Business Events and Support

Join our Love Local campaign and support Darebin businesses by shopping and eating out in your neighbourhood.

We all know it’s been a tough 12 months for many local businesses, so let’s support the local restaurants and shops that make Darebin a great place to live, work and play.

By shopping local, you’re not only supporting local jobs, but you’re also helping small businesses to support recreational groups, community groups, sporting clubs and more. Whether it’s a beautiful bunch of flowers from your local florist, a new outfit from a nearby boutique, or a fresh haircut at your favourite barber, let’s keep local businesses in mind and keep it local.

We’ve launched initiatives to support local businesses – read about these below.

Extended Outdoor Dining
Council’s Extended Outdoor Dining Project has been made possible with support from the Victorian Government. To date, this program has added over 1,250 additional seats for cafes and restaurants across Darebin. This project allows cafes, bars and restaurants to serve more customers and employ more staff during this challenging time.
Find out more about our Extended Outdoor Dining Project.

Customer Loyalty
Council is committed to keeping our local retail shopping strips thriving and strong. We have developed the Customer Experience Survey to learn more about typical customer shopping habits throughout Darebin.
Learn more about the project and fill out the survey here.

Sustainability Matters 2021 - Business Opportunities - Sustainable Solution
Sustainability Matters brings the stories of local businesses taking the lead in sustainability to other businesses, residents and interested community members. Through them you will hear about local businesses adopting green practices and cutting their costs, whilst reducing their carbon footprint, waste and often growing their business.
Join us this year on Tuesday 27th of April from 2pm - 3.30pm – find out more and register here.

 

Encouraging the Darebin and wider community to shop and eat locally, source supplies from local businesses and to engage local professionals.

The past year has presented Darebin’s local business community with unprecedented challenges. Council have been working on numerous initiatives to help support local industry and businesses, as well as supporting the wider economic recovery of the greater Darebin community.

As part of our Love Local campaign, we have built the Darebin Business Map to encourage the Darebin and wider community to shop and eat locally, source supplies from local businesses and to engage local professionals.

The online map will be launched to the community in May, with over 1100 business registered to date.

It is not too late to add your business to this directory. Please read over the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) before filling out the Add Your Business Form to add your business listing to the map.

 

Information about outdoor dining can be found here.

Council’s Extended Outdoor Dining Project has been made possible with support from the Victorian Government. To date, this program has added over 1,000 additional seats for cafes and restaurants across Darebin in less than four months.

With COVID-19 restrictions easing once again, we are all looking forward to socialising outdoors again and being able to enjoy Darebin’s wide-ranging street life.

This program has been designed to actively support hospitality venues safely expand outdoor dining areas into approved public spaces and operate within the health restrictions advised by the Victorian Government. The Checklist and Frequently Asked Questions provide details about the application process, assessment criteria and decision-making framework.

Parklet Expression of Interest

Darebin Council is seeking expressions of interest from hospitality businesses who would like to install a “parklet” or a temporary outdoor space as part of the State Government’s outdoor dining and entertaining package. A parklet is where a car park space is repurposed to create a new area for outdoor dining.

Darebin has many hospitality businesses across the municipality and we are keen to ensure that there is a good spread of innovative outdoor dining spaces across all of our suburbs.

If you would like to apply, you will need to provide us with:

  • Permission from your neighbouring businesses (see the FAQ document here for an example letter)
  • Public liability insurance which outlines City of Darebin as an interested party
  • Complete our online form which can be found here

We will also assist you to fast track any red line additional permit requirements.

See below for examples of parklets.

Important things to consider:

  • Parklets cannot be constructed in car park spaces that are subject to a clearway at any time of the day.
  • They also cannot be constructed within 10 metres of an intersection or within 20 meters of an intersection with traffic signals.
  • They cannot be adjacent to a no parking sign.

We’d like to see our new parklets and outdoor dining spaces be busy across the day, so we preference will be given to locations where the parklet can be used for the whole day day – either by a business that’s open for both lunch and dinner, or through a partnership – for example a café that serves breakfast and lunch could share a parklet with a neighbouring restaurant that is only open for dinner.

We will strongly support the creation of new outdoor dining and entertaining in neighbourhoods that don’t currently have many outdoor dining opportunities.

If you are interested in applying for a parklet for your business, complete the application form below (see "How do I apply?").

If you have a great idea for an unconventional outdoor dining or entertaining space, write us a proposal and be sure to include the information as listed above.

We will assess each application and proposal on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration amenity, safety and site-specific conditions such as impacts on residents, as well as the need to maintain social distancing and provide ease of access for pedestrians and essential vehicles.

How do I apply?

Applications are open  – apply online now. Businesses can also contact the Better Approvals team on 8470 8344 or at business@darebin.vic.gov.au for further information and support. We will begin reviewing applications from 30 March 2021.

Make sure that you look at our Footpath Activities Policy and Trading Booklet to consider safety and furniture design requirements and principles, plus access on footpaths and amenity. Examples of footpath trading floor plans can be viewed below.

We will assess permit application and proposals on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration amenity, safety and site-specific conditions such as impacts on residents, as well as the need to maintain social distancing and provide ease of access for pedestrians and essential vehicles.

COVID Safe Plans
Any business wishing to provide table service in outdoor dining areas will be required to have a COVID Safe Plan and comply with patron limits designated for outdoor spaces Please view Victoria’s current restrictions levels for the latest information on COVID-19 business restrictions.

In this section you will find information regarding extended Outdoor Dining, available Council’s Grants and Initiatives, free Mentorship Programs, current State Government Grants and Initiatives, and recent Changes to QR Codes. For live updates on COVID-19 please visit the Department of Health and Human Services page.

Outdoor Dining

Council’s Extended Outdoor Dining Project has been made possible with support from the Victorian Government. To date, this program has added over 1,250 additional seats for cafes and restaurants.

This program has been designed to actively support hospitality venues safely expand outdoor dining areas into approved public spaces and operate within the health restrictions advised by the Victorian Government. The Checklist and Frequently Asked Questions provide details about the application process, assessment criteria and decision-making framework.

PARKLET. EXPRESSION OF INTEREST

Darebin Council is seeking expressions of interest from hospitality businesses who would like to install a “parklet” or a temporary outdoor space as part of the State Government’s outdoor dining and entertaining package. A parklet is where a car park space is repurposed to create a new area for outdoor dining.

Darebin has many hospitality businesses across the municipality, and we are keen to ensure that there is a good spread of innovative outdoor dining spaces across all of our suburbs.

If you would like to apply, you will need to provide us with:

  1. Permission from your neighbouring businesses (see the FAQ document here for an example letter)
  2. Public liability insurance which outlines the City of Darebin as an interested party
  3. Complete our online form which can be found here

We will also assist you to fast track any red line additional permit requirements.

See below for examples of parklets:

Important things to consider

  • Parklets cannot be constructed in car park spaces that are subject to a clearway at any time of the day.
  • Parklets cannot be constructed within 10 meters of an intersection or within 20 meters of an intersection with traffic signals.
  • Parklets cannot be adjacent to a no-parking sign.

We’d like to see our new parklets and outdoor dining spaces be busy across the day, so our preference will be given to locations where the parklet can be used for the whole day – either by a business that’s open for both lunch and dinner or through a partnership – for example, a café that serves breakfast and lunch could share a parklet with a neighbouring restaurant that is only open for dinner.

We will strongly support the creation of new outdoor dining and entertaining in neighbourhoods that don’t currently have many outdoor dining opportunities.

If you have a great idea for an unconventional outdoor dining or entertaining space, write us a proposal and be sure to include the information as listed above.

We will assess each application and proposal on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration amenity, safety and site-specific conditions such as impacts on residents, as well as the need to maintain social distancing and provide ease of access for pedestrians and essential vehicles.

To Apply

If you are interested in applying for a parklet for your business, complete the application form here.

Businesses can also contact the Better Approvals team on 8470 8344 or at business@darebin.vic.gov.au

We will assess permit application and proposals on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration amenity, safety and site-specific conditions such as impacts on residents, as well as the need to maintain social distancing and provide ease of access for pedestrians and essential vehicles.

COVID safe plans required

Any business wishing to provide table service in outdoor dining areas will be required to have a COVID Safe Plan and comply with patron limits designated for outdoor spaces Please view Victoria’s current restrictions levels for the latest information on COVID-19 business restrictions.

