Victoria, Australia – The Victorian government‘s relief scheme for tenants and landlords – the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme – has been extended from 1 January 2021 to 28 March 2021, according to the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC).   

The scheme was introduced to relieve financial hardship faced by tenants and landlords as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell posted the news on Twitter.

The government will be continuing the support it has provided, which include the following: 

– A moratorium on commercial tenancy evictions from 29 March 2020 for the non-payment of rent for small to medium enterprises with an annual aggregate turnover under $50 million that have experienced a minimum 30 percent reduction in turnover due to coronavirus, where the tenant has followed the process for applying for rent relief. 

– A freeze on rent increases during the moratorium

– Rent relief provided by commercial landlords in proportion to (i.e. that matches) their tenants’ reduction in turnover due to coronavirus, made up of a minimum 50 percent rent waiver (the remainder can be made up of a rent deferral).

– A free mediation service for commercial tenants and landlords, accessed through the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC), to resolve disputes over rent relief

– The option for commercial tenants to apply to the VSBC for a binding order for rent relief if their landlord fails to respond to the VSBC or doesn’t engage in mediation in good faith.

The Government is also extending land tax relief to commercial or industrial landlords that provide rent relief to their tenants in 2021 and owner-occupiers of commercial properties.

The scheme’s support is provided for those commercial landlords and tenants under eligible leases. According to VSBC, small business tenants seeking rent relief within the extended period will need to apply to their landlord in writing with evidence of their eligibility as soon as possible, as a landlord is only required to provide rent relief from this date of application.

Further, if a tenant has already made a request and is seeking further rent relief for this extended period, then they will need to make another request to their landlord supplying the required evidence.

Regulations for the scheme have been made under the COVID-19 Commercial and Residential Tenancies Legislation Amendment (Extension) Act 2020. These regulations create temporary requirements for landlords and tenants for the duration of the scheme.

Hugging the tip of Australia’s east coast, Victoria is Australia’s second-smallest state, with Melbourne as its capital. 

Australia – Bastion Brands, a local integrated marketing agency dedicated to healthcare brands, has launched a “shark tank” style program for healthcare startups, where the “deserving” business gets free branding and marketing support. 

Bastion Brands joins firms who have been giving free assistance to businesses at the time of economic downturn amid the pandemic, where others have offered free SEO and consumer insight packages.  

Called the “Boost Initiative”, the support by Bastion Brands is worth AU$‎25,000 of marketing upgrade, counsel, design, and creativity initiatives, and will be offered to one winner twice a year.

Bastion Brands was launched in 2012 with the brand promise of a marketing and communications service that interlaces science and emotion. Offering services on brand strategy, creatives, production, and medical education, the agency has worked with both local and international healthcare brands such as AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Mayne Pharma, and Gilead sciences.

The agency is confident to administer the program having “understood the health market.” 

“We know how to help brands and businesses persuade and influence. We also want to do our best to help Australia’s recovery, health, and well-being, by using our communications expertise to support smart healthcare start-ups accelerate towards success,” the firm said.

Bastion Brands also believes that rather than a hindrance to ingenuity, the limitations induced by the pandemic are all the more reason to nurture great ideas. 

“We believe that not even a global pandemic can stop creativity, ingenuity, innovation, and genius! In fact, it’s more vital than ever that new ideas get the support they need to get-to-market, faster. So to help Australia’s business recovery, and to improve health and wellness in our community, Bastion Brands are proud to launch the Boost Initiative,” it said. 

Those interested can acquire their application forms from the Boost Initiative website, where submission is until February 15, 2021. Once chosen, final choices will be making their pitches, where the winner will be announced on March 31, 2021. 

Bastion Brands said what it looks for the deserving business is one that has a compelling case on why it can be a potential catalyst to its chosen market, an idea that will add a valuable new solution in healthcare, and a marketing and communications imperative that will benefit most from the skills and expertise Bastion Brands will offer.

Australia – Pizza brand Domino’s in Australia has got a new “delivery” service, albeit not novel at all, its new creative spot by agency Elevencom might just inspire in customers a fresh excitement for it. 

The pizza chain is offering a new “car park delivery,” where customers don’t need to get out of their cars to claim their order. In the new ad,  the brand brings home the point of the service’s convenience by imagining the possibility of why customers won’t be able to get out of their cars – such as an approaching dinosaur. 

In the ad, the car park has been turned into a Jurassic-like park, stirring scare among a group of DNA scientists looking to claim their pizza order.

This has been the second installment of the brand’s car park delivery ads, wherein the first one threw in a comic story of fishes not being able to get out of their water-filled cars.

Domino’s new car park delivery combines both pick-up and delivery services. Customers initially make an online pick-up order, and claim it within the store’s parking premises.

Elevencom said the campaign will run in Australia and New Zealand on TV and digital channels.