Business information and support

Help is available from all three levels of government for businesses, employers and employees affected by coronavirus. This information is updated regularly.

Beware of business scams

Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of the spread of coronavirus to exploit and play on the fears of consumers and businesses across Australia. Scams include impersonating government authorities and legitimate traders, using fake emails or text messages to try and obtain personal data, and investment scams.

  • Visit the Scamwatch website for more information on coronavirus scams and tips on how to protect your business online.

Restrictions on non-essential services

As part of the Australian Government's social distancing measures, a wide range of non-essential business activities are now restricted.

Australian Government support

The Australian Government's coronavirus information and support web page is updated regularly with announcements and assistance package information. The Government's business contact centre is staffed from 7am until 11pm: 13 28 46

The Australian Treasury is leading the economic response to the coronavirus

Assistance available from the Federal Government for businesses includes:

Queensland Government support and information

The Queensland Government is updating information about assistance packages through its Business Queensland pages. You will find information here about the following:

Council support

Council has announced a series of measures to assist businesses and generate employment in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.Council has granted due date extensions on rates and water bills for all residents and businesses, and these do not require any application. Key aspects of the Council's assistance and relief packages include:

  • three-month extension on a range of business-related fees and charges
  • waiving of all outdoor dining fees for three months (April to June)
  • water usage bill due dates (for businesses and residents) extended for three months
  • pumping $2.5 million into the Cairns community in the next three months by bringing forward maintenance works
  • fast-tracking of projects in the city:
    • The building of a rock wall minimise erosion on the Esplanade
    • Renewal of the plaza area between the Lagoon and the Esplanade
    • Renewal of footpaths on Abbott, Grafton and McLeod streets
    • Replacement of commercial water metres and water main
    • Road rehabilitation and asphalt overlays
  • waiving of rental payments for lessees of Council owned and/or managed facilities negatively impacted by the coronavirus.

Links for job seekers

  • The Federal Government has created a Jobs Hub to help people find advertised vacancies.
  • Queensland Government's Jobs Finder website has been set up to connect qualified recruitment agencies and Queensland people whose employment has been affected by Covid-19.
  • Queensland Health is calling for expressions of interest from health professionals and administrators to work during its response to Covid-19.
  • Harvesting work may be available in Far North Queensland. Check here for availability.

Training webinars for small business

TAFE North are offering free interactive workshops (online webinars) designed for small businesses in Far North and North Queensland who are currently or may be impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Australian Government also presents free webinars to help business owners and managers minimize their risks and manage their business through the COVID-19 disruption.

Innovate Queensland is offering workshops about pivoting business models and virtual business platforms for Covid-19.

Other resources for businesses

  • Dive centres in Cairns seeking advice on returning to operations should email: or the relevant regional manager.
  • As more people begin working from home, NBN Co has made changes to data allowances, waived additional wholesale capacity charges and created a blog, FAQs and tips to support people transitioning out of the office.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland has compiled resources to support its members including access to free software and tools to move business online.
  • Cairns Regional Council has a Takeaway and deliveries fact sheet ( PDF, 0.66 MB ) with handy tips to help Fixed Food Business licence holders minimise the risks should they choose to offer takeaway and/or delivery.
  • Restaurant and Catering Australia also has information sheets and resources, including fact sheets about takeaway and pre-packaged meals.
  • Safe Work Australia has information and resources about health and safety in the workplace and Covid-19, including working from home, supporting mental health, and information for small businesses about what to do if an employee contracts coronavirus.
Last updated: 15 May 2020