Useful Links

Apply online

Frequently asked questions

Checklist

Footpath Activities Policy and Trading Booklet

Example of Footpath Trading Floor Plan

Example of Footpath Trading Floor Plan (with red line)

 

Council’s Grants and Initiatives

RATES AND FEES

If your income has been impacted by the pandemic and you can’t pay your rates, you can:

  • Set up a payment plan to help manage the payments
  • Defer payment until 30 June 2021 with no interest

Rate amounts owing prior to the 28th February 2020 will continue to accrue interest. No interest will be charged on the 4th Instalment owing from 2019/2020. You will continue to receive your rate instalment notices during the year which will show you the balance owing. If you can make part payments at any time, please do so, as this will reduce what you owe in the future. Any amount can be paid.

For more information and to set up a payment plan, please contact Council on 8470 8888 or email mypaymentplan@darebin.vic.gov.au. If you wish to defer your payment until 30 June 2021, you don’t need to contact the Council.

REFUNDED FEES

Council resolved to waive Footpath Trading Permit fees for traders between the 1st March 2020 and 30th June 2021. A four-month refund has been processed and will be provided to all current permit holders in early May, with the renewal of 2020-21 permits to be sent in early July free of charge.

SUSPENDED FEES

Businesses who have paid their 2020 Food Act or Public Health & Wellbeing Act Registrations will be credited a free registration 16-month registration, until April 2022. You will still need to apply to renew your registration via a new online portal, however, there will be no fees. Please ensure you have provided your email address to Council’s Health Protection Unit so we can activate your portal access later in 2020. For businesses requiring urgent financial assistance who wish to register their interest in a pro-rata refund of their current 2020 Food Act, or Public Health and Wellbeing Act registrations, please contact health@darebin.vic.gov.au. We will then be in touch with more information on this process. Businesses that receive a refund will retain their registration until 30 June 2021.

LIGHT$MART

To assist local businesses on their recovery journey, the Darebin Council offers FREE LED lighting upgrades.

Conditions

Under the Council’s Business recovery Light$mart support program, the retrofit cost $500 or are free for Darebin businesses & organisations.

For retrofits over $500 (GST exclusive), the Council will rebate businesses (via a cheque) for the first $500 + 50% of the costs thereafter. In this case, the business needs to pay the amount upfront. The Council’s subsidy capped at $1,000.

All businesses in Darebin are now able to apply for our Light$mart program, which offers a free or subsidised LED lighting upgrade to local businesses and organisations. So far over 250 Darebin businesses/organisations have been upgraded through this program, saving an average of $420 a year on their electricity bills.

To find out more and register your interest please email business@darebin.vic.gov.au and put 'Light$mart' in your subject heading.

DAREBIN’S HEALTH AND WELLBEING PROGRAM

Throughout this program, the Darebin City Council provides local businesses with access to Converge International, a health and wellbeing portal. Supports available include:

  • Free counselling sessions for business owners, employees and the immediate family. Discussions can cover a range of areas including management, career, personal and financial advice.
  • A great set of resources available via the portal, including webinars, workshops and easy to read factsheets covering topics like:
    • Balancing Work and Home Life
    • Mindfulness Tip Sheet
    • Taking Positive Steps through Change

For more resources or to book a counselling session, log in to the Portal with Username: darebinbusiness and Password: converge

You can call 1300 687 327 for more information or organise a counselling session. We’re pleased to share the service also offers specialist support for:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander – 1300 287 432
  • LGBTIQ+ - 1300 542 874
  • Domestic and Family Violence Helpline - 1300 338 465
  • Eldercare Helpline - 1300 035 337
  • Disability and Carers Helpline - 1300 243 543

LOVE LOCAL CAMPAIGN

To promote local shopping and drive foot traffic to Derabin’s businesses, the Council launched the ove Local campaign including an interactive Local Business Map.

This Business Map aims to help local shopper explore the shopping strips of the municipality and enhance the local economy.

To find more local customers, please, register your business to our interactive directory here.

BUSINESS SUPPORT

To support local businesses on their economic recovery journey, the Council committed to the development of the Economic Recovery Unit. This unit is able to provide businesses with individual, timely and personalised support and face-to-face FREE consultations in:

  1. Finance and Accounting
  2. Business Growth and Development Strategy
  3. Marketing and Digital Promotion Strategy
  4. Multi-media and Digital Content

Local businesses can also request a FREE Business Health Check to have a clear understanding of the capabilities of their organisation.

For more information, please send an assistance request to business@darebin.vic.gov.au

To talk to someone in the business team, please call 8470 8344.

BUSINESS CONCIERGE 

To ensure a seamless process of business permit applications the Council provides Business Concierge services as part of our Better Approvals Program.

Before you apply, you need to contact our concierge team who will provide the advice you need to apply for any permits. This includes Planning, Food, Health and Footpath Trading and others.

After you contact our team, the Concierge will arrange a pre-application meeting if necessary, to help you understand which business permits you may need.  

To discuss your individual needs and receive support for the online application, please, email business@darebin.vic.gov.au or call us on 8470 8344

Click here to learn more about the Better Approvals Program.

EXPRESS BUSINESS HEALTH CHECK

To help businesses, identify issues early and prompt them to seek assistance, the Council developed an express Business Health Check.

As a business owner, it’s important to regularly review the financial status of your business, to make sure you’re on the right track.   

Our simple business health check below can help you identify the early warning signs of a business is in trouble and prompt you can to act and seek help to manage your business through difficult times. 

  1. Have you been stretching your payments outside of the regular payment period for a prolonged period of time?
  2. Have you been struggling to make timely payments for Super, BAS, loan and/or rental payments?
  3. Have you applied for loans, credit lines and/or credit cards in order to pay your business debts?
  4. Have you been taking minimal to low wages and/or putting personal funds into the business to maintain cashflow?
  5. Have you recently lost a significant customer or supplier?
  6. Have your forecast targets been set to a reasonable standard but consistently missed?
  7. Have you recently encountered an unanticipated issue that impacted your business? (for example, fire, water damage)
  8. Have you spent more time recently trying to manage your finances rather than running your business?
  9. Are your financial records not up to date or accurate?

If you answer ‘yes’ to more than 5 of the questions - Act Now! Nothing to Lose everything to gain:

Seek assistance from your accountant, financial advisor or business mentor as soon as possible.

Alternatively, contact the Business Recovery Team at Council and we may be able to advise you further. Deepesh Adeshara, Business Advisor, Deepesh.Adeshara@darebin.vic.gov.au or Nadira Shamid, Business Advisor, Nadira.Shamid@darebin.vic.gov.au

Useful links:

The five warning signs - your business is in trouble | Business Victoria

Business viability assessment tool | Australian Taxation Office (ato.gov.au)

 

Mentorship Programs

ION GROUP MENTORING PROGRAM

The Darebin City Council has commissioned ION Group to facilitate FREE one on one mentoring online sessions for any Darebin’s business and organisations. This program is focusing on:

  • Business strategy adjustments in time of crisis
  • Recovery roadmap development
  • Growth potential for your business

Places are limited. To book your FREE one (1) hour session with the ION Group specialist, please contact Leigh Crocker, Manager: Business Advisory, on 0419 359 409 or lcrocker@iongroup.com.au.

Note, the sessions are currently being held as online/video meetings.

BUSINESS RESILIENCE PROGRAM BY MELBOURNE INNOVATION CENTRE

Facilitated by Melbourne Innovation Centre, this program is specifically designed to assist small businesses recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19. Support includes free access to virtual mentoring, online workshops and resource.

For more information call 9490 1402 or email getsupport@melbourneinnovation.com.au.

Relevant Links

Online workshops – coming up soon. Subscribe for the updates

Strategy & resilience

Finance & technology

Customers & marketing

Human resources

Mental health & wellbeing

SMALL BUSINESS BUS BY SMALL BUSINESS VICTORIA

Operated by Small Business Victoria, the Small Business Bus visits Melbourne and regional Victoria as a 'travelling office on wheels'. The Victorian Government’s Small Business Bus delivers business advice in metropolitan, rural and regional locations, and showcases local capability and practical advice. The Small Business Bus is visiting all regions of Victoria in 2021. No bookings required. Head down to the announced location as per the Bus schedule here.

