Category Archives: News

Additional Assistance Announced for Victorian Small Business

The Premier, yesterday (Sunday 13th September) announced an additional financial support package for businesses affected by lockdown restrictions. In summary, this provides the following relief to qualifying retail businesses in Victoria:

  1. Around 75,000 eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will receive grants of $10,000, $15,000 or $20,000 depending on their size.
  2. The Government will now defer payroll tax for businesses with payrolls up to $10 million for the full 2020-21 financial year.
  3. $20 million will be allocated for small businesses to access off-the-shelf digital programs such as Shopify or Squareonline, training and workshops designed to help businesses adapt to online operations.

Click for Vic, a new website and campaign aimed at encouraging Victorians to support local businesses will be boosted with $8.5 million for more marketing and advertising, and expanding the digital platform and its partnerships with third-party e-commerce providers to sell these strengths far and wide.

Source: Australian Retailers Association

Premier’s statement is available here 200913 – Supporting Victorian Businesses On Our Road To COVID Normal

Full details of the funding program can be found by CLICKING HERE


Victorian Stage 4 COVID Restrictions Extended

In what was disappointing news for music retailers in Melbourne metro, the Premier announcement an extension to the current Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions on September 6. A full summary is available at the DHHS website CLICK HERE

Music retail will continue to operate in most cases with their click and collect and home delivery services to serve the music making needs of the city. Most are likely to re-open their doors to customers after October 26 under the current restrictions announced.

NAMM Show 2021 Cancelled | Believe in Music Week Announced

As many had feared, it was with much sadness that overnight we received official news of the cancellation of the physical 2021 Winter NAMM Show.  However, in this morning’s video announcement NAMM CEO Joe Lamond asked the global music products industry to still come together in January for their virtual event Believe in Music Week.

“We’ve held off a long as we could but the reality is, there is no path forward at this time to bring our industry family together safely in Southern California at the NAMM Show,” said Joe Lamond.

“It’s hard to imagine isn’t it, it’s the first time not had a physical gathering in almost in 80 years and just like back then in times of trouble, the world has turned to music, the one thing everyone could believe in.”

“Today I would like to introduce Believe in Music Week, our global online gathering to unify and support the people that bring music to the world. This virtual event scheduled for our show dates in January will be fun, interactive and productive, using state of the art technology to connect us all… robust market place, to launch new products, share your brand story, ‘Believe in Music’ will also feature networking with AI facilitated match making for our buyers and our sellers… education for all our sectors of the industry and live music and concerts to raise awareness and financial support for our NAMM family, especially those in the live event and tour industry which has seen their world come to a halt with the global pandemic.”

“While in my opinion nothing can compare to the excitement of our global family reunion at the NAMM Show, this foray into the virtual world has been an exciting project and in some ways could bring new value to all involved .. pretty exciting and likely something we would not have jumped into had we not been forced to. We must all adapt and change I guess and why does that remind me of every NAMM U session from the past decade.”

“While we are not out of the pandemic woods yet and we will likely see more news before it is over, Believe in Music will be a critical step for our industry to help us prepare for the new year and new opportunities.”

“We’ll have much more to share in the coming days but in the meantime let’s ll do our best to take care of each other. Many have thought of the NAMM community as a global family and being there for each other is just what family do right? Especially in times like this. In a world filled with uncertainty there is one thing that we can believe in and that’s music and we believe in the future of music and we believe in the future of our industry and we look forward to seeing you in January.”

Our association with our media, Australian Musician online, looks forward to participating in, supporting and covering Believe in Music Week and bringing you the latest product releases, performances and other news that comes out of this exciting week. Standby for more Believe in Music Week news as it comes to hand.

New Worksafe Regulations Come Into Force in Victoria Regarding Reporting COVID-19 Cases in the Workplace

New regulations came into force in Victoria on Tuesday 28 July, 2020, that require employers to report immediately they become aware that an employee or contractor has contracted COVID19. The new regulations require that the employer notify Worksafe Victoria immediately if it is known that someone has been diagnosed infected and attended work in the previous 14-days or until cleared. Fines can be steep at nearly $40,000 for individuals and nearly $200,000 for businesses that do not properly report.

