COVID-19 Support Programs
State-Commonwealth Business Support Package
The Victorian Government has announced additional funding as part of the jointly funded State-Commonwealth Business Support Package. The four-week business support payments will cover a four-week period ending on 30 September.
The vast majority of payments will be deposited automatically into businesses' bank accounts, while a new tiered payment system for the Business Costs Assistance Program will allow for higher payments to businesses with more workers.
Further hardship funds will be made available to eligible businesses that do not qualify for existing programs.
The five key elements that make up the support package are outlined below.
Business Costs Assistance Program
The Victorian Government's Business Costs Assistance Program provides grants to small and medium businesses impacted by public health restrictions. Both the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two and the Business Costs Assistance Program Round Two July Extension are now closed, but recipients are eligible for a series of automatic top-up payments.
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund
Eligible cafes, restaurants and bars who received the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 or Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 July Extension grants will continue to receive automatic Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund payments of between $5,000 and $20,000 per week.
Alpine Resorts Winter Support Program
An Alpine Support Package will help sustain resorts through the remainder of the season and September school holidays with an automatic top-up payment of between $10,000 and $40,000, depending on business location and whether they employ staff.
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
An additional $448 million will be added to the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, increasing the grant amount available to small and medium-sized businesses from $14,000 to $20,000. Businesses that have already received a Small Business COVID Hardship Fund grant will receive an automatic top-up payment of $6,000.
Applications for the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund will close on 10 September.
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
Eligible workers who lose hours due to the lockdown will be eligible for support through the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will businesses that do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs because they are not registered for GST.
More information about these payments can be found here.
Rent relief for commercial tenants
In addition to the above, the Victorian Government announced businesses that have experienced a loss in turnover of more than 30% during the pandemic are now guaranteed to receive rent reductions through the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme, while separate support will be provided to landlords.
Tenants and landlords can contact the Victorian Small Business Commission for more information on 13 87 22.
Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry COVID-19 resources for business
The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is providing advice and resources to businesses to support them through this challenging period. Information and resources can be found at www.victorianchamber.com.au/business-support/crisis-information/covid-19-coronavirus-resources
Victorian Tourism Industry Council COVID-19 Business Support Resources
VTIC have a new portal to support the tourism, events and hospitality businesses to survive and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with a VTIC Industry Support Hub. This Hub contains an extensive range of business support resources to help navigate the challenges faced by this industry. The support VTIC Industry Support Hub contains information that is consolidated and developed in collaboration with industry experts, these business support resources aim to meet immediate needs and guide through to recovery. The resource will be updated with information and resources to support the industry moving forward.