The nearest dates for Darebin are:

  • 22/04/2021 – Fairfield, Front of Fairfield Library, 122 Station Street Fairfield 3078, 10am to 4pm
  • 28/04/2021 – Preston, Preston Market, 2/30A Centre Way Preston 3072, 10am to 4pm

VCCI BUSINESS RECOVERY AND RESILIENCE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

The Victorian Government is partnering with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) to deliver a business mentoring program to help small businesses navigate the economic recovery.

Through this program, eligible business owners can receive up to four 2-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.

The program offers tailored guidance on:

  • Business recovery - to strengthen business recovery (cost reduction, debt and cash flow management)
  • Market transformation - to understand how coronavirus (COVID-19) has triggered or accelerated market changes
  • Digital literacy and engagement - to help businesses reach new customers and markets
  • Market and supply chain diversification - to reduce exposure to supply chain risks
  • Reskilling and retraining - to help businesses upskill their existing workforce

Find out what type of businesses can apply for the program.

Information on Business recovery and resilience mentoring in languages other than English.

Apply Online

Click here to make an application on the VCCI website. This program is open to businesses with 20 or fewer employees.

 

State Government Grants and Initiatives

SMALL BUSINESS DIGITAL ADAPTATION PROGRAM (has been extended)

The Small Business Digital Adaptation Program supports sole traders, micro-businesses and small businesses to access digital products, tools and training to help build digital capability in their day-to-day operations. Small business owners can access accounting software, tools to build or upgrade their websites and to improve online marketing and social media.

Businesses can trial digital products from a range of suppliers, who have partnered with the Victorian Government.

Businesses can use a new, approved product, upgrade an existing approved product, or re-subscribe to an approved product that expired more than 12 months ago.

Once businesses have bought and begun using an approved product or products, they can apply for a rebate of $1200 to give them 12 months’ access to the product/s. Businesses will need to pay ongoing costs after 12 months.

The program also offers free digital adaptation training and workshops to help businesses use online tools.

Read the information on this page, the program guidelines and frequently asked questions (FAQs) before you register.

See the Small Business Digital Adaptation Program in languages other than English.

Applications will remain open until funds are exhausted or until 11.59pm on 30 June 2021, whichever is earlier.

Click here to apply online.

CLICK FOR VIC AND VISIT VICTORIA

In response to COVID-19, Visit Victoria has launched Click for Vic, a new online platform to help support struggling businesses in both regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne.

To register your business or product for free until June 30, 2021, visit the Visit Victoria Corporate Page.

WELLBEING AND MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT FOR VICTORIAN SMALL BUSINESSES

Through this program, Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business can get the mental health support they need to navigate through the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Current support under this program includes:

  • Partners in Wellbeing telephone helpline 1300 375 330 (Monday to Friday 9am–10pm, Saturday to Sunday 9am–5pm):

    If you're worried about your business, Partners in Wellbeing helpline provides one-to-one wellbeing support and free access to financial counsellors and business advisors.

  • For immediate access to mental health support, visit Mental health in business.

Find information on Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Businesses in languages other than English.

Relevant Links

Factsheet: Partners in Wellbeing helpline

 

Changes to QR Codes

From 27 March, all businesses using electronic record-keeping – such as a QR code system – MUST USE the Victorian Government Visitation API, a system that seamlessly integrates with the Victorian Government contact tracing system to help contact tracers respond to outbreaks even faster.

If you are a business owner and/or operator, please ask your QR code provider if they intend to comply. Alternatively, you can check if the QR code used by your business has already been connected to the Government’s API by visiting coronavirus.vic.gov.au/visitationAPI.

You also can switch to the free Victorian Government QR Code Service which is already connected to the Victorian Government contact tracing system, by visiting coronavirus.vic.gov.au/qrcode.

Businesses seeking more information can contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15.

Relevant Links

Register to use the Victorian Government QR Code Service

Creating an account with the Victorian Government QR Code Service

Victorian Government Visitation API - connected third parties

Visitation API (for developers)

Record keeping for contact tracing

Looking to further strengthen, develop and grow your business?

Our Business Recovery Program assists Darebin businesses to grow, develop and maximise opportunities to support local employment and sustainable businesses.

Continuous innovation and development are key factors in building a sustainable, resilient and successful business. In this program you will receive free one on one mentoring, business capability assessments and tailored long term strategy advice to grow and develop, or improve local employment, workforce and export capacity. This program is open to all Darebin businesses from any sector.

What will the Business Recovery Program provide?

Through the Business Recovery Program, you will receive a one-on-one confidential service from an industry expert. This includes assessment, advice and a development strategy tailored to your business. During the Program our industry expert will work with you to identify market opportunities, your business strengths and to develop strategies to expand future capacity.

Since 2014, we have supported a number of businesses, particularly to go global. To find out more and be involved, register your interest in the Darebin Business Recovery Program. Applications close 5pm, Monday 7 December 2020.

Please note this program is open to Darebin businesses only.

----

Past participants have said:

“[The Darebin Business Mentor] is a great asset to any business who engages with the program. [Their] work, networks, business expertise, and advice are excellent. [They are also] proactive, intelligent and go-getter[s] that will expedite any business to their goals.” – Penny Weber, Owner of Recovawear

“ [The Darebin Business Mentor] encouraged us to manufacture our own product rather than just providing a bespoke service, because we have all the facilities already in place. [They] opened our eyes to the possibility of exporting product as an additional income stream." – Charles Sandford, Owner of Charles Sandford

“[The Darebin Business Mentor] has a wealth of knowledge, [and] I have learnt many valuable tips which have benefited me in the course of my business. I would highly recommend this program.” – John Akkary, Owner of Akkary Fine Foods

 

 

In this section, you will find information regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business assistance, support available for Women in Business and Social Enterprises support. You can also access a list of Darebin’s Aboriginal service providers.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business

KINAWAY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Council is a proud partner of Kinaway Chamber of Commerce, a leading Victorian organisation dedicated to supporting Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business owners.

Kinaway’s purpose is to provide business support and advice to Victorian Aboriginal business people and help improve the visibility and networks of Aboriginal businesses to strengthen relationships and create opportunity. Kinaway Chamber of Commerce fosters and develops partnerships with government, corporates and academia to build procurement opportunities and facilitate support to Aboriginal businesses.

Kinaway Chamber of Commerce works closely with businesses by providing:

  • Support
  • Networking
  • Advocacy
  • Partnerships

These services provide an essential framework to promote and support the ongoing operation of Aboriginal businesses.

For more information and to register your business with Kinawaya Business Directory, please visit their website.

SUPPLY NATION

Supply Nation provides Australia’s leading database of verified Indigenous businesses. It is a FREE Indigenous business directory. Registering your business with Supply Nation can help your business to connect with motivated buyers from some of Australia’s largest organisations.

Click here to find out more about Supply Nation and register your business online here.

 

Women in Business

Australian Government has announced Round 2 of the Boosting Female Founders Initiative. Expressions of Interest are now open, and you can apply before 5pm AEST on Thursday 22 April 2021.

This program provides funding for female founders of start-up businesses to scale their start-ups into domestic and global markets. The Boosting Female Founders Initiative - Round 2 helps female entrepreneurs overcome the disadvantages faced in getting access to finance and support to grow their stratus. Targeted support will be on a co-contribution basis.

Close date: 22 Apr 2021 05:00 PM AEST

All eligible applicants can apply for a grant between $25,000 and $400,000. If you meet additional eligibility criteria as detailed in the grant opportunity guidelines, you can apply for a grant of between $25,000 and $480,000.

Visit the Australian Government Business page to see full eligibility criteria and apply online.

 

Social Enterprises

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training or help the environment (definition from Social Traders, an acknowledged provider of support and resources to the social enterprise community in Australia, including a supplier portal).

Darebin City Council has many social enterprises in a variety of industry sectors, from very well established ones such as Clean Force Property Services and the Fair Food division of the Ceres group through to those just getting established and working out their market sector.

Many of Darebin's social enterprises can be found in our Business Directory and we invite others to register on this directory so that we can continue to grow the sector.

In addition to the support provided by Darebin's Economic Development team, there are also resources from the Victorian State government, deriving from the Social Enterprise Strategy and the Social Procurement Framework.

 

In this section, you will find information regarding the Council’s Active Spaces Program, Starting your Business in Darebin Checklist, Grants available for Creative Industries and other Resources for new businesses.

Active Spaces Program

If you have an idea to activate a vacant shop, we want to hear from you.

Council works with real estate agents, property owners and business to transform areas of vacant shops, graffiti tagging and bill posters into economically stimulated and culturally charged destinations.

