Partners in Wellbeing

COVID-19 has caused widespread disruption in the Victorian economy. The combination of lockdowns, uncertainty and cascading economic impacts has created a perfect storm for small businesses. Some have folded, and many that have made it this far are struggling. All involved - small business owners, their family members and employees - deal with enormous stresses on their financial, social and mental health wellbeing.


Partners in Wellbeing

The Small Business Wellbeing Program provides an integrated and collaborative response to the range of personal and business challenges that small business owners face. It also offers support for their family members and employees. The service is usually provided by phone, and is free and confidential.

At times of exceptional stress, previously tried and tested coping strategies may not be as effective. People can experience symptoms such as excessive worry, difficulty sleeping, moodiness and irritability. The Victorian Chamber has a dedicated Mental Health Clinician/Consultant, who provides one-on-one coaching to help callers work out what is happening, get things under control, get connected, and get on with life.

In addition to wellbeing support, the Small Business Wellbeing Program offers financial counselling and a business advisory service.

Financial counsellors can assist small business owners having problems meeting their financial commitments. They can help:

  • negotiate payment plans
  • work out how to prioritise debts
  • make a money plan to work out what the business can afford to repay
  • find out what concessions, entitlements, grants might be available
  • provide information on winding up a business, insolvency, and debt recovery
  • facilitate referrals to business advisors

Business advisors work collaboratively with financial counsellors, and provide action plans to address critical business challenges or opportunities in:

  • marketing and sales
  • digital business
  • human resource management
  • budgeting and forecasting
  • business strategy
  • efficiency and risk management
  • business expansion or closure.

There is no wrong door: people can start with one service, and be linked with others as needs arise.

Contact our consultant

Gerard Tan is the Mental Health Clinician/Consultant supporting Victorian Chamber members. Gerard is an accredited social worker with over 20 years’ experience in family services and community mental health settings working with individuals, couples and families. Gerard works alongside clients to develop and implement strategies to achieve safety, stability, health and wellbeing.

Gerard is available for consultation from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. He can be contacted by filling out the form below, by phone through the Victorian Chamber of Commerce at 03 8662 5333, or by email at Alternatively, you can request a call-back through the Partners in Wellbeing helpline, 1300 375 330, from 9 am to 10 pm, Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday.

Partners in Wellbeing is delivered by three community organisations - ACSO, EACH, and Neami National – and funded by the Victorian Government. Please note that Partners in Wellbeing is not a crisis service. For urgent assistance, please call Lifeline Australia at 131114, or emergency services at 000.