It is common to face challenges and periods of stress when running or working in a small business. The COVID19 pandemic has put extra stress on many businesses.

When you work alone or in small teams, some challenges are harder to manage. They include:

  • not always having someone to speak to about concerns you have
  • working long hours
  • taking calls or answering emails after hours
  • financial concerns
  • managing the administration of your business
  • feeling responsible for family and employees

Access support when you need it, because this is important for you, your employees and your business.

Wellbeing, financial and business support

I'm Fiona Sweetman and I own a business called Hidden Secrets Tours.

I've been self-employed for most of my career, but to have 15 staff to look after, most of whom who didn't qualify to be supported by me under the Jobkeeper, it's been a difficult year.

The helpline was appealing to me in that it offered different versions of help, whether it be financial, wellbeing or even business coaching.

It's assisted me in thinking about how my business could adapt and gave me some tools and templates on how to look at a risk assessment.

In talking to the consultants, I could see that there was still positivity in what I offered and that the markets do come back.

Having someone at the end of the phone that is non-judgmental and really has the skills to help, it was a really great surprise for me.

And I'd look at doing that again.

Business Victoria offers free 45-minute virtual business mentoring sessions with an expert from Monarch Institute. Business owners can use sessions to set directions, resolve key issues and develop action plans to achieve their business goals. Participants will receive a business action plan after their session.

Help with financial stress

Contact Partners in Wellbeing if you experience financial stress. Partners in Wellbeing offers free, one-on-one financial counselling. This includes advice on managing debt and financial issues. Call 1300 375 330.

Mental health for small business owners

Ahead for Business helps small business owners with their mental health and wellbeing through personalised resources and tools tailored to their specific needs.

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman website has several resources to plan for a mentally healthy workplace.

COVID‑19 mental health resources for individuals and business owners

You can access these services if you feel overwhelmed or find life difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic:

You can visit for information on business support, current restrictions and keeping your workplace safe.

The Business Victoria Concierge Service helps sole traders and microbusinesses seeking information or advice about COVID19 business support.

  • Speak with a team member who can answer questions about what support services are available to you, and how to access them.  
    Call 13 22 15 from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.

WorkSafe Victoria has the latest information about coronavirus (COVID19) and preventing exposure in the workplace. This includes industry-specific information and information in languages other than English.