We are currently reviewing the Active Spaces program suitable for a recovery program.

This hands-on approach provides support with:

  • Assistance in finding an appropriate property
  • Negotiating a reasonable rent with the real estate agent or the property owner
  • If required negotiating a short-term lease agreement with the option to use our Exclusive Licence Agreement.
  • Business mentoring and business setup 101
  • Marketing, promotion and networking opportunities
  • Information and support with council permits and processes
  • Guidance to find suitable insurance
  • Promotion on our Facebook page and in other Council publications
  • A small one-off grant to assist with start-up costs
  • Negotiating for the right property

Since the program launch, we have worked with a broad range of creative businesses that have included:

  • Retail
  • Not-For-Profit projects
  • Social enterprises
  • Co-working spaces
  • Artist's requiring studio spaces, workshops & rehearsal spaces
  • Shop window galleries Art exhibitions/installations
  • Artists creating public art and murals 

2012 - 2020 list of creative businesses involved in The Active Space

2012 - 2020 list of artists who exhibited their work in vacant spaces throughout Darebin

To get involved

Read the information sheet and contact us to discuss your creative project or business idea.

Further Information

Active Spaces

Ph: 8470 8480
Email: 
activespaces@darebin.vic.gov.au 

 

Starting your Business in Darebin Checklist

Whether you have a fantastic new business idea or you’re looking to take over an existing operation, it’s important to have accurate information about all aspects of starting a business.

We can help you understand the market you’re entering, your business obligations, the planning process, and more.

BUSINESS CONCIERGE

To ensure a seamless process of business permit applications the Council provides Business Concierge services as part of our Better Approvals Program.

Before you apply, you need to contact our concierge team who will provide the advice you need to apply for any permits. This includes Planning, Food, Health and Footpath Trading and others.

After you contact our team, the Concierge will arrange a pre-application meeting if necessary, to help you understand which business permits you may need.  

To discuss your individual needs and receive support for the online application, please, email business@darebin.vic.gov.au or call us on 8470 8344

Click here to learn more about the Better Approvals Program.

Useful Information

Planning – Planning permits are required for any land use or development.

Food, Health and Safety – Specific permits are required if you are operating a food or health business.

Local Laws – A permit is required if you intend to place permanent or temporary items, e.g. signs, tables, chairs, or merchandise, on public footpaths.

Building – Building permits are required for any work that includes the erection of canopies or signage.

Transport, Traffic and Parking Management – Permits are required for street closures, parking and filming in Darebin.

 

Grants available for Creative Industries

To stay updated and connect with the Council’s initiatives and news, subscribe to Creative Darebin Newsletter.

For the future State Government grants and programs available for Art and Creative Industries follow Creative Victoria

BUSINESS VICTORIA

The Business Victoria website is a comprehensive online resource offering a range of services. They can help you with starting or buying a business, finding the right licences, employing and managing people, and much more.

 

Resources

If you consider starting your own business in Darebin these links and organisations might assist you on this journey:

  • Enterprise Connect is an Australian Government initiative that offers advice and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Small Business Mentoring Service is an independent non-profit organisation that provides one-on-one advice from an experienced mentor in your field.
  • Business Victoria is a comprehensive online resource offering a range of services such as starting or buying a business, finding the right licences, employing and managing people, and much more.
  • Melbourne Innovation Centre is equipped and excited to help your business. They have an internationally acclaimed Business Incubation program, coworking spaces around Melbourne, and a Victoria-wide delivery of the ASBAS digital solutions program, they can help your small businesses at any stage of their journey.
  • Social Traders is a non-profit organisation that supports and encourages the establishment of social enterprises Australia-wide. Social Enterprises take a number of forms and deliver outcomes as diverse as employment for the disadvantaged, production of imported goods and services, or fundraising for other charitable activities and community projects.
  • NORTH Link is a northern regional partnership of industry, education and government established for the purposes of economic development, regional marketing and promotion of Melbourne’s north. NORTH Link also provides information to prospective business investors in Melbourne’s north.
  • Melbourne’s North Food Group (ask Phil or Steph for information)
  • Inner Northern Group Training was established by the local government to promote employment through the apprenticeship and traineeship systems.
  • The Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network (INLLEN) is a non-profit organisation funded by the Victorian Government that aims to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people aged 10-19 years in the municipalities of Darebin, Moreland and Yarra.

Council is committed to keeping our local retail shopping strips thriving and strong. As part of the ongoing project Love Local, we have developed the Customer Experience Survey to learn more about typical customer shopping habits throughout Darebin.

We will be running a month long campaign to encourage community members to complete this survey. This campaign will include offering a number of $50 vouchers to local independent stores. All responses will be anonymous but contact information is required.

Data and insights will be shared with precincts and associations to assist develop customer loyalty programs, marketing and promotional plans.

If you shop in our local retail shopping strips, please fill out the short Customer Experience Survey.

Survey closes Thursday 15 April 5PM AEST. Vouchers will be awarded by Friday 2 May 5pm (AEST). Terms and Conditions apply.

Want support to further strengthen, develop and grow your food, beverage and/or fibre manufacturing business?

Darebin City Council is pleased to offer a select number of our local businesses a twelve-month membership to Melbourne’s North Food Group (MNFG). This is an initiative of Darebin City Council’s $11.8M Community and Business Resilience and Recovery Package.

What is Melbourne’s North Food Group (MNFG)?

MNFG is an active and dynamic industry group that represents food, beverage and fibre manufacturing businesses across Melbourne. It has a strong focus on assisting businesses to improve their productivity and competitiveness.

Why join?

By becoming a partner of the Melbourne’s North Food Group you will have the opportunity to:

  • Save money through group buying and equipment sharing opportunities
  • Build business capability through individual business reviews and skills development sessions
  • Become export ready
  • Access new markets through trade shows and in-bound buyer missions
  • Work with tertiary institutions to improve the skills of your workforce
  • Stay informed on supplier opportunities, up to date resources and government grants
  • Connections to research and development options

How do I express my interest for a membership?

This offer is available exclusively to businesses registered in the City of Darebin. If you are a Darebin business and would like a membership supported by Darebin City Council, please complete the Melbourne’s North Food Group Memberships EOI Form by 11.59pm on Friday 5 March 2021. We will then assess your application and if you are eligible for membership, we will contact you.

Everything you need to know about starting a business in Darebin, including planning, regulations, and advice on managing and growing your business.

Whether you have a fantastic new business idea or you’re looking to take over an existing operation, it’s important to have accurate information about all aspects of starting a business.

We can help you understand the market you’re entering, your business obligations, the planning process, and more.

Useful Information
1. Planning – Planning permits are required for any land use or development.
2. Food, Health and Safety – Specific permits are required if you are operating a food or health business.
3. Local Laws – A permit is required if you intend to place permanent or temporary items, e.g. signs, tables, chairs, or merchandise, on public footpaths.
4. Building Planning – Building permits are required for any work that includes erection of canopies or signage.
5. Transport, Traffic and Parking Management – Permits are required for street closures, parking and filming in Darebin.

Darebin Enterprise Centre Ltd (DECL)
The Darebin Enterprise Centre is a non-profit organisation that can help with the start up and growth of your small business.

Further Information
Website: Darebin Enterprise Centre Ltd
Ph: 9499 9100

Business Victoria
The Business Victoria website is a comprehensive online resource offering a range of services. They can help you with starting or buying a business, finding the right licences, employing and managing people, and much more.

Further Information
Business Development
Ph: 8470 8344
Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au

Providing industry, business and employment resources, support, training and connections.

Webinar recordings 

  •  'When Jobkeeper ends: Employer rights and obligations' In March 2021presented by Darebin Business with Victorian Chamber of Commerce responding to the topic covering; identifying which flexibilities will end; exploring how an employer may make changes to the workforce; and an overview of redundancy process. Watch the recording and access the presentation slides from this webinar to learn more. 

