COVID-19: Avenues of Support for Community Organisations

The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing economic disruption in many sectors including community and arts organisations.

If your business is being affected, there are resources that can help.

Here are some ways that may assist organisations at this critical time. 

Also, there is a Facebook group, ‘Australian Arts amidst COVID-19‘, that has updated info and tips for artists and arts workers during this period (info organised under tags on the right-hand side).

Artsfront are doing a zoom meeting every week day for 30 minutes at 12pm. More info here.

SBS is committed to informing all Australians about the latest coronavirus developments.
News and information about coronavirus (COVID-19) is available in 63 languages.

Guide to Government COVID-19 Assistance for the Arts

This guide sets out various assistance initiatives that are being provided by Federal and State/Territory governments in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to assist artists and arts workers, the guide is ordered as follows:

  • measures applicable to arts organisations and individual artists;
  • measures are then ordered by relevance to arts organisations and individual artists.

The intention is for this to be a “live” document, updated as circumstances change.

JobKeeper Payments

The Government has announced a $130 billion JobKeeper payment to help keep more Australians in jobs and support businesses affected by the significant economic impact caused by the Coronavirus.

The payment ensures eligible employers remain connected to their workforce and will help businesses restart quickly when the crisis is over.

Victorian Government

The Victorian Government has launched the $500 million Business Support Fund to support small businesses in the sectors hit hardest by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so they can survive and keep people in work.

The Fund is part of the Victorian Government’s $1.7 billion Economic Survival Package.

Eligible businesses can apply for a one-off $10,000 grant which can be used towards costs such as utilities, rent and salaries, and activities to support business continuity planning.

Federal Government
Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund

This program targets funding towards sector organisations who are seeking to restart, re-imagine or create new activities, providing finance to assist presentation of new or re-shaped cultural and creative activities and events to enhance community wellbeing and access to cultural experiences across Australia, including in outer metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

Opens 31 August, closes May 2021 or when all funds are expended, which will happen fast, so to act quickly!


Open to creatives, local councils and community organisations who can help young people and Victorians experiencing disadvantage with grants of up to $3K, $10K or $50K. For new or existing ideas or to help amplify an idea that is already in place, to create meaningful social connection, provide opportunities for physical activity and or address food security issues for those who need it most. This grant replaces the previous Art of Good Health, Everyday Creativity and Partnership Grants.

Applications open 16 September, assessed continuously.

Theatre Network Australia (TNA) and Live Performance Australia (LPA)

TNA has joined with Live Performance Australia and other performing arts and music industry bodies to urge the government to fund an urgent package to prevent a complete and permanent industry shutdown, costing thousands of jobs and forcing the closure of performing arts and commercial companies and venues for good.

Business Victoria

Call the Business Victoria coronavirus hotline on 13 22 15 to find out about:

  • the latest information on the public health measures and how these affect your business
  • how to access the financial support available through the national and state stimulus packages – including the Victorian Government’s $500 million Business Support Fund to support the state’s hardest hit sectors, including arts and entertainment and the Federal Government’s JobKeeper Payment which will provide funding to affected businesses to continue paying employees
  • other support services, like accessing business, legal and IT advice and mentoring to help with things like developing business continuity and recovery plans.

Business Victoria also has advice, updates and support on their website to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Image credit: Fire Monkey. Photo by Andy Miller.

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