New support for businesses impacted by latest COVID-19 restrictions
Using member feedback and advice, the Victorian Chamber worked closely with the Government to develop the package of programs. There are several components of the package. While we are still awaiting details on some of them, they include:
Expanded Business Support Fund
The Business Support Fund has been expanded to provide more than 80,000 eligible businesses in all areas under Stage 3 Restrictions with a new $5,000 grant. To be eligible, businesses need to be in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire, be a participant in the Commonwealth Government’s JobKeeper Payment scheme, employ people, be registered with WorkSafe on 30 June 2020 and have an annual payroll of less than $3 million in 2019-20. Applications for the fund are now open and close on 19 August 2020.
Night-time Economy Support Program
A $30 million dedicated fund is being made available to help the hardest hit businesses in hospitality.
Mental Health Support
There is $26 million in mental health support to help Victorians dealing with the challenges of running a small business. This is critical to help ease the stress many SME business owners are experiencing as a result of the crisis and their financial dilemma.
$10 million is being made available to pair small business owners with experienced professionals who can help them navigate their way through the crisis.
Regional Tourism Accommodation Support
The new restrictions mean residents in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, as well as some interstate visitors, are not able to travel to regional Victoria. As a result, there have been significant booking cancellations with regional accommodation providers. Businesses in regional Victoria impacted by these cancellations will be able to apply for a payment of up to $225 per booking, per night up to a maximum of $1,125. Applications are now open, closing at the end of the current stay-at-home restrictions or when funds are exhausted.
CBD Business Support Fund
Small businesses in Melbourne’s CBD are faced with a large and sustained shock to their trading environments. To help them, a $20 million fund has been created.
Extended and Expanded Payroll Tax Relief
Businesses will also benefit from an extended and expanded payroll tax deferral. Eligible businesses with payrolls up to $10 million can defer their liabilities for the first half of the 2020/21 financial year.
For more detailed information on these programs and other federal and state programs, including links to the application forms, expressions of interest forms and eligibility criteria if available, please visit the Victorian Chamber’s dedicated webpage.
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