Online resources

Support and Advice 

  • Darebin Enterprise Centre Ltd (DECL) is a non-profit organisation that can help with the start up and growth of your small business.
  • Enterprise Connect is an Australian Government initiative that offers advice and support to small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Small Business Mentoring Service is an independent non-profit organisation that provides one-on-one advice from an experienced mentor in your field.
  • Business Victoria is a comprehensive online resource offering a range of services such as starting or buying a business, finding the right licences, employing and managing people, and much more.
  • Social Traders is a non-profit organisation that supports and encourages the establishment of social enterprises Australia-wide. Social Enterprises take a number of forms and deliver outcomes as diverse as employment for the disadvantaged, production of important goods and services, or fundraising for other charitable activities and community projects.
  • NORTH Link is a northern regional partnership of industry, education and government established for the purposes of economic development, regional marketing and promotion of Melbourne’s north. NORTH Link also provides information to prospective business investors in Melbourne’s north.
  • Inner Northern Group Training was established by local government to promote employment through the apprenticeship and traineeship systems.
  • The Inner Northern Local Learning and Employment Network (INLLEN) is a non-profit organisation funded by the Victorian Government that aims to improve education, training and employment outcomes for young people aged 10-19 years in the municipalities of Darebin, Moreland and Yarra.

Education and Training

  • LaTrobe University run their courses in Entrepreneurship and Business at their Bundoora location. They also run an accelerator for startups and have expanded into a range of online and short courses.
  • Melbourne Polytechnic TAFE have industry-specific courses on Entrepreneurship, Business Management and short courses. For more information you can visit their Northland Skills and Jobs Centre.
  • Unemployed? Have a great business idea? Check out New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS). It’s a Commonwealth Government funded program that provides help to unemployed people who would like to start a small business.
  • APlus is a training company that help employers in the northern metropolitan area find the right staff. They also work with apprentices and trainees to find job opportunities.

Employment Services Providers 

Darebin is home to a number of employment and job services providers that can help your business find and keep the right people.

These are non-profit private organisations – Job Services – that can provide staff for any position as well as specialist support for job seekers with disabilities through Disability Employment Services.

Further Information  

Business Development 
Ph: 8470 8344 
Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

Local businesses making a difference in Darebin.

Social enterprises are businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems, improve communities, provide people access to employment and training or help the environment (definition from Social Traders, an acknowledged provider of support and resources to the social enterprise community in Australia, including a supplier portal).

Darebin City Council has many social enterprises in a variety of industry sectors, from very well established ones such as Clean Force Property Services and the Fair Food division of the Ceres group through to those just getting established and working out their market sector.

Darebin's Economic Development team provides support and assistance to these as a priority from Council's Action Plan of 2018/ 2019.

This support culminated in the establishment of a social enterprise network which met for the first time in October 2018.

Many of Darebin's social enterprises can be found in our Business Directory and we invite others to register on this directory so that we can continue to grow the sector.

In addition to the support provided by Darebin's Economic Development team, there are also resources from the Victorian State government, deriving from the Social Enterprise Strategy launched in 2017 and the Social Procurement Framework launched in 2018.

We host a range of events for our business community here in Darebin.

To help you develop and grow your business in Darebin, we host a range of events that focus on areas such as networking, training, mentoring and much more.  These are all great opportunities to keep your business growing and connect you with our thriving business community.

 

Business Events in Darebin
Event Date Time Location Cost Booking details 

Taxation Workshop

Tax Essentials

Tuesday 21 May 5.30 - 7.30pm  Happy Hubbub, 239a Murray Rd, Preston Free  ATO workshops May 21
Social Enterprise Workshop 

Tuesday 28 May

Tuesday 29 May

10am - 1pm TBC, Preston Free

Contact

business@darebin.vic.gov.au

Pitch It Final   Thursday 30 May 5.30pm - 9.30pm Sycamore Meadows, 759 Gilbert Rd, Reservoir Free  Pitch It Grand Final
Northern Business Achievement Awards Thursday 6 June 7am - 9am Mantra Bell City Ballroom, 205 Bell St, Preston $60 NBAA tickets
Taxation Workshop

Single Touch Payroll

 Tuesday 9 July 5.30 - 6.30pm  Happy Hubbub, 239a Murray Rd, Preston Free  ATO workshop July 9

Further Information:
Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au
Phone: 8470 8344

Below are some current business opportunities including any current Tenders

A call to all Darebin artists!

Are you a graphic designer, artist, street artist or creative business? If you are interested in upcoming opportunities, commissions or projects within Darebin we want to hear from you. Please send your contact details, digital examples of your work and a brief description of your practice to activespaces@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

PaTH Program

Thinking of taking on a young person into your business?  The PaTH program has been specifically designed by the Department of Employment to make it easier and more attractive for business to employ 15 – 24 y.o. It does this by offering an incentive of $1000 for you to trial a young person for at least 4 weeks, then tops it off by providing a wage subsidy of at least $6500 if you offer ongoing employment to that person.  Additionally, the program provides job readiness training to people so that you can be confident the person you are taking on is ready to hit the ground running.  All the details can be found on the Department of Employment’s website.  What are waiting for – give a young person a chance today. 

Industry Capability Network

Industry Capability Network The Industry Capability Network (ICN) is a business network that introduces Australian and New Zealand companies to projects large and small.

The ICN is an independent organisation financially supported by Australian, New Zealand, state and territory governments. Since it started 30 years ago, ICN has helped local suppliers find $30 billion worth of contracts.

ICN bridges the information gap between buyers and sellers by providing advice and services to clients in all industries by:
  • Finding the best Australian products and suppliers
  • Facilitating import replacement
  • Assisting with Victorian Industry Participation Policy enquiries and plans (VIPP)
  • Supporting major industrial, energy and infrastructure projects
  • Accessing Global Supply Chains
  • Providing Tariff Concession Order applications services
  • Offering Enhanced Project By-Law Scheme research services
  • Administering industry and sectoral research

To find out more or to register go to the ICN website.

Respect the rule campaign

Every day young workers face humiliating and sexually suggestive remarks from customers, managers and co-workers, as well as being bullied, groped and threatened.  Hospitality workers have come together to develop a powerful campaign ‘Respect the Rule’ to make venues safe for everyone. Darebin strongly supports this campaign and encourages businesses to participate by:

  1. Signing a pledge stating you will only go to venues that have a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment. Click here to sign.
  2. Venues can sign the ‘Respect Is the Rule’ Pledge to help create safe and respectful environments for their staff. Venues who pledge are listed on the campaign website. Click here to find out more info.

Everybody deserves to be safe at work. For more details http://www.respectistherule.org.au/

The Active Spaces in Darebin program works with real estate agents, property owners and creative business to transform areas which have an abundance of vacant shops, graffiti tagging and bill posters into economically stimulated and culturally charged destinations.

The Active Spaces in Darebin is delivered with a hands-on approach, providing support with:

  • Assistance in finding an appropriate property
  • Negotiating a reasonable rent with the real estate agent or the property owner
  • If required negotiating a short term lease agreement with the option to use our Exclusive Licence Agreement.
  • Business mentoring and business setup 101
  • Marketing , promotion and networking opportunities
  • Information and support with council permits and processes
  • Guidance to find suitable insurance
  • Promotion on our Facebook page and in other Council publications
  • Small one off grant to assist with start-up costs
  • Negotiating for the right property

Since the program launch we have worked with a broad range of creative businesses that have included:

  • Retail
  • Not-For-Profit projects
  • Social enterprises
  • Co-working spaces
  • Artist's requiring studio spaces, workshops & rehearsal spaces
  • Shop window galleries Art exhibitions/installations
  • Artists creating public art and murals

For a full list of creative businesses that have been involved in the program since 2012 click here.

For a full list of artists who have exhibited the work in vacant spaces throughout Darebin since 2012 click here.

The program has identified a number of priority areas for activation, the current priority areas are:

  • High Street Preston - from the Preston Council Offices to Bell Street.
  • High Street and Plenty Road, South Preston - from Bell Street to the Junction with Plenty Road
  • Plenty Road, South Reservoir - from Shakespeare Avenue to Ethel Grove (Tyler Street).

How to get involved:

Read the information sheet and contact us to discuss your creative project or business idea.

Further Information 
Brodie Butler-Robey 
Business Development

Ph: 8470 8480
Email: activespaces@darebin.vic.gov.au 

Facebook

In this section, you will find information regarding FREE opportunities to advertise vacancies and recruit people locally, JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme, Working for Victoria and Job Active programs, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment, Disability Employment Services, Youth Jobs PaTH and the list of Darebin’s Local Employment Services. If you are interested in up-skilling your business and employees, this page has information about FREE Darebin City Council’s webinars, Upskill My Business Government initiative and Small Business Victoria Bus providing face-to-face consultations.

Local Job Marketplaces

Darebin Jobs Link is a free service available to both businesses and residents. Local businesses can post/advertise their vacancies on the portal FREE of charge to grow their team and employ locally. Registration required.

