Helping business navigate COVID-19

We are committed to supporting local businesses as we navigate the implications of COVID-19.

Victorian Government's reopening plans

Visit the Victorian Government's COVID-19 roadmap for reopening for information about business restrictions in place within Victoria, including links to industry specific guidance and information.

Focus on outdoor dining and trading

All footpath and outdoor dining permit fees have been waived until 31 March 2021. 

The Victorian Government has outlined funding and support for the hospitality industry to serve customers outdoors as COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed and we’re working to facilitate this so restaurants, cafes and bars in Stonnington can maximise their dining space for the Victorian Government’s indicative re-opening date of 1 November.

Following feedback from our business community our immediate focus has been to deliver two key pieces of work that will unlock outdoor trading space for businesses:

  1. A fast tracked process for hospitality businesses that already have footpath trading in place to extend this to neighbouring properties if they are vacant or with the approval of neighbouring business owners.
  2. A process for hospitality businesses to apply to use car parking out the front of their property for dining where safe or practical to do this.

We have also received proposals for larger activation plans over summer such as road and street closures on weekends. We're continuing to review these as they are received, and will formally respond to people.

Mental health support for business owners and employees during COVID-19

The City of Stonnington has partnered with Star Health to provide a free dedicated mental health support program for owners, managers and employees of businesses based in Stonnington.

Through this important program, Star Health will be available to business owners, managers and employees to:

  • Conduct wellbeing checks
  • Facilitate access to assessments and care if required
  • Provide information about online supports and other services available
  • Refer people to counsellors for intervention and support

This is an incredibly challenging time for businesses and this may be the first time you’ve considered seeking support for your mental health. Star Health are a trusted, local organisation experienced at providing health and wellbeing support. Any support or advice provided will be confidential.

You can access free support by:

Learn more about Star Health(PDF, 1MB).

Please note this is a standalone targeted program for Stonnington businesses, for general advice and information on mental health support visit the Victorian Government's Better Health Channel.

If you are in an emergency or at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, call Triple Zero (000).

Business recovery mentoring program

Businesses in Stonnington are eligible for a free one hour mentoring session with the ION Group. In these mentoring sessions you will be provided with confidential business and advisory services to assist your business to re-open, reinvent and rebuild post COVID-19.

Each mentoring session will be customised to your individual needs with practical, innovative and holistic advice that you will be able to act on immediately. The goal is to stabilise, provide direction and support businesses to re-open, reinvent how you conduct business and rebuild in the new post COVID-19 economy.

If you would like to book an online session with ION Group please contact Leigh by email or call 0419 359 409.

City of Stonnington COVID-19 quick response grant program

Applications for the City of Stonnington COVID-19 Quick Response Grant Program closed on Sunday 30 August, applications are currently being reviewed and applications will be contacted directly.

Local business support endorsed by Council in March

$1m in permit fee refunds

We are refunding eligible businesses their food, footpath trading and health (excluding Category 3) permit fees for the period 1 April to 30 September 2020.

If you believe you're eligible for a refund, apply online by clicking the link below. To start, type your business or trading name into the first field then select it from the drop down list. The online form is hosted in a secure environment on the City of Stonnington website.

Please note: Refunds may take several weeks to process.

Apply now

To ask about additional local, state and federal financial support available, contact our Business Concierge service: 8290 3222 or email

 Additional support endorsed by Council in March

  • Extra investment in marketing and promotion of our precincts during the recovery phase
  • Rent relief for food businesses operating within Council buildings.
  • Accelerated payment terms for suppliers.
  • Relaxed enforcement of some parking restrictions until 31 May 2020. 
  • Fee waiver at some Council owned car parks until 30 September 2020.
  • Hotline to help businesses access local, state and federal support services. Call the hotline 8290 3222 or email our Business Concierge service.
  • Dedicated Business Resources web page with links to COVID-19 related information and assistance packages.
  • Dedicated Food Business web page for information about measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Strengthening our Business Concierge Service.

For more information and support call the business hotline 8290 3222 or visit our Business Resources or Food Business web pages.

Your questions answered

What permit fees are being refunded?

Refunds are available for the following permit fees:

  1. Food and health registrations (beauty therapy categories 1 and 2 and prescribed accommodation).
  2. Footpath trading permits:
  • tables and chairs
  • A-frame board
  • goods
  • queues for licensed venues
  • real estate agent signs (pointer boards)

Please note: Permit fees will be refunded for the period 1 April - 30 September 2020.

Can we continue to trade during the period of the refund?

Yes, you can continue trading. Your permit and registrations will be active and valid.

Please view the latest Victorian Government advice and information to help your business deal with COVID-19. 

We have multiple permits and registrations at the same address, do we need to complete multiple requests?

No, you only need to complete the form once.

What car parks do customers need to pay to use?

Paid parking still applies at our MacFarlan Street, South YarraKing Street, PrahranPrahran Square and Elizabeth Street, South Yarra (Prahran Market) car parks.

We have also relaxed the enforcement of some signed parking across the city:

  • No parking (red signs) at schools
  • No parking (1-hour) related to street sweeping
  • Time limited parking restrictions (green signs)

The relaxation of these restrictions is regularly reviewed and enforcement of all other restrictions will continue.