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The Business and COVID Information Panel Breakfast on 24th November 2021 at North Lakes Sports Club was well attended with over 70 Moreton Bay Region business people attended.

The breakfast was organised to inform local businesses on the changes that we are being advised will come into law on the 17th December 2021 in regards to vaccination and what businesses need to be doing now to be ready for the changes.

The panel member were:

Jeanette Jifkins, Onyx Legal – Legal Aspects

Margaret Goody, Akyra Strategy & Development – HR Measures

Michelle Pitman, Virtual Safety Manager – WHS

Kris Spann, Moreton Bay Regional Council – Business Continuity

Sharon Armstrong, Embrace Life – Health Sector

Kelvin Patch, CSC Group – Hospitality Sector

and special guest speaker Maree Adshead, Queensland Small Business Commissioner

Their was much interest in having a repository of all the information from the speaker, and their handout, not only as a reference for the people who attended, but to educate all businesses in our region of the new changes and what is required of them.

Health Sector – Sharon Armstrong, Embrace Life

Sharon set the scene for us, having a Health Sector business in North Lakes with a range of modalities including Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage, Acupuncture, Child Health Nurses and Lactation consultants.

Sharon informed us of the importance to be flexible, change and adapt to situations. The last two weeks have probably been the most stressful with the government deciding that people who work in healthcare need to be double vaccinated by the 17th December, so there was a very short timeframe her business to make decisions about how to approach their team members.

Her first call was to Margaret Goody , Akyra Strategy & Development, in regards to HR, to make sure she complies with the government requirements, but also she wanted to consider the feeling of her employees, her team. She also contacted Jeanette Jifkins for the legal aspect. Jeanette make an amazing letter to give to employees who do not want to be vaccinated.

Ensure you contact your team of experts before doing anything.

Business Continuity – Kris Spann, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Kris’s role is to assist businesses to look at Business Continuity, whether it be for weather events or for a pandemic.

Business Continuity is really looking at the risks you could be exposed to and having a plan in place. However detailed that plan is, or needs to be, is dependent on your particular risk for your particular business. You need to make sure that in future we have some plans in place so if we do have to shut down, or go down to a lower operating level, that you can pay your bills. For example, if it is a natural disaster, you have support mechanisms in place such as if you have a property that has 100 head of cattle on it, you have a plan of where you can take that 100 head of cattle if your property floods or is on fire.

Moreton Bay Regional Council, Regional Development Australia, Moreton Bay and the USC have proposed a program that we are hoping to roll out next year to start a resilient Business Leaders Network, so we can champion some small and medium businesses in the region that are doing really well as examples.

One of the best things you can do, as well as having a Business Continuity Plan, for resilience, is to have a network and be part of an ecosystem where you all do have that support and you can talk to other people in similar situations and we can all get through this together. 

You can also subscribe to the Moreton Bay Regional Council Economic Development Business Information Newsletter

Maree Adshead, Queensland Small Business Commissioner (QSBC)

The QSBC was established under the COVID Emergency Act. It was set up to do two things: assist small businesses throught the pandemic; and small business advocacy work.

Assistance includes commercial lease disputes, around rent reductions and negotiations and mediations between landlords and tenants.

In regards to advocacy, the things that you, as small business owners are raising , common challenges, to the QSBC, they can take this information to either the Small Business Minister or other ministers such as the Chief Health Office in QLD Health, Tax Office, or the Fair Work Ombudsman to advocate on your behalf.

Once of these issues was what date the mandates were going to take effect, this has just been confirmed that it will happen on 17th December 2021 and not before, the earlier date is only for borders opening. 

The QSBC continually update their website with information to help small businesses, plus have a newsletter you can subscribe to for the latest updates to your inbox

Work, Healtlh and Safety (WHS) – Michelle Pitman, Virtual Safety Manager

As there was so much information in regards to WHS and the mandate that is about to come into effect we have added a separate page, select link below

Legal – Jeanette Jifkins, Onyx Legal

As there was so much Legal information in regards to the new mandate that is about to come into effect we have added a separate page, select link below

HR – Margaret Goody, Akyra Strategy & Development

The same as the above, in regards to the new mandate that is about to come into effect, the HR information is on a separate page, select link below

Hospitality Sector – Kelvin Patch

Kelvin Patch, CEO of the CSC Group, which includes 4 licenses venues, gave us insight into real life examples of what they are doing to be ready for 17 December 2021:
– have flyers with your vaccination rules available to hand out to customers
– sending out emails to customers to inform them of the changes so the dialogue can be through email and not directly conversation with front of house.
– Professional Development for employees including mediation and doing role plays.
– Mental Health boot camps for employees
– Engage with the Police in your area, for CSC Group the police will be doing more drive through and walk arounds of the venues so there is a presence there of the local authorities.

COVID SAFE training for Business

This free, self-paced micro-credential is suitable for all businesses and venues, and their employees, that are imposing entry restrictions for non-vaccinated persons (16 years and older).

Training is through TAFE Queensland

“Be kind at Check In time”

The ‘Be kind at Check In time’ campaign reminds Queenslanders to respect businesses and their staff as they support the public health measures. Select button below to download the social media and print resources from the Queensland Government Website