Melbourne’s North Joblink seeks to connect businesses in Melbourne’s North with the region’s talent to make living, working and employing in Melbourne’s North a reality. Local Businesses that are seeking to employ people can post their vacancies for FREE on this website and find the right local person for the job. Registration required.

 

JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme

The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme has been introduced by ATO as an incentive for businesses to employ additional young job seekers aged 16–35 years.

Eligible employers can access the JobMaker Hiring Credit for each eligible additional employee they hire between 7 October 2020 and 6 October 2021.

 To claim their credit, employers must register with ATO by the due date for the first JobMaker period they are claiming for. Click here to see all key dates for the program.

Once registered, eligible employers can claim the JobMaker Hiring Credit payment for each JobMaker period. You can make a claim for the first JobMaker period from 1 February 2021. Payments are made in arrears. To check your eligibility, see Eligible employers.

The first claim period closes on the 30th of April 2021.

 The JobMaker Hiring Credit scheme will end on 6 October 2022

To learn more, please visit the JobMaker initiative page.

 

Working for Victoria and Job Active

WORKING FOR VICTORIA

As part of Job Victoria and the State Government program, the Working for Victoria initiative is helping Victorian jobseekers find work and employers find workers. This includes people who have lost their jobs and businesses that need workers due to the impacts of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Jobs Victoria works with employers to identify their business needs and help find jobseekers across Victoria with the right skills and experience.

Employers can use the Jobs Victoria online hub to access a labour pool for new jobs and recruitment services, including job matching. Businesses can register here to advertise jobs to qualified workers on the online hub.

Jobs should be:

  • ideally for at least three months, but short-term seasonal roles may also be advertised
  • paid at the award rate, or the site rate, whichever is higher.

Through the online hub you can:

  • post jobs
  • conduct initial screening
  • select from the full list of applicants or receive a short list.

JOB ACTIVE

Jobactive is the Australian Government’s way to get more Australians into work. It connects job seekers with employers and is delivered by a network of jobactive providers in over 1,700 locations across Australia.

As an employer, you can use a local jobactive provider for tailored recruitment services, at no cost to you. Or you can choose to manage your vacancies through the jobactive website or app. Businesses can advertise their job for FREE here.

There’s a range of Australian Government financial incentives to help you hire staff. More information on eligibility and management of financial incentives.

USEFUL LINKS

Fact sheet about jobactive for businesses

Financial Incentives - Up to $10,000 to hire new employees

Find a local jobactive provider

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employment

For businesses that genuinely interested in building their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce, there is a range of services Darebin City Council and the State Government can offer.

DAREBIN CITY COUNCIL SUPPORT TEAM 

Philip OBrien, Business Engagement Skills and Employment

T 8470 8602, M 045 0103 232, E Philip.OBrien@darebin.vic.gov.au

Jimmy Kyle, Aboriginal Employment and Programs Officer , T 03 8470 8589, E Jimmy.Kyle@darebin.vic.gov.au

INDIGENOUS EMPLOYMENT PARTNERS

Indigenous Employment Partners (IEP) is an Aboriginal operated social enterprise with a mission to provide culturally appropriate employment, recruitment and training services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the organisations that employ them.

Indigenous Employment Partners provides a range of end to end products and services to businesses wishing to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Including the following:

  • Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) development and support
  • Aboriginal Recruitment and Employment strategy development and implementation
  • Aboriginal procurement strategy development and implementation
  • Development and implementation of community engagement models
  • pre-employment programs to support new employees entering your workforce
  • Cultural safety training and assessment and many other workshops and services

For more information call Dennis Batty at IEP 0400 587 348

KINAWAY ABORIGINAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Aboriginal owned and operated businesses looking for support to help them increase their capacity to employ more staff can contact Kinaway Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce.  Darebin City Council is proud to be a corporate partner of Kinaway. 

USEFUL LINKS

A guide to hiring new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees

Generation One Program by Minderoo Foundation - sets to help businesses to create parity is through meaningful and sustainable employment opportunities

The Reconciliation Action Plan

Indigenous Capability Team at The Australian Public Service Commission 

 

Disability Employment Services

Funded by the Australian Government and delivered by industry professionals, JobAccess for Employers provides FREE and expert support to assist with employing people with disability. This includes an advice service, employer engagement team, workplace modifications, support and training and more.

Department of Education and Training and The government provides a range of supports for employers of people with disability including wage subsidies and funding for workplace changes. Find out more about available financial support for your business here.

USEFUL LINKS

Disability employment Employer Toolkit

Employer rights and responsibilities

 

Youth Jobs PaTH

Youth Jobs PaTH is an Australian Government employment service that helps young people gain the skills and work experience they need to get and keep a job.

As part of Youth Jobs PaTH your business can trial a young person for 4 to 12 weeks in an internship to see if they are the right fit. You will receive $1,000 to help with the costs of the trial and if you decide to hire them, you may be eligible to receive a financial incentive of up to $10,000.

For more information about the program and how you can participate visit this Department of Education, Skills and Employment page.

 USEFUL LINKS

Youth Jobs PaTH—information for employers DOCX

 

Local Employment Services

Many specialist employment services both for-profit and not for profit are based in Darebin and nearby, these include those that will assist in recruitment, employment, human resource support and mentoring of your workforce, as well as those that have dedicated resources to support highly disadvantaged workers, those with disabilities or young people. 

A comprehensive list of Local Employment Services can be found here.

 

Darebin City Council’s webinars

As part of Darebin City Council’s $11.8M Community and Business Resilience and Recovery Package, Council has initiated the Darebin Business Webinar Series to help support you and your business through the recovery process.

 WEBINAR RECORDINGS

Session 1: Strengthening your financial position – Presentation Slides

Session 2: Pivoting your business: Case studies and conversation – Presentation Slides

Session 3: Making the change: Going digital – Presentation Slides

Session 4: How to stay connected with your customers during a crisis – Presentation Slides

Session 5: Think like an entrepreneur: Customer mindset opportunities – Presentation Slides

Session 6: Social media 101: Tips, tricks and timesavers – Presentation Slides

Session 7: How to setup your own Shopify store – Presentation Slides

Session 8: How to optimise your website and online store with SEO – Presentation Slides

Session 9: How to understand eCommerce data – Presentation Slides

Session 11: Leadership during difficult times – Presentation Slides

Session 12: How to bring the best out of your employees – Presentation Slides

Session 13: Benefits for all: Growing food in the workplace – Presentation Slides

 

Upskill My Business

 Upskill My Business provides practical help via free online courses, live and on-demand events and a range of business resources that can assist businesses to prepare for a strong recovery.

Upskill My Business can help you to gain new skills and knowledge to keep your business moving forward. Explore dozens of premium courses and webinars Free of charge from top providers here and find one that suits your needs.

Business Victoria Bus

Operated by Business Victoria, the Small Business Bus visits Melbourne and regional Victoria as a 'travelling office on wheels'. The Victorian Government’s Small Business Bus delivers business advice in metropolitan, rural and regional locations, and showcases local capability and practical advice. The Small Business Bus is visiting all regions of Victoria in 2021. No bookings required. Head down to the announced location as per the Bus schedule here.

The nearest dates for Darebin are:

  • 22/04/2021 – Fairfield, Front of Fairfield Library, 122 Station Street Fairfield 3078, 10am to 4pm
  • 28/04/2021 – Preston, Preston Market, 2/30A Centre Way Preston 3072, 10am to 4pm

 

In this section, you will find information regarding the Council’s Sustainability programs and solutions, Darebin’s Local Grassroot Initiatives, the State Government Environmental grants and support, and Sustainability Events. You can also access a list of Darebin’s Sustainability Business Leaders and Sustainability Map. Further information: Sustainable Business Officer Phone: 8470 8550 Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au

Sustainability Events

SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS 2021

27.04.2021, 2pm - 3.30pm

Business Opportunities - Sustainable Solutions: Evolving problems into business opportunities with sustainable solutions.

Register here to attend the event.

 

Join us this year on Tuesday 27th of April from 2 pm - 3.30 pm for another fantastic Sustainability Matters on-line webinar.  You will be hearing from Abigail Forsyth, KeepCup Cofounder and Managing Director, who will share with you how she seized the business opportunity of a waste problem (disposable cups ending up in landfill) to create a robust and thriving business that offers a fantastic sustainable solution; the reusable coffee cup.  KeepCups are now used in more than 65 countries around the world, diverting millions of disposable cups from landfill every day.  They are locally manufactured, in Australia for the Australian Market, with their Australian office being solar powered since 2015 and the company committed to being part of the circular economy. 

