The Victorian Government has announced a new round of support for small and medium businesses most affected by the extension of public health restrictions in Melbourne.
A joint Commonwealth and Victorian Government package will ensure that the current level of support will continue during the extension of the lockdown to 11:59pm on Thursday, 2 September.
Most of the $807 million package will flow automatically to more than 110,000 businesses in industries ranging from hospitality to non-essential retail, accommodation, events businesses, hairdressing and beauty services.
The package includes:
Business Costs Assistance Program
More than 110,000 businesses in metropolitan Melbourne will automatically receive payments of $5,600 ($2,800 per week) through a $625 million injection.
The Business Costs Assistance Program provides support for businesses that are significantly affected due to the lockdown but continue to incur costs.
Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021
Automatic payments of $5,000, $10,000 and $20,000 per week will be made to about 7,000 licensed hospitality premises in metropolitan Melbourne that have previously received grants under the Licensed Hospitality Venue Fund 2021 or July Extension programs. An additional $110 million has been allocated to the new licensed hospitality venue initiative.
Payment amounts are based on the capacity of premises: $5,000 for a capacity of up to 99 patrons, $10,000 for a capacity of 100 to 499 patrons and $20,000 for a capacity of 500 or more.
Small Business COVID Hardship Fund
An additional allocation of $72 million will boost the Small Business COVID Hardship Fund, with grants increasing from $10,000 to $14,000 available to small and medium sized businesses across the state.
The fund will help up to 18,000 businesses that have been ineligible for business support programs and have experienced a reduction in revenue of at least 70 per cent.
Businesses that are legally allowed to operate but are restricted in their ability to generate revenue – such as a food store located at a shopping centre or a manufacturer supplying goods for closed venues – will be among those businesses that could be eligible.
COVID-19 Disaster Payments
Eligible workers across the state who lose work due to the lockdown will be able to access the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Disaster Payment, as will individuals who are sole-traders and do not qualify for Victorian Government support programs.
The COVID-19 Disaster Payment is administered through Services Australia. The payment is set at $450 for people who have lost 8-20 hours work over seven days and $750 for 20 hours or more. People who receive certain Commonwealth income support are eligible to receive a $200 payment where they have lost eight hours work or more due to the lockdowns.
Victorian micro-businesses and sole traders who wish to apply for the Commonwealth COVID-19 Disaster Payment can receive assistance in making their application via the Business Victoria Concierge Service on 13 22 15.
Further information on these programs will be available soon at business.vic.gov.au.