelled booked night will be paid. Read more HERE. Read more »

BANKS EXTEND DEFERRALS ON BUSINESS LOANS

The Australian Banking Association has announced that banks will be extending deferrals of business loans for customers with reduced incomes and ongoing financial difficulty due to COVID-19. The ABA said affected customers will be contacted as they approach the end of their deferral period, to ensure that wherever possible they can return to repayments through a restructure or variation to their loan. However, the ABA said the deferral extension of up to four months will not be automatic, and will be provided to those who genuinely need some extra time, and that customers will be expected to work with their bank, during this extra time, to find the best solution for them. Read more HERE. Read more »

VICTORIA'S NEW WORKPLACE MANSLAUGHTER LAWS

A new criminal offence of workplace manslaughter has been introduced into occupational health and safety laws. The offence applies to negligent conduct by an employer or other duty holders as outlined below, or an officer of an organisation, which breaches certain duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and causes the death of another person who was owed the duty. The workplace manslaughter provisions will not operate retrospectively. This means that only a death that occurs after 1 July 2020 will be considered. Read more HERE. Read more »

ROYAL SOUTH STREET TO GO AHEAD 8 July 2020

AS COVID-19 restrictions change almost by the day, Ballarat's Royal South Street Eisteddfod continues to push ahead in preparations for the three month festival. While overall entry numbers are understandably slightly down on previous years due to previous and on-going restrictions, a number of categories have also seen rises in numbers of competitors. It has been a challenging time in putting together a program and gaining entries due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 crisis. The timetable remained fluid due to ongoing state government regulations and it now appears unlikely that audiences will be able to be at a number of events. Read more »

MARS WRIGLEY MANUFACTURING BOOST 8 July 2020

$300,000 has been invested in Ballarat's Mars Wrigley factory to help bolster local manufacturing, by producing a new M&M variation from the Ballarat site. They money was used to improve technology to help make the new product. In 2019, Mars celebrated 40 years in the city, and Mr Leakey said the investment was about setting the company up for another 40. Popular products like Pods and various flavoured M&Ms, including the honeycomb-centred crispy variety, were invented in Ballarat. Read more »

SOVEREIGN HILL TO REMAIN OPEN 8 July 2020

Sovereign Hill will remain open three days a week, despite the Melbourne-wide lockdown which is set to come into place tonight. The museum is opening on Friday, Saturday and Sunday's currently for pre-purchased ticket holders only and plans to do so in coming weeks despite Melbourne tourists banned from entering regional areas for at least six weeks. They said there was about a 50-50 split of visitors from the city and regional areas. Read more HERE. Read more »