You will also hear from three local businesses/organisations: Hiruni Peiris, co-owner of Northcote Bakeshop and founder of the WANGIM Cup program; Alex Kung, co-owner of Reducing our Footprint and Katherine Barraclough, parent of Fairfield Primary school.  Register here for this FREE on-line event. 

Sustainability Matters brings the stories of local businesses taking the lead in sustainability to other businesses, residents and interested community members. Through them you will hear about local businesses adopting green practices and cutting their costs, whilst reducing their carbon footprint, waste and often growing their business. 

To get a taste for this year's event you can view our 2020 Sustainability Matters online webinars here.  We have webinars on Solar and Energy EfficiencyReducing Waste and the Circular Econome 

Within these webinars you will hear from local businesses A Little Light, CERES Fair Food & Fair Wood, Charles Sandford & McKay Joinery, EnviroShop, Exquisine, Integrated Recycling, Moon Rabbit, Show Works, Suntory (formerly Mocopan), Terra Madre and The Northcote Bakeshop.  These webinars also include the work of local artists Maria Coviello and Bec James and live sketching from Mathew Magain of Sketch Group. Our 2020 Sustainability Matters webinars were proudly sponsored by the Victorian State Government.

To view the individual stories of some speakers from this year and previous years go to our Sustainable Business Playlist on the CityofDarebin YouTube page.

 

Sustainability Business Leaders Videos

Many businesses in Darebin are taking a lead in terms of environmental sustainability. Be inspired and learn more about they are taking incremental steps to reduce their impact on the environment, reduce their carbon emissions whilst gaining local support in the process, through viewing these 10 Sustainable Business Leader videos.

1. A Little Light

2. CERES Fair Food & CERES Fair Wood

3. Charles Sandford & McKay Joinery

4. Exquisine

5. Fairfield Physiotherapy

6. Moon Rabbit

7. Shiny Embroidery

8. Show Works

9. Terra Madre

10. The Northcote Bakeshop

 

Council’s Sustainability programs and solutions

Sustainability matters to the Darebin City Council, so it does to our residents. We encourage local businesses to participate in the Council’s initiatives and benefit from programs, grants and certifications available. These initiatives are designed to minimise our impact on the environment and help businesses to reduce on-going costs via green solutions.

To find Certified Green Businesses in Darebin go to our Darebin Green Business Directory.

 LIGHT$MART

Free LED lighting upgrades for Darebin businesses and organisations.

All businesses in Darebin are now able to apply for our Light$mart program, which offers a free or subsidised LED lighting upgrade to local businesses and organisations (conditions apply). So far over 250 Darebin businesses/organisations have been upgraded through this program, saving an average of $420 a year on their electricity bills.

Conditions:

Under the Council’s Business recovery Light$mart support program, the retrofit cost $500 or are free for Darebin businesses & organisations.

For retrofits over $500 (GST exclusive), the Council will rebate businesses (via a cheque) for the first $500 + 50% of the costs thereafter. In this case, the business needs to pay the amount upfront. The Council’s subsidy capped at $1,000.

To find out more and register your interest please email business@darebin.vic.gov.au and put 'Light$mart' in your subject heading.

BUSINESS RECYCLING BINS

Up to two 240 litre yellow-lidded recycling bins are available to Darebin businesses for a one-off fee. The Council offers a fortnightly Business Recycling Service for a one-off fee of $100.10 (GST exempt) per 240 litres bin, with a maximum of two bins available. All items recyclable in the Darebin residential recycling bins are accepted.

To find out more see the Business Recycling Service brochure.

To order your bin:

* Fees and charges may change. Participating businesses will be kept informed of any changes.

If you are a not-for-profit organisation, you may be eligible for a fee reduction or waiver at the Council’s discretion.

 To apply:

For information about what you can put in your business recycling bin and your collection days, please refer to our Recycle Right page.

SOLAR BULK BUY

Take advantage of great prices, good quality products and installers by participating in our Darebin Solar Bulk Buy program to put solar on your rooftop. Register your interest in the Solar Bulk Buy program at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/solar

 ENVIRONMENTAL UPGRADE AGREEMENTS

For businesses interested in installing large solar system or undertaking energy efficiency upgrades, we can help you to source funding to achieve this through an Environmental Upgrade Agreement.  Watch this short video to find out more about what an Environmental Upgrade Agreement is and how it works. Register your interest in an Environmental Upgrade at www.darebin.vic.gov.au/solar

EFFICIENCY & SUSTAINABILITY HEALTH CHECK

If you are interested in reducing your energy bills, waste and environmental impact and making your business more resilient you can request an Efficiency & Sustainability Health Check.  Through this one-on-one consultation, we will assess your current sustainability status and help you identify further actions you can take.  In addition to the possible cost savings, if your business is assessed as taking significant energy efficiency, waste reduction and sustainability actions it will become a Certified Darebin Green Business and will be promoted in our Darebin Green Business Directory and Sustainable Darebin Map.

 If you would like to access a free Efficiency & Sustainability Health Check, please, email Emma Hopkins, Sustainable Business Officer, Emma.Hopkins@darebin.vic.gov.au and business@darebin.vic.gov.au or call 8470 8888.

FREE TIMERS FOR NON-PERISHABLE DRINKS FRIDGES AND OTHER EQUIPMENT

If you have fridges that contain non-perishable items, you could be saving between $400 - $500 a year by switching them off when your business is closed. We are offering food and beverage businesses free fridge timers as part of our Darebin Fridge Timer Program to reduce electricity consumption.  You may also be able to access free timers for other equipment which doesn't need to be kept on 24/7, including sandwich presses and hot bain-maries.

To request a timer for your business email business@darebin.vic.gov.au or call 8470 8888.

 FREE BIKE RACKS FOR CUSTOMER PARKING

Council is committed to encouraging green travel and will install a free bicycle parking hoop as part of our Bicycle Racks for Businesses program outside eligible local businesses.

 To find out if your business meets the eligibility criteria for safety and accessibility please complete our online form and a transport officer will contact you.

 SUSTAINABLE LEADERS IN MANUFACTURING PROGRAM

Join our SLIM (Sustainable Leaders in Manufacturing) program by emailing us at business@darebin.vic.gov.au.

We are working with over 40 local manufacturers to help them reduce their energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste. Through their participation in SLIM all these businesses have saved thousands of dollars by making changes to help their businesses be more environmentally sustainable.

All our SLIM businesses have installed LED lighting, many have installed solar, some have formed industrial ecology business partnerships to turn their waste into a resource for others, and all have reduced their waste going to landfill.

We are also looking for businesses interested in accessing a highly subsidised Energy & Materials solutions assessment. If you are a local manufacturer and are interested in getting support to save money and reduce your energy usage, greenhouse gas emissions and waste and interested in connecting with other sustainable leaders in manufacturing email business@darebin.vic.gov.au or call 8470 8550.

CAFÉ TO GARDEN

If you are a local café owner, you might be interested in participating in our Cafe to Garden program that links you to customers and residents that will pick up your coffee grounds.  We currently have 21 local cafes participating in this program, to find out who they are go to www.darebinfoodharvestnetwork.org.au/cafetogarden

If you are interested in starting to recycle your organics, or if you are already doing it and we don't know, drop us a line at business@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

Local Grassroot Initiatives

WANGIM REUSABLE COFFEE CUP PROGRAM

Join a growing number of local cafes and customers that are participating in the WANGIM  Borrow.  Use.  Return Reusable Cup Program.  WANGIM is the local Woiwurrung word for boomerang, and, just like a boomerang, the program works by having customers collect their coffee in a special takeaway Wangim mug (at no additional cost), and then return it to a participating café on their next trip.  Wangim, initiated by Hiruni Peiris of the Northcote Bakeshop is a community-led initiative funded by Darebin City Council which aims to remove the need for single-use cups.

BUSINESS ORGANIC WASTE RECYCLING

There are a number of options available to Darebin businesses for recycling organic waste. Options include:

  • recycling your organic waste via on-site worm farms
  • participating in a range of community schemes like sharewaste in which local residents and customers may come and collect some or all of your organic waste
  • and setting up an organic waste collection service with a private contractor.

For more options please see our Waste and Coffee Grounds Recycling brochure.

