The Federal, Victorian, and some local governments have put supports in place to help businesses continue operating and to assist with the recovery process from COVID‑19.
We know finding grants can be complex and time-consuming and we are pleased to offer members complimentary access to the Victorian Chamber Grant Finder. Explore hundreds of business grants and unlock your share of government investment in your business.
Victorian, Federal and Local Government grants and support
VICTORIA: COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program
The COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program will support the costs for businesses setting up for street trading.
Victorian businesses, community organisations, not-for-profits and trader associations are eligible for $2,000 grants when they spend at least that amount to support initiatives such as outdoor hospitality and entertainment.
The vouchers will be valid for expenses including purchasing and hiring marquees, screens and umbrellas, obtaining insurance and promoting outdoor operations. Some 20 per cent of the vouchers will be allocated in regional Victoria.
Applicants to the program must provide a plan detailing how they will move their business activities outdoors, and provide proof that the voucher payment has been spent on eligible items within three months.
Hairdressers, beauty services, retail shops, dance studios and gyms will also be eligible to apply for vouchers, meaning they can join restaurants, cafes and bars in harnessing the opportunities of kerbside trading. The Voucher Program will open soon and will be delivered by Business Victoria in partnership with Service Victoria.
The COVIDSafe Outdoor Activation Voucher Program is part of the Outdoor Economy Package, announced October 18 2021. This Program also includes funding for councils to provide the necessary infrastructure and support.
VICTORIA: Business Cost Assistance Program (Round Five)
The Business Costs Assistance Program Round Five provides payments to eligible small to medium businesses in sectors affected by the current restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments.
$2800 per week for businesses with an annual payroll below $650,000
$5600 per week for businesses with an annual payroll between $650,000 and less than $3 million.
$8400 per week for businesses with an annual payroll between $3 and $10 million.
From 1 October to 29 October 2021, businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria that are subject to lockdown restrictions will receive fortnightly payments. Businesses in eligible ANZSIC classes located in areas not subject to stay at home restrictions will also receive fortnightly payments.
From 29 October to 13 November 2021, businesses in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in eligible ANZSIC classes that remain closed or heavily restricted will receive a fortnightly payment.
VICTORIA: Business Cost Assistance Program (Round Four) - Construction
The Business Cost Assistance Program (Round Four) – Construction provides one-off payments to eligible employing and non-employing businesses in the construction sector that operate in the following local government areas:
The City of Greater Geelong
Surf Coast Shire
Business must have incurred direct costs because of the health restrictions in place between 21 September – 4 October.
Payments of up to $8400 will be made available to eligible businesses based on payroll size.
The program will launch in mid-October. Further information, including how to apply, is available via the Business Victoria website.
VICTORIA: Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme
The Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme will help small and medium-sized businesses with an annual turnover of less than $50 million that have experienced a fall in turnover of more than 30 per cent during the COVID-1) pandemic.
Eligible business owners can obtain relief in the form of a proportionate reduction in rent. For example, a business with a turnover of 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels can only be charged 40 per cent of its rent. Of the balance, at least half must be waived, with the remainder deferred.
The Commercial Landlord Hardship Fund 3 provides grants to eligible small landlords who experience hardship as a result of waiving rent for their tenant(s) between 28 July 2021 and 15 January 2022 under the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.
A rent waiver is where some or all of the rent owed for an agreed period of time does not have to be paid.
Eligible small landlords can apply for a grant of up to $6000 per eligible tenancy.
In cases where landlords are experiencing acute hardship because of the rent waiver agreed with their tenant(s), the grant may be increased to a maximum of $10,000 per eligible tenancy.
VICTORIA: Impacted Public Events Support Program (Round Two)
The Impacted Public Events Support Program Round Two will deliver grants of $25,000 to organisers of Tier 1 and Tier 2 events under the Public Events Framework that are approved or registered to take place between 11:59pm on 24 June 2021 and 11.59pm on 23 September 2021.
Suppliers to Tier 1 and Tier 2 events may be eligible for a $10,000 grant under this program.
Applications will be accepted until 11:59pm on Tuesday 26 October 2021 or until the program funds are exhausted.
VICTORIA: Wellbeing and Mental Health Support for Victorian Small Businesses
Victorians can access the mental health support they need to navigate through the impacts of COVID-19. Key elements of the program include accredited mental health training delivered by St John Ambulance and the Partners in Wellbeing telephone hotline - 1300 375 330 - providing free access to one-on-one wellbeing support, business advisers, and financial counsellors.
These support services are expected to continue until 2022, with demand and future conditions set to guide further services. Additional program information is available via Business Victoria.
VICTORIA: Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program
The Victorian Chamber is partnering with the Victorian Government to deliver a Business Recovery and Resilience Mentoring Program to help small businesses navigate the economic challenges due to COVID-19. Eligible business owners can receive up to four two-hour mentoring sessions with an experienced professional who will help them make informed decisions about the future of their business.
VICTORIA: Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees program
The Retrenched Apprentices and Trainees Program aims to assist apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment complete their training.
Employers who have job vacancies for apprentices or trainees can register their interest and will be matched with suitable candidates for you to interview. Employers may also be eligible for Federal Government incentives.
Apprentices and trainees who have lost their employment are encouraged to register their interest in the program. Once on the register, apprentices and trainees will be assisted by one of our program officers until placed with a host employer through a Group Training Organisation (GTO) or directly with an employer.
The Victorian Chamber is supporting the delivery of this program which is being managed by the Apprenticeship Employment Network (AEN).
The Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy will support businesses and Group Training Organisations (GTOs) to take on new apprentices and trainees, to build a pipeline of skilled workers to support sustained economic recovery.
Through the subsidy, any business or Group Training Organisation that engages an Australian Apprentice between 5 October 2020 and 31 March 2022 may be eligible for a subsidy of 50 per cent of wages paid to a new or recommencing apprentice or trainee for a 12-month period from the date of commencement, to a maximum of $7,000 per quarter.
After 12 months of this support employers will be eligible to transition to the time-limited Completing Apprenticeship Commencements (CAC) wage subsidy for the second and third years of an apprenticeship. Under the CAC, eligible employers will receive a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year of an eligible apprenticeship, up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter per apprentice, and a 5 per cent wage subsidy in the third year of their apprenticeship, to a maximum of $750 per quarter per apprentice.
The ATO will tailor solutions for owners or directors of businesses that are currently struggling due to the Coronavirus, including deferring payments, varying pay as you go instalment amounts and refunding past instalments, withholding enforcement actions including Director Penalty Notices and wind-ups.
Contact the ATO on 1800 806 218 or visit the ATO website at ato.gov.au for more information.
LOCAL: Find out how your local government can assist
Local governments across the state are doing what they can to support businesses and local communities at this time. To find out how your council can help your business, please visit www.viccouncils.asn.au/find-your-council
If financial or social challenges are making it hard to manage toll payments, Linkt can help. Their confidential support is adapted to your changing needs, head to the website to find out more.
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