The measure is temporary for twelve months pending review by Worksafe and follows other states and territories that have introduced mandatory reporting. Further details CLICK HERE

For incident report templates CLICK HERE

For Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Resource Kits CLICK HERE

Stage IV COVID19 Restrictions to apply in Victoria

Sweeping new additions to the Stage IV Restrictions announced in Victoria on Sunday have been released today (Monday). All non-essential retail will close for in-person retailing from 11.59, Wednesday August 5 and this will include music retail. Online orders will continue to be able to be fulfilled onsite provided staff onsite do not exceed 2/3rds of the usual peak number required.

Also, retail stores (not in the exempt list) will be permitted to operate contactless ‘click and collect’ and delivery services with strict safety protocols in place. A COVID Safe plan must be in place.

Shopping centres in the metropolitan area will be allowed to open only to provide access to permitted retail.

The latest government guidelines for the Retail Trade (released 6 August) can be viewed by CLICKING HERE 

Warehousing and distribution are permitted and freight and logistics will be operate. Wholesale distribution may be below capacity in Victoria as distribution and warehousing will operate with less capacity (2/3rds of the usual workforce). More detail to come as these situations are clarified through official channels. From what we are aware of, major distributors will continue operations according to the current restrictions and government statements.

Victoria’s two major guitar manufacturers Cole Clark and Maton will cease manufacturing for six weeks we are advised.

The latest government guidelines for the Wholesale Trade (released 6 August) can be viewed by CLICKING HERE

And the guidelines for the Transport Postal and Warehouse trade by CLICKING HERE

For a detailed spreadsheet on the restrictions on Business in Victoria CLICK HERE Melbourne-coronavirus-restrictions-on-business

COVIDSafe Plan

The government’s official information, including developing a COVID Safe plan is available by CLICKING HERE.

A COVID Safe plan must be developed by 11.59pm, Friday August 7, 2020.

The Premier’s statement on business restrictions is available by CLICKING HERE

Permitted Worker Permits

Further as announced by the Premier, a Permitted Worker Permit may be required for employees required to go to your permitted work place – this form can be download by CLICKING HERE 

The website has been overloaded and presenting errors – if this is your experience you can download the template here – Permitted Worker Scheme Template

Access to Child Care Permits 

Access to Childcare Scheme Template 

Business Assistance Information

To support businesses impacted by these restrictions, one-off grants will be made available to eligible businesses under the Business Support Fund – Expansion program. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

For businesses currently under Stage 3 restrictions, a $5,000 Grant is available, provided you meet the conditions.

For businesses under Stage 4 restrictions who have been impacted by the shutdowns, a further $5,000 is available in addition to the $5,000 grant that was announced a few weeks ago (total of $10,000). For businesses who have already received the first $5,000, you will automatically receive the next $5,000. For businesses who haven’t yet applied, a $10,000 grant is now available.

The grant criteria currently remains unchanged and is as follows:

  • Operate a business with an address that’s located in one of the suburbs that are subject to the new Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions
  • Be receiving Jobkeeper payments
  • Employ people and be registered with Workcover on 30 June 2020
  • Have annual payroll of less than $3 million in the 2019-20 financial year
  • Be registered for GST on 30 June 2020
  • Hold an ABN and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator – ASIC, Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) or if you are a sole trader without a business name an ABN registration is ok)

More information as it comes to hand.

Richard Snape steps down from Executive Committee

It is with some disappointment that we announce that long-time AMA servant, Richard Snape, after departing Hal Leonard earlier this month has, as a result, stepped down from the executive committee. This paves the way for Hal Leonard’s managing director Andrew Collyer to be the nominated company representative. Richard had served on the executive committee for over a decade being first elected in 2007/2008. He also served as vice-president on three occasions. We wish him well in the future and thank him for his efforts on the industry’s behalf, while at the same time giving a warm welcome to Andy.

Victorian State Government Has Announced Further Small Business Assistance in Lock Down Suburbs and Zones

Due to the impact of the further lock downs recently imposed by the Victorian State Government on business, the Government has announced a new one-off $5,000 grant to eligible businesses.

The return to Stay at Home restrictions mean that businesses within metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, gyms, indoor sporting venues, cinemas, live music, entertainment venues and other businesses are either restricted in their operations or can no longer operate.