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND SUSTAINABLE PURCHASING

More and more businesses are making the shift from a Take -> Make -> Waste model to the Borrow -> Use -> Return -> model of the circular economy.  Watch our short video or longer webinar on what some Darebin businesses are doing in this space.

Participating in the Circular Economy requires us to be purchasing products that are made from reused and recycled materials.  Sustainability Victoria has released its Buy Recycled Directory to make it easier to make purchasing decisions that support the circular economy.

RESOURCES

You can get support from other local businesses and find out about a range of sustainable business programs on the Darebin Business Zero Waste Network Facebook Group.

The following sustainability programs offer support (for relevant sectors) and a chance to connect with others who share your vision:

The following websites also offer some great tips and resources: 

The following books are also inspirational and great reads:

The following movies are also inspirational and if you are interested in sustainability great films to view:

 

State Government Environmental grants and support

ENERGY COMPARE

Victorian Energy Compare is a free, independent energy price comparison tool. It uses information you provide about both your business and your energy bills to help find the best energy offers for you including Green Power options.  Over 85% of small business users typically find savings of around $700 a year by using this site. The Victorian Government runs Victorian Energy Compare.

SOLAR FOR BUSINESS

From May 2021, rebates of up to $3,500 will be available for eligible Victorian small businesses to reduce the up-front cost of installing solar panels.

The Solar for Business Program is a new initiative designed to support Victorian small businesses to reduce their energy costs by accessing the benefits of renewable energy. 

This initiative will bring down energy bills for small businesses by reducing the upfront cost of the installation of an approved small-scale solar PV system up to 30kW.  

To support the economic recovery of Victorian small businesses and the broader solar sector, 15,000 solar PV rebates will be available over the next three years.

Eligibility criteria:  

  • Be the owner of a business that has less than 20 employees    
  • Operate from premises that are not considered residential    
  • Operate from premises that are individually metered   
  • Have your system installed by a Solar Homes approved solar retailer as detailed on Solar Victoria’s website  
  • Install a solar system with a PV capacity size up to 30kW, and detailed on the Solar Homes approved product list.   

 Read more and register your interest here.

  

Sustainability Map

Sustainable Darebin Map features businesses that are single-use plastic free, local recycling stations, organics grocers and much more. To view the map and support sustainable Darebin businesses, go to the Sustainable Darebin Map. You can also request to add your business by using the ‘add your business’ button.

 

 

Further information:
Sustainable Business Officer
Phone: 8470 8550
Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au

Darebin has a thriving economy based on a diverse range of new and long-established businesses.

We are home to a multitude of ‘micro businesses’ as well as unique and significant retail hubs such as the iconic Preston Market and the rapidly expanding Northland Shopping Centre.

Add to the mix an innovative manufacturing culture and the main campuses of two renowned Higher Educational institutions – La Trobe University and NMIT – and you have a vibrant, healthy business and economic climate.   

Council has developed profiles on its economy and employment that include detailed analyses of the Darebin economy, industry sectors and labour force.
Business Development Strategies 
These are the strategies that form and underpin our work, especially in relation to marketing, employment and skills, business and industry development, business support, and environmental sustainability.
Further Information 

Business Development

Ph: 8470 8344

Email: business@darebin.vic.gov.au

In this section, you will find information on the upcoming Council’s business events, Small Business Bus visitation dates, Local Business Associations and Melbourne’s North Food Group.

Council’s business events

SUSTAINABILITY MATTERS 2021

27.04.2021, 2pm - 3.30pm

Business Opportunities - Sustainable Solutions: Evolving problems into business opportunities with sustainable solutions.

Join us this year on Tuesday 27th of April from 2 pm - 3.30 pm for another fantastic Sustainability Matters online webinar.

Register here to attend the event.

Small Business Bus

Operated by Business Victoria, the Small Business Bus visits Melbourne and regional Victoria as a 'travelling office on wheels'. The Victorian Government’s Small Business Bus delivers business advice in metropolitan, rural and regional locations, and showcases local capability and practical advice. The Small Business Bus is visiting all regions of Victoria in 2021. No bookings required. Head down to the announced location as per the Bus schedule here.

The nearest dates for Darebin are:

  • 22/04/2021 – Fairfield, Front of Fairfield Library, 122 Station Street Fairfield 3078, 10am to 4pm
  • 28/04/2021 – Preston, Preston Market, 2/30A Centre Way Preston 3072, 10am to 4pm 

 

Local Business Associations

Business Associations work with businesses and the Council to ensure the ongoing success of their local areas. The Business Associations range from formal, incorporated organisations that meet regularly, to casual groups of business owners who meet only occasionally. The following associations are located in Darebin:

All Business Associations and Advisory Committees in Darebin are listed on the Darebin Business Directory. Guidelines for Business Associations can be found here.

SPECIAL RATES & CHARGES

Marketing levies are in place for the following centre:

 

A special rate or charge is an annual fee paid by business properties that are pooled into a central fund and are spent on encouraging commerce and retail activity in that area. A special rate is a rate raised in addition to the general rates and charges under the provisions of section 163 of the Local Government 1989. It is a property-related debt, the same as a general rate. Councils are able to levy a special rate or charge on property owners to help pay for any council service or activity that will be of special benefit to those particular property owners. In this case, the levy is raised to pay for the marketing and promotion of a business precinct. Council currently has several special rate schemes in place to raise funds to support local shopping centres in Reservoir, Northcote, Preston and Fairfield.

The following geographic maps provide the details of which commercial properties are included in the special rate schemes for each of the Business precincts concerned:[WD5] 

 

Melbourne’s North Food Group

Melbourne’s North Food Group is an active and dynamic industry group, delivered by NORTH Link, that represents food, beverage and fibre businesses across northern Melbourne.

If you are a business in the food, beverage or fibre industries, or you provide products or services to these industries, you are eligible to become Melbourne’s North Food Group partner. By becoming a partner of Melbourne’s North Food Group, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Save money through group buying and equipment sharing opportunities
  • Build business capability through individual business reviews and skills development sessions
  • Become export ready
  • Access new markets through trade shows and in-bound buyer missions
  • Work with tertiary institutions to improve the skills of your workforce
  • Stay informed on supplier opportunities, up to date resources and government grants
  • Connections to research and development options

Find out more about the cost and the application process here.

The Business Connection is Darebin's Business newsletter aimed at providing 'news that business can use'.

Welcome to The Business Connection!

This newsletter has been designed specifically for the business community of Darebin, we hope you find it an interesting and insightful read. 

To submit your idea for future editions or to request a hard copy of the newsletter please contact Business Development on 8470 8344 or email business@darebin.vic.gov.au

Previous editions:
Issue One

Issue Two

Issue Three

Issue Four

Issue Five

Issue Six

Issue Seven

Issue Eight

Issue Nine

Free public WiFi is now available in our major shopping strips. Next time you’re out and about you will be able to browse social media, webpages, search for local businesses and read your emails.

Free Wi-Fi is now fully operational in the following shopping centres:

  • High Street, Preston
  • Station Street, Fairfield
  • Broadway, Reservoir
  • High Street, Northcote and Westgarth
  • Edwardes Street, Reservoir
  • Spring Street, Reservoir

For more detail on coverage areas please see Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

How do I access the Free Wi-Fi service?

  • Turn on Wi-Fi
  • Select “Free Darebin Wi-Fi” (in Preston, Fairfield and Reservoir) or “Darebin Free Wi-Fi” (in Northcote and Westgarth) and connect
  • Click on your internet browser from your menu page and select “sign in to Wi-Fi” when prompted
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Enjoy free Wi-Fi!

Problems?

If you have problems accessing the service and need help, there are service technicians available, at helpdesk@infrastructurelogic.net.au or by calling:

  • Ph: 1300 161 344 for Preston, Reservoir, Fairfield (please quote enquiry code 3004)
  • Ph: 1300 135 249 for Northcote and Westgarth

This free Wi-Fi service has been made available to you by Darebin City Council with the assistance of business owners and operators in the coverage areas and with the assistance of our industry partners Infrastructure Logic and Easyweb Digital.

Opportunities for Business

Businesses in all coverage areas are able to list and promote their businesses on a marketing portal.  To initiate this, follow the prompts once you log on to the Free Darebin WiFi, scrolling down to "Register your Business" on the front screen.   

If you would like to know how you can use the services to market your business products and services, please contact us.

Business Development

Ph: 8470 8344