In order to qualify for the grant, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • Operate a business with an address that’s located in one of the suburbs that are subject to the new Stage 3 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions
  • Be receiving Jobkeeper payments
  • Employ people and be registered with Workcover on 30 June 2020
  • Have annual payroll of less than $3 million in the 2019-20 financial year
  • Be registered for GST on 30 June 2020
  • Hold an ABN and have held that ABN at 30 June 2020
  • Be registered with the responsible Federal or State regulator – ASIC, Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC), Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) or if you are a sole trader without a business name an ABN registration is ok)

If you think that you may qualify, please visit Business Victoria

Federal Government Announces Extension of JobKeeper and JobSeeker Programs to March 2021 With Changes

The Federal Government has announced an extension of the JobKeeper scheme until March 2021. There will be a two-tiered payment in place with a lower rate for casuals and part-time workers which more closely aligned with hours worked.

The Morrison government will cut the JobKeeper wage subsidy at the end of September to $1200 a fortnight for full-time workers and to $750 for part-time workers, down from the current single rate of $1500.

The scheme is being extended until March 28 next year, but will be revised down further at the start of January to $1000 for full-time workers and $650 for part-time employees working 20 hours a week or less.

Businesses will be reassessed with a turnover test in early October and early January to ensure the level of support is still required.

The ARA’s Paul Zahra said “payments will be more closely aligned with the wages of part-time and casual employees, which will foster greater workplace cooperation and provide greater incentive to return to work”.

Any further information will be distributed when it comes to hand.

Businesses must respect consumers’ right to unsubscribe from marketing messages

The ACMA is reminding all businesses to comply with Australia’s spam laws by allowing consumers to opt-out of receiving marketing messages.

Recent ACMA investigations have identified repeat failures by Australian businesses to comply with the Spam Act.

Investigations into complaints from the public about Woolworths Group Limited and Singtel Optus Pty Limited, both large well-known entities in Australia, resulted in over $1.5 million in penalties.

The ACMA found that these businesses continued to send messages after consumers had withdrawn consent. In some cases, people had attempted to withdraw many times.

These investigations highlight how even large businesses can fail to have effective systems and processes in place so that consumers can unsubscribe from e-marketing campaigns.

ACMA enforcement action for breaching the Spam Act 2003 can include formal warnings, infringement notices or even action in the Federal Court.

Respecting customer’s wishes also makes good commercial sense.


  • E-marketers need to allow people to unsubscribe from their electronic mailing lists.
  • Businesses cannot ‘set and forget’ their compliance systems or outsource their risk to third parties.

Commercial electronic messages must generally contain an ‘unsubscribe’ option that:

presents unsubscribe instructions clearly

honours a request to unsubscribe within 5 working days

does not require the payment of a fee

does not cost more than the usual amount for using the address (such as a standard text charge)

is functional for at least 30 days after the message is sent

Read more about how to comply with the Spam Act (or how to make a complaint) on the ACMA website.

Stage 3 Restrictions Reintroduced to Melbourne Metro Area & Mitchell Shire to stem the spread of COVID19 – Most Music Retail to remain open

The association is notifying all members operating in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire that Stage 3 restrictions are due to be reinstated from 11.59pm on Wednesday, 8 July.

The state government has announced that to stop the spread of the COVID19 virus, Stage 3 “Stay at Home” restrictions will be reimposed for six weeks, restricting Victorians from leaving their homes except for four reasons:

  • Shopping for food or essentials 
  • Care and caregiving
  • Work and education (if you can’t from home)
  • Daily exercise

Businesses will also return to stage 3 restrictions, including work from home where possible.

Please find Premier’s statement with full details of what Stage 3 restrictions here.

Freight from Victoria will be permitted according to the permit structure being developed for border crossing by the NSW government, and freight and logistics from Melbourne metro will continue to operate as in the previous restrictions period. Freight companies will be obtaining permits to overcome the Victorian border issues – freight times may be extended as a result of this.

Most retail is permitted to open, including music retail, subject to the density quotient, but people can only visit for necessary goods and services. i.e. No browsing policy should apply.

Members should re-assert their previous Stage 3 restrictions planning regarding numbers in store, hand and other sanitation procedures including strict physical distancing in store, instrument and other products handling practices.

A summary of the Stage 3 restrictions can be accessed here 

Premier Daniel Andrews says the state government will soon announce additional fiscal stimulus for businesses and individuals as lockdown measures affect businesses, if federal help is not being accessed. The association will update members and assist as we go forward from here.

From a national perspective restrictions and regulations including border control are different from state to state. Courtesy of the Australian Retailers Association you can view a summary of each state and territories’ current regulations – click here